Admittedly, I worried that this purchase would be a regrettable decision. I’ve read many questionable reviews but a couple weeks ago I was at Monique’s house and she gave me a glass of Franzia Sunset Blush. I raised an eyebrow but accepted the glass anyway and it actually wasn’t bad; much smoother and more pleasant than I expected.
This is a 5 liter box and it was on sale at Albertson’s for $13.99 so obviously the price is right.
My rating is a solid “not terrible”. While Franzia wine may very well be made with the backwash of wrung-out rags used to clean another winery’s barrels, I’ve tried two of their blends now and both were better than I thought they might be. I’ve certainly had worse wine from more swanky winemakers and paid more for it too!
The Dark Red Blend gets pretty darn not terrible about half way through the second glass. Nice flavors of vanilla and oak garnished with cherry and pepper. 13.5% alcohol, no headache or sour stomach the next morning.
Is it anything to get your panties all in a bundle about? No, but it’ll getcha through until payday.
Well friends, the time has come to explore some new boxes. Enter, 2013 Loft Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi, California. Loft is the most expensive boxed wine at my neighborhood shop, weighing in at $22.00 and 13.8% alcohol.
While the website is a little vague as to which Lodi vineyards the Loft grapes are coming from, the proof is in the pudding and the pudding is good.
This is a jammy Cabernet Sauvignon, lots of fruit and not much oak. Despite the fact that I capital “L” Love oak, I still thought this Cabernet was pretty good. The product of cool temperature wine-making, Loft has produced a nicely balanced Cab featuring black fruit, vanilla, and spice.
Make no mistake, there is no other single bottle of wine that could be bought for $5.50 that would rival this 4 bottle box of wine for $22. Environmental and pocket book friendly, this is why I love the boxes.
When you’re just trying to get through the week, it’s boxed wine to the rescue!
I was starting to get sad, thinking that there were no more Black Box reds for me to blog about and then a miner wine miracle occurred when this California Shiraz appeared on the shelf at my neighborhood shop. An unforeseen challenge of writing a wine blog is never buying the same wine twice; sooner or later the remaining options start to dwindle.
I have never tried any of the Black Box whites or the Rose but I do believe I have now officially sampled every one of their reds and, as boxes go, Black Box does not disappoint. They deliver consistently flavorful and pleasantly tasty red wines that would be suitable for any occasion.
First impression of Black Box Shiraz: buttery. That’s usually a description reserved for Chardonnay but this Shiraz really is buttery. Vanilla, licorice, oak, and cherry round out the flavor set and many episodes of Supernatural make it disappear without a trace. (What blows away, or is hidden in the recycle bin, need not be explained)
Other info: 13.5% alcohol, no headache, dulls flashbacks from a day in the copy center. Drink well, buy often, enjoy the fall weather while it lasts.
House buying is serious business, this box of wine didn’t stand a chance.
The week before last was nerve wracking with my work cohort being on vacation, but it’s not quite the same as watching my future hang in the balance while trying to get approved for a mortgage.
It’s been awhile since I bought a house and, when I sold it, I thought I would never want that kind of burden again. Of course that was just silly talk because I hadn’t yet spent two and a half years living in a 4th floor apartment with an over abundance of neighbors and a conspicuous lack of elevators.
Forty-one steps up, forty-one steps down. Forty-one steps up, forty-one steps down. Forty-one steps up, forty-one steps down. Forty-one steps up, forty-one…. you get the point.
Murphy requires many trips to the great outdoors everyday and he loves bounding up and down the stairs.
As for myself, I can do it but I wouldn’t say I love it. Incidentally, each glass of wine adds ten steps to the count. Two glasses in and I’m climbing a skyscraper. The time has come to live closer to the ground.
If you’ve ever bought a house then you know the application process requires a good bit of wine. All the hurry up and wait would drive anyone to drink.
This 2015 Shiraz from Bota Box is sassy and bold, especially for boxed wine which tends to be more on the mild side. There’s nothing toned down about this Shiraz, it’s big and beautiful. Cherry and black pepper, orange peel and blackberry plus 13.5% alcohol to calm an anxious mind.
I keep thinking that wine from Argentina should be better than it is.
I mean, this Malbec from Black Box isn’t bad. To the contrary, it’s far better than the previous bottle of Argentinean wine that I bought, but it’s not particularly special either. I wouldn’t walk a mile for a Camel if you know what I mean.
It’s a solid glass of “ok”. Xavier and I enjoyed it while binge watching Supernatural.
A little tangy, a little fruity, pleasant finish, woody but not overtly oak. You could certainly do worse for the price. On the other hand, you could also do better.
A deliciously smoky, dusky-hued lady-Satan, Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.
It almost tastes like bacon.
Almost, but not quite, so I added some bacon.
Dunking bacon in wine is the new Oreos in milk. Oh yes, I did.
Gluttony at its finest.
For some reason, this varietal is not on the Bota Box website but it is most certainly a Bota Box wine.
Bold, dark fruit flavor, long and smooth finish. Definitely smokey. 13% alcohol, no red wine headache. Great with bacon.
This Cab is a little thin but it’s not bad. Cab from Chile is usually a good thing and this brew from Black Box is no exception.
Very smooth with notes of vanilla, chocolate, and oak. Pairs up nicely with just about any kind of dinner. We had it with Chicken Tikka Masala one night and pork chops on another night.
A nice wine to keep on hand during the week, I would feel confident serving it to my friends should anyone drop by demanding a taste of the grape.
It’ll getcha by until the weekend.
I usually like Pinot Noir, and I wanted to like this one, I really did.
But I didn’t.
Hard to put a finger on exactly what it is. The box says something about tasting like cola. They call it cola, I call it unfortunate.
Something mid palate hits all the wrong notes.
But that’s just me. Xavier thought it was alright. He drank more of it than I did but we ended up throwing part of it away in favor of something better.
The blessing and the curse of boxed wine is that it comes in large quantities.
I’m generally a fan of Bota Box but won’t be buying this Pinot Noir again. On the other hand, the RedVolution and Nightkawk Black are both very good!
Hold on to your hat, friends. This one is good, really good.
Xavier and I didn’t mean to kill the whole the box in 3 days. Personally, I blame the box. I mean none of this would’ve happened if it weren’t there in the first place.
In looking back at my notes, I wrote exactly this: “tall glass of chocolate milk”.
Xavier said, “a glass of Johnny Walker because it’s Dyn-o-mite”. Interpret as you will.
Plum, blueberry, chocolate, vanilla.. Finish is smooth like silk.
One of the very best boxed wines we’ve tried thus far.
And check out how beautiful it is in the candlelight.
I’m all about the boxes lately. I’ve found some excellent specimens and it’s so much more cost effective than bottled wine. What’s not to love?
I was a little concerned about the lack of vintage on this Vin Vault Red Blend although I did find some small print at the bottom that read boxed on 12/04/16.
Xavier said he thought this wine was bland. I kinda thought so too, at first, but then it started to grow on me.
I wouldn’t call it bland, it’s subtle. Their website describes it as being full-bodied and I would not agree with that. Vin Vault Red Blend is not a big, bold, in your face, kind of wine. Rather, it has an excellent flavor but it’s laid back and mild. I think this makes it pair well with a wider variety of food and Xavier says that that is the definition of bland.
Well, you know, tomato, to-maw-toe, whatever.
I say it’s subtle, maybe not super exciting, but it’s tasty and has a smooth finish. It’s also 13% alcohol and did not give me a headache. $18.99 for a three liter box, which is equivalent to four 750mL bottles Not bad… not bad at all.