I've written quite a bit about the increasing quality of bag-in-box wines. But is a box of wine not quite classy enough for you? Well then, how about a barrel instead? Deloach Vineyards has gone a step further in consumer-friendly wine packaging with its new Barrel-to-Barrel wine program. Your own barrel of wine? Oh yes — read on to see more...
Some of us might still be reluctant to open a bottle of wine when we just want one glass, despite the wide availability of vacuum pumps, stoppers and all sorts of preservation systems (see my picks for best wine preservation methods here). The availability of premium wine in bag-in-box format greatly resolved this issue enabling us to pour just the one or two glasses we needed. Not just for single-serve home use, bag-in-box wines are also fantastic for large holiday gatherings, outdoor entertaining, picnics and so forth as they are easy to transport, lightweight relative to bottles and present little-to-no risk of breakage.
However, for some, bag-in-box still carries a slight stigma and visually is not considered sophisticated.
A few months ago, I had the occasion to try out the new Barrel-to-Barrel offering from Deloach Vineyards, a highly regarded producer of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel in Sonoma's Russian River Valley area of California. So, we are talking about pretty good wines in these bags and barrels.
Deloach offers consumers the opportunity to buy small self-serve barrels, which really look quite nice, and sit niftily atop any flat surface, inside or out. The barrels come in two sizes: 3 liters or 10 liters. Once you have the barrel, you buy either the equivalent 3L or 10L box of wine, which fits neatly into the barrel and is accessed through a little spout at the front of the barrel, as you can see in the photos.
Personally, I think the 10L barrel is best for an outdoor setting such as your deck or large indoor entertaining area, while the 3L would sit nicely on any small kitchen or dining room counter space.
The 3L barrel costs $220 and the 10L barrel $250. This may sound like a significant outlay but it would make a nice gift for a family or special friends. And if you drink wine every evening or have a big party planned, then it's all the more useful. At the moment, two wines are available for the barrels as detailed below:
- The Deloach Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, which costs $60 for a 3L bag and $150 for a $1L bag – pretty good value for premium Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.
- The Deloach California Heritage Reserve Pinot Noir, which costs $52 for the 3L bag and $156 for the 10L bag.
• Find it: Both the barrels and the bagged wines are available directly from Deloach Vineyards at their website.
I am very interested to hear if any of our readers has already tried the Deloach barrel-to-barrel program or any similar offering. What do you think? Would you like to have a whole barrel with wine on tap in your own home, or is this a little too much for you?
Mary Gorman-McAdams, DWS, is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant. She holds the Diploma in Wine & Spirits from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), and is a candidate in the Master of Wine Program.
Related: Bag-in-Box Wine: What's Your View?
(Images: Mary Gorman)