Meet the Rosés | Volére Rosé


So we’re kicking off our Rosé reviews with something I never thought I’d utter on this blog:

a box wine

Wait! Before you go, here me out?

Many of us who love wine, even those of us who love wine on an “unsophisticated” level, love the process that goes with the wine. The foil cover, the corkscrew, the cork. Letting a red wine breathe. Saving the labels and corks. It’s an experience even before you get to the swirling, sniffing, and swishing.

First they started with the corks. Some went synthetic, some went screw-top. As “cheap” as those screw-tops may feel–and they do represent a cost-savings for the bottlers and, therefore, us–they drastically reduce the possibility that this great bottle of wine you opened will taste “corked.” They also eliminate the need for storing on their side (for the same reason, no cork to keep from drying out).

I get it. I don’t have to love it, but I get it.

Then it was the boxes. Ditching the heavy glass bottles makes a lot of sense in some ways (no breakage, easier to stack and store, etc.) but, to me, it just removed all ceremony from the drinking of wine, and I love the ceremony as much as the flavors.

And I’ve resisted, lo these many years.

But I’m a sucker for good packaging.

So when I received the note about Volére’s new Wine-in-Purse collection last month, and they had a rosé available, I just had to request a sample.

And it’s darling, just like I thought it would be!

Volere Rose Wine in Purse, with poured glass of wine

Inside this cute little purse-shaped box–complete with cord handle for easy carrying–is 1.5 L of wine (that’s 2 regular bottles, folks), kept in an air-tight pouch (aka a bladder, but that’s not the most appetizing word choice, right?) with a convenient pour spout. Because the pouch deflates as you empty it, no air comes into contact with the wine still inside, meaning that leftovers keep far longer than in your average recapped or recorked bottle. Up to 5 weeks, according to the packaging!

But How Does It Taste?

When I swirled my first glass of it, I was reminded of strawberry wine back home in Louisiana. No surprise, then, that the bottlers describe it like so:

An intense bouquet of wild strawberry, raspberry and rose petals mingle with complex flavors of fresh red berries on the palate.

It has the crispness of a not-too-dry white wine with a little bit of berry from the red. I get floral notes but they don’t overpower, and it’s a little sweet without being cloying. And the color is so deep, it’s more of a salmon than just a pink wine.

Volére suggests their Rosé would go well with “appetizers, white meats, grilled vegetables and fresh seafood” or just something to sip before dinner. I think the packaging would make it stand out for any sort of gift-giving, tucked into a gift basket or presented to your hostess as is. And you know I’ve got weddings on the brain, so immediately I jump to this as a gift for bridesmaids or thank-you gifts to your vendors. And at $14.99 each (remember, that’s 2 bottles worth) it will stretch your gift budget far!

I admit, I was wooed by the packaging, but I’m not sorry I tried this wine and might even be willing to give some of those other box bundles a try.



Volére Premium Italian Rosé Wine is produced by Cantina di Saove and imported MW Imports out of Brookln, NY. I was provided a wine-in-purse container of Rosé to try for purposes of review. All opinions are my own.

New Ghirardelli LUXE Milk Chocolate


Have you heard? Those lovely chocolatiers, Ghirardelli, have come out with a new line: LUXE.

In clean, white packaging (these bags are paper instead of the traditional foiled-printed plastic) the banner touts what should be a reassuring label, “All Natural,” but what it really makes me wonder is–what wasn’t natural about the regular Ghirardelli we’ve been eating all these years?

In CVS, the other day, I happened upon a display that featured bags of both the LUXE line as well as a variety of classic squares. Unfortunately, of the unfilled variety they only had a dark chocolate (which showed no additives different than the LUXE line’s soy lecithin, a common emulsifier) and the rest were filled with various goos (tasty goos, as goos go, and I don’t make a habit of turning them down when offered). This made direct comparison of milk chocolate to milk chocolate impossible. The filled chocolates (caramel was the one I examined) did show corn syrup and other ingredients that some consider unnatural, but that’s just as likely to be from the filling as the chocolate (separating the components out would have helped).

Another unfortunate fact is that I’ve been unable to find a shred of nutritional data on Ghirardelli’s website, or even a complete ingredient list for each of their products–the individual packages give a mailing address to send off for the information.

So, what’s a girl to do? Luckily I had to go grocery shopping last night so I scouted every Ghirardelli package I could find, searching for the nasty un-naturals. Um, I don’t get it: I looked at dark chocolate squares, milk morsels, semi-sweet morsels and on down the line. The white chocolate baking chips did contain palm kernel oil, for what it’s worth, and the Vanilla Dream squares did have an extra preservative for the vanilla itself. Curious.

But how does the new line taste?

Ghirardelli LUXE Chocolate Samples

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a sample of each of the LUXE Classic Milk, Almond and Hazelnut chocolates. Todd and I gave them a thorough tasting the other night and this is what we thought:

Todd Jenn
Milk -Smooth
-Kind of different flavor compared to Hershey or Dove
-Definitely different, but that’s to be expected
Hazelnut -Nutty flavor
-Chocolate itself tastes different
-Nuts dominate (not necessarily a good thing)
-Very nutty
-Like a crunchy Nutella
-Chocolate really sticks to your teeth, doesn’t dissolve as quickly
Almond (Todd’s allergic to almonds so Jenn got this one all to herself) -Almond flavor is present (of course) but not overpowering
-Nuts seem to be more finely chopped than the hazelnuts were
-Flavors blend so well!

I’m not sure Todd would choose this version of Ghirardelli over the styles we’re used to but I absolutely loved the Almond flavor, enough to buy a bag at the store. At approximately $0.53 a piece, it’s an indulgence worthy of the name, but perhaps that’s as it should be.

Back to that whole ‘All Natural’ thing for a moment. If (as far as I can find) the current Ghirardelli chocolates are not all that un-natural, what’s the point of this new line? Is it lacking those fillings that require all the preservatives and syrups and so forth? Is there a difference in the chocolate itself? Maybe, there could be a formulation change but if ‘All Natural’ is what they’re selling, this sounds like an advertising gimmic and not a new, innovative product line.

What still concerns me is the lack of nutritional data and ingredient lists on the website. Sure, I found most of what I needed in the store but only because I was already planning on going–and it was hardly their entire product line. I shouldn’t have to send away for this data or do more than a few mouse-clicks on their site to find the information I required to fully evaluate this product.

As far as I can see, they have nothing to hide but the omission makes me suspicious. I would encourage (as much as one, lone blogger can) a company with as rich a history as Ghirardelli has, to consider updating their site to tell the consumer exactly what she needs to know.

You want your customers to think how great your product is, right? Not wondering what you’re not telling them.


As stated, I was provided 3 pieces of chocolate to sample and review. The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own except where expressly noted (seriously, do you think they would pay me to say what I just did?).