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, 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 new packaging is great and keeps everything snug and secure. Keep in mind that someone 21+ will need to sign for it. Everything is in great shape when it arrives, and the packaging remains, happily, recyclable cardboard.
Blue Apron Wine allows you to select your wines–you can go all white, red, or mix it up. There are lots of choices, and it’s easy to change it up.
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 standard 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 info details the color, body, and structure of the wine, and also gives some thoughtful food pairings for each bottle. The info is terrific – wine is not scary, and tasting it should be fun and informative. Data is your friend.
It’s July! That’s midpoint to the summer here in the South if you have kids, but of course, it’ll be summer-temps for months and months still. This is a great month for backyard food and backyard wine. This month, we have two whites, a rose, and three reds. Yes, of course, you can drink red wine in summer.
First up is the 2015 Wyckoff Vineyard Chardonnay, the first of two I picked for this box. This Chardonnay hails from Columbia Valley in Washington State. Chards from this part of the world tend to be of the zesty, citrusy variety, rather than the oaky California types or the lean French ones.
The Wyckoff is a light straw in the glass, with a fairly light body for a Chard. It has a huge nose of pineapple and pear, and those flavors lead, as well. The finish drops off sharply with a ton of citrus. This is definitely Chardonnay, but it’s like a Chard that dropped out of college to follow a band on tour. Fun, but not much for deep conversation. We drank this on the porch with grilled chicken, and it was perfect for the occasion. This is a great sub for your Sauvignon Blanc or rosé this summer. Drink it cooler than typical for a Chardonnay, right out of the fridge.
Our second Chardonnay is the French white burgundy variety, the 2015 Seigneurie de Châtillon. I was excited to drink this one as a contrast to the fun and games of the Wyckoff.
You can tell right away that this is a different shade of Chard from the Wyckoff. It’s the same light straw in color, but the body is much weightier. The nose is faint and mostly apple. The flavor leads with apple, but that drops out quickly to a stony mineral taste with a long finish. There’s a bit of floralness in the middle to marry the fruit and stone. This is a nicely balanced wine and a great contrast to the Wyckoff. We had this with a Chardonnay classic, mussels in a salty broth. (And bread to soak it up.) The brininess of the stock went really nicely with the flavors of the Châtillon. We drank it off-chill.
We’re staying in France but heading south to Corisca for our rosé this month, the 2017 Domaine Vetriccie. This is a new style for me from Blue Apron, which is one of the things I like best about the subscription–there’s always something new to try.
The Domaine Vetriccie is a fruitier style of rose than the Cote de Provence style I typically prefer. Sometimes the Provencal style can be a little overly austere, though, and they can get in the way of your food. This is a smoother, just-barely-sweet style that will play nicely with lots of summer foods. We had it with swiss-mushroom cheeseburgers, and it was terrific. It’s a lovely watermelon color in the glass, with a light body and a bright berry nose. The flavor is fleeting and melony, with a bit of citrus at the back to balance the sweetness. We served this pretty cold to mute the sweetness a bit, but the flavor will be more developed if you let it sit for a few in the glass.
Back to Oregon to get started on our red wines for this month. The 2015 Hyland Estates Pinot Noir is from McMinnville in Willamette Valley (lots of double consonants in Oregon, apparently). This is a well-regarded bottle from an established winery (a full-sized bottle will run you $22-25 retail).
The Hyland is red-violet in the glass with a spicy nose and a medium-light body. The flavor is spicy red berry with a bite on the back end that ran just a bit harsh. This isn’t quite the silky Pinot Noir we usually get from Willamette, which could be a positive or negative, depending on how you like your Pinot Noir. We had this with pork tenderloin, but it would also go nicely with a grilled flank steak. Cool room temperature will suit this best.
Our next red is a favorite varietal of mine, trusty Merlot. This one is from Sonoma, California, the 2015 Benziger Family Winery Merlot.
Benziger is a regular Blue Apron Wine contributor, and their wines are reliably tasty. This one is dark purple in the glass with that slow swirl of fuschia that you often get with Merlot. (It can sometimes indicate a high ABV, but not always. The Benziger’s is 14.1%). The nose is classic Merlot–spicy dark berry. The spice leads the flavor, with an undercurrent of oak and a long, medium-tannic finish. This is a lovely Merlot. We had it with pizza on a Sunday night, but it would also be great with any pasta dish, or with braised beef. Cool room temp is perfect here.
Last up is a different varietal from a winery I tried last month, Leaf and Vine. This month, we have the 2016 Zinfandel/Petit Sirah. This is one of those special collaborations we sometimes get at Blue Apron–the vintner used some of his typically-single-varietal Zinfandel to create this blend. It’s about 70/30 Zin versus Petit Sirah.
This is a huge, enormous, gigantic red wine. The color is a bright purple, with a very heavy body and a big ABV (over 15%) to match. The nose leads with dark berry and chocolate, and the flavor is full of that, plus pepper. The finish is forever, tannic and juicy. If you like a big California wine, like maybe Scout’s Honor, you’re going to love this. Drink it barely cool with a medium-rare steak and thank me later.
And that’s July! We had a nice variety of wines, from light to heavy, and had some great meals alongside them. More heat in the forecast next month, so I’m hoping to keep a rosé in the mix. In the meantime, why not make some delicious grilled ribs? See you in August!
By the way, Blue Apron has an easy 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’s your favorite backyard wine? Tell us in the comments below!