For anyone looking for a good bottle of wine – chances are we look at jut that, the bottle. However, often overlooked are box wines – often offering an array of advantages over their bottled counterparts. Case in point – Black Box wines. The secret lies in the packaging of the wines – stored in polythene plastic, a safe, non-toxic plastic that does not affect the taste of the wine and keeps them fresh up to a month. The bag in a box packaging also prevents against wine flaws, like corkage and oxidization, though they also will not age and are meant to be drunk within months of purchase. Also, the entire packaging is recyclable, so boxed wine is more environmentally friendly than the bottled kind. The box is also lightweight, portable and safe for outdoor drinking. The value is also an upside, with a single 3-liter box (or four 750 ml bottles) coming in between $23 – $25.
The most important factor is how the wines actually taste, and Black Box has 10 grapes to chose from. The Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, are the middle of the road wines. The Sauvignon blanc is aged in stainless steel from Valle Central in Chile. It’s a simple, refreshing white, featuring zippy lemon, sweet honeydew and a nice floral note, a nice accompaniment to fresh summer salads and seafood. The California Pinot, a blend of pinot noir, syrah and dry red, boasts tart cherry balanced with a gentle spice and a touch of oaky vanilla. Black Box Wines have been awarded 24 Gold Medals from wine competitions all over the world, so next time let’s not be hasty and judge a wine by its packaging. Black Box Wines is owned by the Constellation Brands makers of Mexican beers Corona, Modelo and Pacifica, and produces different wines in their winemaking facilities located in the Central Valley of California. Below are a few tasting notes to consider:
Black Box Chardonnay isn’t overly dry or overly-oaked and the wine’s fruity notes countered acids perfectly. Be sure to take whites out of the refrigerator and allow them to warm a bit before serving. As the white wine warms-up, it becomes a different wine—clean-tasting with a depth and subtle herbal flavor that is quite pleasing. Correct serving temperature is something to pay attention to with white wines. If whites are served too cold, it masks their real character, so when serving white wines, we suggest decanting them or taking the wine box out of the refrigerator to allow it to warm up a bit before serving. White wines should be served cool, not cold.
Black Box California Merlot is a soft red with notes of cherry and subtle flavors of leather, and is satisfyingly rich without being heavy. The Malbec is a varietal rapidly growing in popularity due to its easy-to-drink, smooth and fruit-driven characteristics. The Black Box Malbec has heady floral and cherry aromas, and features a dry, medium-bodied palate, robust structure and well-balanced acidity for a pleasingly smooth finish. Enhancing its luscious blueberry notes are hints of tobacco, violet and chocolate. Black Box California Rose is a delicious wine that is slightly fruitier from start to finish. Deeper red in color, this wine tasted more like strawberries and cherries – the slight fruitiness of the wine enhances how well its flavors blend with each other. It has just the right amount of fruit flavors while still managing to have a dry, refreshing finish. Lastly, Black Box’s Columbia Valley Riesling is not a sweet wine. Instead, it offers floral notes and a genuine sense of the Riesling grape, so it’s perfect for pairing with a sweet dessert.