Once it was wine in clay amphorae — tall, elongated and often pointed toward the bottom. Hardly handy at a picnic. Then glass wine bottles came into use about 2,000 years ago. Not the best thing to take to the beach.
Millennia later, people are still looking for the ideal way to carry wine, one that promises no breakage, no spillage and, at the same time, good taste. So I gathered nine samples of wine in cans, plastic and plastic-lined cardboard and invited a guest to join me in judging if they do, indeed, combine portable packaging with quality wine.
Among the whites we tried, we gave highest marks to Winestar Corbières 2011, a blend of Malvoisie, Rolle (the French name for the Vermentino grape) and Grenache Blanc, from France. Packaged in an aluminum can with a flip top, the wine has a pleasant aroma, good character and a sprightliness, thanks to its fine acidity level. ($3.99; 6.32 ounces)
The second-highest score among whites went to Nuvino Sauvignon Blanc 2013 from Chile, which comes in a sturdy plastic pouch that easily stands by itself. The Sauvignon Blanc flavors are subtle, emitting a light, clean, fresh grassiness. Perfect as a casual outdoors aperitif. ($3.99; 6.32 ounces)
Among the reds, we found a number of worthy contenders. Most outstanding was Andegavia Ruthven Napa Valley Red Blend 2011, 97 percent Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and Petit Verdot. Deep and bright in color, it is full-bodied with good fruit and distinctive varietal character. Andegavia comes in a plastic bladder within a cardboard keg that has a tap. It holds three liters, comparable to four 750 ml bottles of wine — the ideal answer for a large group of people who enjoy both barbecue and fine wine. ($59.95)
Also scoring highly, the Winestar Corbières 2011 blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Grenache Noir produces a wine with clear varietal character that’s round, smooth and well-made, packaged in an aluminum can. ($4; 6.32 ounces)
The plastic container of Nuvino Malbec 2013 from Argentina proved equally distinctive — deep color, assertive aroma, zesty taste, round body and long finish. ($3.99; 6.32 ounces)
All these cleverly packaged wines enlighten summer entertainment — and fall and winter and spring as well.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.