21 September, 2015
Bon Affair Sauvignon BlancComments : 4 Posted in : Food, Product Reviews, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz / Syrah, Sparkling Wine, White Wine, Wine on by : becca
Bon Affair is a new wine product from Jayla Siciliano, who funded the project through Shark Tank, ABC’s television show where entrepreneurs meet up with investors. In 2014, Mark Cuban agreed to invest $150,000 in the company for a 35% share. Now, Bon Affair offers sauvignon blanc and syrah versions of its unique wine spritzer.
It’s unique because it’s a low-calorie alternative to traditional wine, coming in at 50 calories per a typical glass (4 oz.) How? The wine is blended with mineral spring water, electrolytes, and grape seed extract—the sports drink of wine, if you will, though it’s much, much better than any sports drinks I’ve had. I hate those neon-colored monstrosities.
As Jayla described it to me, Bon Affair’s intended customer base is a subset of regular wine drinkers, the “health and fitness conscious females. The women who are buying kombucha and coconut water and lead an active, healthy lifestyle. We offer them a lighter wine option that fits their healthy lifestyle, and we give them full transparency on the ingredients we use and the nutritional content, which is important to that consumer.”
Obligatory Disclaimer! Sampled, in this case, means we were both given a free bottle for review. And we decided why not review it together? Since we’re on opposite coasts, that meant a Google Hangout session. I think it’s fair to say Alleigh and I approached the spritzer with suspicion; part of why we’d been given the bottle was to provide a “serious” wine drinker’s impression of it, and skepticism of new wine products comes with the territory.
It smelled strongly of extra juicy strawberry gum—Alleigh went so far as to dub it the Bubblicious brand. That, of course, deepened our suspicions, but the taste was far from the wine coolers we feared. Rather, mineral water had the strongest presence, followed by green grape and cut grass notes and citrus that ribboned itself throughout the sips. It’s carbonated with a low-concentration of bubbles. The minerality intensified in the aftertaste, making me think of stepping stones in a cool spring. I could see it as a poolside refresher, one that doesn’t dry you out along with the sun. It’s a much better option than a white zinfandel for that purpose. Or *shudder* a light beer.
That’s essentially what Jayla’s aiming for. I asked her what Bon Affair offered the serious wine lover, and her answer was refreshingly honest: “If serious wine lover is considered someone who knows a lot about wine and has a very sophisticated palate, I don’t know that we offer them much and we don’t really aim to capture their attention. If it’s someone who drinks a fair amount of wine on [a] regular basis in a social setting and likes to have 2–3 glasses in a sitting (and isn’t much of a beer drinker), we offer them a lighter ‘session’ wine so they can have a few glasses and help lessen the negative effects of the high-alcohol wines. It’s like craft beer versus a Stella.”
That’s an apt description! But it doesn’t mean I’m critique-free. As a wine lover, I did want more evidence of sauvignon blanc’s traditional profile, and I also think Bon Affair could stand to gain more pizazz by way of carbonating the drink closer to champagne with tighter, highly concentrated bubbles. While the website provides whimsy with its notes on unicorn souls and description of the syrah as “cold, refreshing blasphemy,” I want more of that spirit within the glass itself. But it does go down fast and easy once you start drinking!
My Quini score for Bon Affair Sauvignon Blanc:
My Quini profile for Bon Affair Sauvignon Blanc:
Alleigh and I were curious as to why Bon Affair went with sauvignon blanc and syrah grapes for their first bottlings. Jayla explained, “My go-to white is a sauv blanc, so naturally I started with a sauv blanc. The light, crisp profile of a sauv blanc also lends itself to a spritzer. For the red, we actually started with a pinot noir, but it wasn’t stable enough as a spritzer so we switched to a syrah.”
Bon Affair just released travel-friendly 330-ml aluminum bottles for the sauvignon blanc in addition to the full-size glass bottles they already sell. If you’re in the San Diego area or parts of Texas, you can probably pick it up at Whole Foods, Total Wine, Albertsons, or Nordstrom’s. Otherwise, their online store is open and attractive. Shipping can be steep on individual bottles, which retail for an equally steep $15.99 each—I’d call that high for a wine spritzer. Thus, I’d suggest checking out the Members Club in the store. It features a 20–25% discount on the wine, includes shipping, and sends Bon Affair your way every other month.
Coming next summer: rosé and chardonnay options!
Reviewed 11 September 2015.