Wine Buzz: Rockin' the wine pouch at BottleRock

Published: Wednesday, May. 15, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3D
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 15, 2013 - 7:44 am

We're back from BottleRock Napa Valley, where the flavors of wine country mixed last week with a multiday music festival.

You can read a full wrap-up of BottleRock online at, but we want to focus a little more on the festival's wine offerings.

First, some disclosure: "Wine Buzz" was technically on the clock and facing deadline, so drinking at the festival was basically a no-no.

Given that more than 50 wineries were selling their wines, including Silver Oak and Freemark Abbey, we felt a little like a wallflower.

However, in the name of research, we gave one wine a quick taste. These were custom-made blends for BottleRock that came in a Capri Sun-like pouch and contained the equivalent of two glasses. Concertgoers could choose between the Reverb Red and Whitenoise California white wine, with each selling for $15.

Like the Kings of Leon song "Use Somebody," the wine pouches were a big hit. By Saturday evening, one of the booths selling the wines ran dry.

For those who think wine pouches sound gauche, such alternative packaging is fairly common in Europe and can house decent wines. They're not meant for long-term aging, but are convenient for picnics and other outdoor excursions.

So we handed over $15 in exchange for a pouch of Whitenoise that had been immersed in a bucket of ice water. The taste wasn't as crisp and refreshing as we'd hoped, but on the dry and bitter side.

The novelty of this wine was nice, though we quickly returned to sipping from a bottle of Sprite, vintage 2013.

Wine sales still looked strong overall, with 5-ounce pours costing $13 and up. In this case, plastic cups doubled as stemware.

Maybe next year BottleRock could feature an indoor building or two dedicated to wine tasting.

That would make it easier to sample red wines without them turning warm in the 85 degree weather.

BottleRock was still a blast overall.

Now it's time to pour a proper glass.

Call The Bee's Chris Macias (916) 321-1253. Follow him on Twitter @chris_macias.

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