Wine Time: Bodegas Osborne Seven, Spain, NV

PRICE: $24


WHAT: Just in time for holiday parties, Bodegas Osborne has released its three-liter boxed wine, which sells for the equivalent of $6 per bottle. It’s a wonderful wine at any price, but at this price it can’t be beat.

Winemaker Jose Maria Nieto blended seven red varietals to create a smooth, balanced wine that features New World fruit flavors and approachability with Old World Spain’s structure and earthy complexity. It is a great blend of berry flavors, soft tannins and crisp acidity.

The color is deep red with a slight ruby tint. It has aromas of red fruit and spice with a distinct chocolate note. It’s a medium-bodied wine with a medium finish. It’s a nice, simple wine with delicious flavors.

The grapes are picked in the coolest part of the day just before dawn and fermented separately to allow each variety’s individual character to develop. ‘‘We chose to minimize oak treatments to maximize fruit flavors, using micro-oxygenation instead to soften tannins,” said Nieto.

The blend is 25 percent each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, 18 percent Syrah, and 8 percent each of Petit Verdot, Tempranillo, Grenache and Graciano.

The Octavin packaging allows you to keep the wine fresh for up to six weeks, so it’s also great for sipping a glass or two each night. It’s collapsing plastic bag keeps oxygen away from the wine. The packaging also keeps down shipping prices.

WINERY: Osborne traces its history back 200 years, when a young English trader, Thomas Osborne Mann, settled in Cadiz. He went into business with leading wine traders Lonergan & White, married a local woman and had five children born in Spain.

When Mann died, his sons took over the business, and they were succeeded by other family members. The firm is still family-owned. They also own several restaurants. Their wines include sherries, ports, Rioja wines, Ribera del Duero wines, wines from the Tierra de Castilla and wines from the Tierra de Cadiz.

An advertising agency came up with the silhouette of a fighting bull that has been the company’s symbol since 1956. The Seven container has seven bulls of different colors.

GOES WITH: This was a good match with hamburgers off the grill. The wine should pair well with just about any grilled red meat, but I don’t think it would stand up to spicy tomato sauces or tomato-flavored soups.


DEC. 1

Wine and tapas tasting, 5 p.m., Veritas at La Maison on Telfair, 404 Telfair St.; taste four wines and three tapas, $19.99

DEC. 2

Wine tasting, 4:30-6:30 p.m., The Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; Christmas wines and beer; price determined by flight selection (706) 922-9463

Wine tasting, 5-8 p.m., Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; six wines and a selection of cheeses; $5; $3 rebate on purchase of featured wine

DEC. 3

Wine tasting, 1-6 p.m., The Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; Christmas wines and beers; price determined by flight selection; (706)

DEC. 5

Beer and wine tasting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Ninth Street Wine Market, 12 Ninth St., Augusta; $10; reservations, (706) 724-1442