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Dave DeSimone

Box wine perfect for tailgating (and it's good, too)

Dave DeSimone
| Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
'LAB” offers three liters of crisp and fruity Portuguese white wine in the popular “Bag-In-Box” format.
Dave DeSimone
'LAB” offers three liters of crisp and fruity Portuguese white wine in the popular “Bag-In-Box” format.
René Barbier “Mediterranean Red” delivers value and conveniene perfect for tailgating parties.
Dave DeSimone
René Barbier “Mediterranean Red” delivers value and conveniene perfect for tailgating parties.

As the calendar turns to October, sunny, crisp afternoons offer perfect opportunities for tailgate parties. Beers, of course, are popular tailgating choices, but selecting wines to enjoy with classic tailgating foods can be fun and convenient if you stick with “BIB” selections.

“BIB” or “Bags-In-Box” feature an air-tight, plastic bladder filled with wine inside a corrugated cardboard box. Pouring occurs through easy to use plastic taps. It's a snap to fill either single glasses or full pitchers. And because the bladder prevents oxygen contact, the wine inside the “BIB” can stay fresh for weeks after the initial use. So, there's no need to worry if you don't use the entire “BIB” for the party.

Since “Bag-In-Box” wines come in packages of either 3 liters (the equivalent of four standard bottles) or five liters (the equivalent of 6.7 standard bottles), there will be plenty of wine to go around. And when you do the math, “BIB's” larger size create really attractive price per bottle equivalents. A 3-liter “BIB” selling for $24, for example, equates to only $6 per bottle.

Plus “Bag-In-Box” formats are no longer limited to “cheap,” uninteresting wines. Producers of premium wines increasingly turn to “BIB” packaging as the format's popularity and sales have soared both here at home and in Europe and Asia.

For your next tailgate, try these “BIB” wines:

White Wines

2016 Alverdi, Pinot Riggio, Delle Venezie I.G.P., Italy (PLCB Code: 1579; $24.99 for 3 liters): This fruity, yet dry wine comes from northeastern Italy where Pinot Grigio vines reign supreme. The grapes fermented in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks to maximize fresh floral aromas and crisp, light bodied citrus flavors for easy quaffing. Recommended.

Casa Santos Lima, “Lab,” Vinho Regional Lisboa, Portugal (PLCB Code: 1202; $24.99 for 3 liters) features the profile a Labrador Retriever on the box, hence the name “Lab.” This crisp, refreshing white comes from Moscatel, Sauvignon Blanc, Arnita and Fernão Pires grapes grown in limestone and clay soils. A blend of citrus and ripe tropical fruit flavors balance with a clean, dry finish. Its relatively low alcohol by volume of 12.5% makes for easy drinking. Recommended.

Red Wines

Big House Red Zinfandel, California (PLCB Code: 5308; $23.99 for 3 liters): A fruit forward with bold blackberry and light toasted oak aromas. Juicy red fruit balance with just enough acidity to delivers an easy drinking crowd pleaser. Recommended.

René Barbier, “Mediterranean Red,” Catalunya, Spain (PLCB Code: 1593; $24.99 for 3 liters): This blend of Merlot and Tempranillo comes from grapes grown in chalky limestone soils to add uplifting freshness to the final wine. Fresh red fruit and spicy aromas open to delicious, soft red fruit flavors. Fresh acidity and soft tannins deliver good balance. Recommended.

Dave DeSimone writes about wine for the Tribune-Review. Reach him at

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