Blue Apron Wine is a subscription for people who love trying new wines as much as they love great food. You may be familiar with the Blue Apron Meal Delivery Kit subscription, which sends boxes of fresh ingredients to make exciting meals at home. The wine subscription is separate from the meal subscription, but it’s designed to complement it.
Here’s how it works: every month, for about $11 per bottle ($65.99/month, including shipping and tax), Blue Apron sends you 6 bottles of wine (3 white and 3 red/rose), plus tasting notes and pairing recommendations. The wines are selected to pair perfectly with the meals in the Blue Apron kits. The bottles are 500 ml, or 2/3 the size of a standard bottle, which, in addition to being adorable, means that you and your dining partner can enjoy your entire bottle with your meal without regretting that additional glass needed to finish a standard-sized bottle.
Blue Apron pairs with wineries around the world to bring a wide range of new and interesting wines to you each month. I love wine, and I love food, and I love everything about the idea of this subscription.
The wine comes securely packaged in a clever little box. Keep in mind that someone 21+ will need to sign for it. Everything is in great shape when it arrives, and the packaging is, happily, recyclable cardboard.
The wines this month featured three blends, which is a great way to experience some new flavors in wine. Plus, it’s summer, so there was a rose tucked into the box! #SayHeyRose! Four of the wines were Californian, one Oregonian, and one Kiwi.
If you’re wondering what a 2/3-sized bottle looks like, here is one of the bottles with a standard-sized bottle next to it. You’ll get about 3 1/2 glasses in a bottle, or a generous pour plus a top-off each if you’re with a partner.
Each box comes with a great collection of tasting notes. Blue Apron tells you a little bit about the winery and how the bottle was made, plus the region at large. Because, come on, you didn’t REALLY know where the Central Coast was, did you? The back of the card details the color, body, and structure of the wine, and also gives some thoughtful food pairings for each bottle. Wine snobs might turn their noses up at the pictures on these cards, but I think they’re great – wine is not scary, and tasting it should be fun and informative. Data is your friend.
We tried these wines with dinner over several nights. First up was the Mt. Beautiful 2016 Sauvignon Blanc.
Mt. Beautiful is a well-known and respected winery that consistently makes good Sauvignon Blanc. I haven’t tried the 2016 bottling yet, so I kind of felt like I was getting a sneak peek. Mt. Beautiful’s SBs tend to be fruity but dry, with nice acidity.
These tasting notes are so good that I feel like you don’t even need me to tell you about the wine; nevertheless, I will persist.
The 2016 Mt. Beautiful did not disappoint! It has a beautiful nose of citrus and a typically light yellow/greenish color in the glass. The mouthfeel is a tad on the weighty side for SB but it finishes very cleanly, so it feels refreshing. The citrus flavor hits first, followed by a stony sharpness that finishes with almost a hint of salt. This is a really delicious wine! We had this with grilled chicken, but it would complement just about any summer food, from fish to oysters to a cold pasta salad. Serve it cold, of course.
Next up was the Pax White Wine 2015.
Pax is another acclaimed vineyard — this box is loaded! — but because this is an exclusive collaboration between the vineyard and Blue Apron, this isn’t a wine you’ll find on your local shelves. That’s pretty neat. The white blend is a mix of Muscat, Riesling, and Chardonnay in about equal parts.
The Pax White is an aroma-bomb of juicy peach and apricot, but the flavor is a bit more restrained, with a long stony finish that moderates the fruit. This wine is somewhat hefty in the mouth because of that Riesling, but it finishes cleanly. You can definitely taste the oak in this, but it balances pretty well with the fruit. If you like a big, fat, Chardonnay, then this wine will definitely please. I’d serve this with something rich, like a risotto or summer squash gratin. Off chill is best here.
Our last “white” was the Le P’tit Paysan 2016 Rose of Grenache.
Le P’tit Paysan gave us a Chardonnay last month, and this month it is featuring one of its roses. The tasting notes tout this wine’s French pedigree in flavor profile, meaning a Provence-style rose–lean, minerally, and bright. Since this wine is Grenache, and not a blend of several varietals like a Provence usually is, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
The P’tit Paysan is a salmon-pink, rather darker than a typical Provence rose. It doesn’t have much of a nose, and the body is light, as you would expect. The flavor is full of red fruit that stops just before it tips over to sweet, finishing with a nice, clean acidity. Is it French? Well, I wouldn’t take it to your snobby Gallic Rose party (if that were a thing, which I don’t think it is), but it’s a nice, tasty rose, perfect for the pool or grilling out in the backyard. It’s summer: just go with it. Ice cold for this.
On to the reds! Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to drink white wine. First up was the Field Recordings “Fiction” Red Wine 2015.
This red blend comes from the hot Paso Robles region of California, where they make giant, flavorful reds. Those are either to your liking, or they’re not. I like all types of wine in the right context, so I was ready with a burger to try this one out. The Fiction blend is 50% Zinfandel and 50% a bunch of other types.
This wine is dark purple in the glass with a strong nose of spicy red stone fruit. It has a very heavy mouthfeel, with more of that dark fruit flavor and a big dose of oak before finishing with a spicy/alcoholic tail that lingers. The oak makes the wine lean just barely off-dry, but the tannins at the end keep the wine from being cloying. This complemented our burgers well, and would be equally at home with pork roast or some dark mole tacos. Try this over a meal with a friend who likes a big wine. Cool room temp here.
Another night, another bottle! This time we had the other Pax bottling, the Red Wine 2014.
This is another Blue Apron exclusive from the Pax winery. This red blend is Carignan, Syrah, and Petite Sirah.
The Pax red is very dark purple in the glass, but not quite as heavy as the Fiction red. The nose has baking spices and pepper, with a bit of fruit. The fruit is the first note in the flavor, with some dark plum and berry elements, finishing with strong tannins and more of that baking spice. This is only 13.8% ABV, so not a big alcohol bomb, which lets it play well with a variety of foods. The Carignan plays second fiddle to the Syrah in the flavor of this wine, for sure. We had this with cheese and crackers on the back porch, and it went great with some of the stronger cheeses. Thumbs up.
Last on the list was the Omen 2016 Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir is everyone’s favorite red these days. It’s almost always fruity and soft, but it can come up sweetish in lesser bottlings. The Omen Pinot Noir comes from Oregon’s Rogue Valley, which is about four hours south of the better-known Willamette Valley. The hotter weather here means the Pinot Noir that comes from the vineyards tends to be bright and fruity.
The Omen Pinot Noir is red-violet in the glass with a bit of fuchsia at the edge. It has an oaky nose and a typically light and soft mouthfeel. The initial fruit here is definitely cherry, with a bit of tartness as it moderates to a short, oaky finish. Like the Fiction red blend, the oak tips this just-so-slightly off-dry, but the fruit and zip to the finish keep this fresh and tasty. Nothing to get mad about here. This wine will work with lots of foods, but keep away from spicy things, or you’ll lose that oaky finish. Maybe a nice roast. We drank this off-chill. Thumbs up.
And that was our June box of Blue Apron Wine! Loved trying all those blends. We have been really pleased with the variety and quality of this wine subscription. If you’re a Blue Apron subscriber, I’d definitely give the Wine subscription a try. The recipe pairings are spot-on, and it’s a great way to try a wine or two you might not know about.
By the way, Blue Apron has a new system for pairing its wines and its food subscriptions, somewhat like you might have seen in nicer grocery stores — the wines are categorized by type (crisp & minerally, plush & fruity, etc.) and then that symbol shows up on the food recipes. Pair any wine of the recommended type to the food, and voila — you have a great meal!
Have you tried Blue Apron Wine? What do you think about the new pairing system? Tell us in the comments below!