The bar cart setup in my apartment is pretty well-rounded: an array of liquor and liqueurs, bitters, aperitifs, syrups and shrubs, and a couple of unopened bottles of wine. What you wouldn’t necessarily guess is that those bottles, well, they tend to stay unopened. Not because I don’t enjoy wine (I love it), but because I’ve fallen victim too many times to the subpar-recorking-turned-wine-spoilage saga.
There are obviously ways to avoid that moment of disappointment, but if you live in a small apartment that can’t fit a wine fridge, live alone, or simply forget to finish those bottles (couldn’t be me, but I’m sure those people exist), that window of three to five days for keeping an already opened bottle of wine fresh can be a challenge. So, when I had the opportunity to try Maie—the California-made wine company known for its single-serve wine bottles—I couldn’t say yes fast enough. I turned my kitchen into a mini winery to taste my way through their Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rosé.
Started by Jaclyn Johnson and Neha Kumar, two best friends who’d grown tired of watching their half-drunk bottles go to waste, Maie focuses on giving wine enthusiasts just what they want: a perfectly portioned pour. They also give back. A percentage of what's made from every 12-pack is donated to #HalfTheStory, a female-founded nonprofit dedicated to digital well-being and empowering the next generation’s relationship with technology, so you can feel extra good about your sipping. Philanthropy aside, I was skeptical when I first opened the box and saw the three small glass bottles. I didn’t think something that tiny (each bottle holds 187 milliliters of vino!) could fill my glass, but I was wrong.
Maie Pinot Noir
In true tasting room fashion, I split the glass of Pinot with my roommate so we could compare notes. We agreed it had a jammy flavor somewhat reminiscent of tart cherries with light notes of vanilla.
Maie Recommends Pairing With: “Pasta and ragu, a big ol’ burger, or a spicy curry.”
Next, we moved on to the Rosé that had been chilling in the fridge. Typically made from lighter-skinned red grapes, Rosé is known for its pink hue, and dry flavor, making it a refreshing warm-weather classic. This Rosé was no different. Light, crisp, and citrusy, we both agreed that it would be an ideal pairing for a summer beach day or park picnic.
Maie Recommends Pairing With: “Salty snacks, salade niçoise, a savory paella, or lamb with herbs.”
Maie Sauvignon Blanc
Lastly, it was time to try the Sauvignon Blanc. This dry white was an instant favorite with its notes of grapefruit and herbs, delivering an almost smokey flavor to round out the tangy citrus and subtle green apple. It immediately had me longing to be at a sidewalk table on a sunny afternoon.
Maie Recommends Pairing With: “Fresh grilled fish, spicy Thai food, or a beach BBQ.”
Once our at-home tasting tour concluded, I was ready to replace to the full-sized wine bottles that have been collecting dust on our bar. They have a time and place, of course, and I’ll never actually put away my full-sized friends, but Johnson and Kumar have given me an alternative I didn’t know I needed for everyday sipping.