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Box Wine
Old 08-19-2011, 07:18 PM   #1
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Box Wine

In keeping with out economic "brown out" times, I thought I would start a thread on reviews of the better end of box wine. While I am not above the odd snort of "Trailer Park Mimosa" (Franzia and Tang), what mostly graces our house and (especially) camper fridge is the 3 liter smaller boxes of better wine in the box universe. We have sampled some Fish Eye (the Pinot Grigio is pretty good), Black Box, Bota Box, and more recently Silver Birch brands, it appears that better and better wine is being put in this packaging (NY Times reviewed a $90 box recently). We have found that boxes offer access to drinkable house wines for the equivalent of $5 a bottle (less on sale) and the wine stays pretty fresh for 3 weeks or so if fridged. The box is a hek of a lot lighter and voluminous than the equivalent 4 bottles of vino, so its a good choice on a camping trip.

With that in mind, I will offer a review of Silver Birch Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), which I think I paid $20 for the equivalent of 4 bottles:

Grapefruit, peach, and lime in the nose with an undercurrent of hay and a touch of asparagus. In the palate there is lively acidity (would be great with seafood) with a melange of grapefruit, passionfruit, peach and hay. This wine is pretty bone dry and tart, which makes it a great match with cheese (goat cheese especially), seafood, and lighter chicken dishes. Recognizably a NZ Sauvignon Blac, but a bit less exuberant than a Kim CRawford and the like. Excellent value if you like the style.
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:34 PM   #2
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Actually Target box wines are pretty nice . I was surprised. I also like Black box & Fish eye but I also find the Inglenook Chardonnay nicely drinkable .
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:32 PM   #3
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Here's a link to a post on this topic on my food blog. Poke around for more recent posts on make your own boxed wine, etc,

Because Better Exists: Wine in a Box that Rocks
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Old 08-19-2011, 09:59 PM   #4
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Trader Joe's has a "flash buy" of a dry white Riesling that is just fantastic.. in a bottle (not a box) for $4.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:37 AM   #5
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I have bought the Silver Birch sauvignon blanc mentioned by the OP and enjoyed it very much. I have also tried the Bota Box old vine zinfandel, a Spanish red called Seven, at least one of the Black Box wines. All good. I currently have a box of Turning Leaf pinot noir from CA (2009) open in the fridge which I would recommend. I pour some in a glass and let it stand for 10 minutes to take the chill off before drinking.

I cook a lot with wines and the box form makes it convenient for these uses as well as drinking.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:03 AM   #6
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Local stores offer Almaden and Franzia. Almaden costs a little more and the difference is worth it. I don't drink box wine "straight," but Almaden cabernet sauvignon makes killer sangria, especially when it's fresh out of the box.

Brewer, when I put my mind to it, I can often "get" many different flavors in cheaper wine - such as you described - but I'm never sure which ones were "meant" to be there and which were sort of an accident. For example, I often think I"m getting a faint taste of lawn grass in chardonnay. While I don't mind a touch of broad-leaved fescue in my wine, I'm not sure the winemakers really meant it to be in there!

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Old 08-20-2011, 10:22 AM   #7
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Franzia "Chillable Red" always in the fridge.

Cheap, OK (not good, but passable) from a state that does not allow wine sales in the local market. In PA, all sales of wine/liquor must be purchased from a state store, at increased prices over most of the rest of the country.

Not my favorite (which leads to a discussion of French wines), but passable in my day to day existence, as a simple red table wine.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:39 PM   #8
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We drink Bota reds often, perfectly passable and better than Almaden or Franzia IMO.
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