Winery Truett-Hurst serves its wines squared

Truett-Hurst Winery 2012 Chardonnay and Truett-Hurst Winery 2012 Three Red Blend.

Truett-Hurst Winery 2012 Chardonnay and Truett-Hurst Winery 2012 Three Red Blend.

Christopher Waters, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:58 PM ET

California winery Truett-Hurst says it’s squaring off against the conventional wine bottle. Its California Square portfolio comes in a custom designed square bottle with vintage-style graphics, fonts and embossing.

The shape certainly stands out on the liquor stores' shelves, but that might not be a good thing in an industry that often markets pedigree and tradition. It’ll be a challenge to see if consumers are open to buying wine in a bottle that’s associated more with spirits or vinegar. The latter is a connection that no winemaker would want.

Leading kosher wine, Manischewitz’s bottle has squared off sides. But no one is likely ever to label its old school look as cutting-edge.

California Square winemaker Virginia Marie Lambrix explained that she produced a Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley and two red wines from the Paso Robles region to ensure that the wines would make the right impression.

“Introducing an alternative package is tricky,” she says in a press release announcing the product launch. “We worked hard to create these wines — from carefully selecting the vineyards to blending over the course of weeks.”

The winery is also quick to point out the benefits of its innovative package. It’s better for the environment, using less material to ship and store compared to conventional wine bottle shapes, and is safer to ship and store. For instance, bottles won’t roll away when placed on their sides.

The novelty factor of the package has led Truett-Hurst to suggest ways to reuse the bottle instead of, or before, recycling it. Storing bath salts, dish soap, vinegar or homemade flavoured oils top the list. Flower vases or candle holders are also obvious choices for a bottle that’s hoped to be a conversation piece even after its original contents are drained.

Wines of the Week:

***1/2 Truett-Hurst Winery 2012 Chardonnay

Russian River Valley, California

ON $18.95 (356717)

Refreshing green apple and citrus notes nicely balance this concentrated and creamy Chardonnay. Made in a riper, richer California style, lemon curd and crème brulee flavours make this enjoyable by itself or a great match for many grilled chicken, pork or seafood dishes.

*** Truett-Hurst Winery 2012 Three Red Blend

Paso Robles, California

BC $22.99 (693929) | AB $20.97 (761909) | MB $19.99 (015135) | ON $18.95 (356725)

Here’s a wine that lives up to its label, which promises a red that’s “round and rich with no sharp edges.” Made in a modern, commercial style, the sweet, juicy fruit flavours are sure to appeal to the masses. It’s a simple, but flavourful bottle that’s a natural selection for your next barbecue.


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