The Climber Pouch: Wine To Take Camping


[Photo: Clif Family Winery]

My brother is something of a serious outdoorsman. And though he's happy to go camping with just a tarp (who needs tents?) and toothbrush, he's also been known to jazz it up a bit, tucking a bottle of wine in his frame pack, despite the long hike ahead.

I like wine, too, but this just seems crazy—not only does the full bottle add serious weight to your bag, but you have to carry the empty glass back down the trail, too. In my book, it's just not worth it.

But Clif Family Winery offers a solution: wine in an Astrapouch. It's a durable bag made of BPA-free plastic, with a layer of food grade polyethylene and PET. Each pouch holds the equivalent of two 750-mL bottles of wine, and has a spigot that keeps oxygen out—it supposedly can keep after you've opened it for up to a month. Plus, it's lighter to carry and has 80% lower carbon footprint than two glass bottles.

We're big fans of alternative wine packaging—and thrilled to see better wines in boxes these days, but the pouch makes even more sense for crazies like my brother.

Of course, this is only really useful if you like how the wine tastes. Clif Family Winery is offering two bagged California wines for now: a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chardonnay was a little too oaky for us, but the Cabernet is definitely drinkable, especially at $17 for the two-bottle-sized pack. It's a little earthy and spicy, and would work well with a campfire-cooked burger or bowl of chili. If you like your Cab bold and velvety, this isn't the one for you (it's on the light side for Cabernet) but for an evening out under the stars, it'll do just fine.

$17 per 1.5 L pouch, sample provided for review consideration.

About the Author: Maggie Hoffman is the editor of Serious Eats: Drinks. You can follow her on Twitter @maggiejane.