Category Archives: Thinking Wine

There is no bad wine, just varying degrees of good. Wait, maybe that’s not true. Let’s find out.

Thought About a Box of Wine?

I did. Then I wrote a little review for my facebook friends. I may have been too kind to this particular wine, but here is the review.

For those who enjoyed my series of “In My Snifter” last summer and fall, welcome to “Under My Cork”. Today, it is not a cork, but a box with a plastic liner as I sample Black Box Chardonnay from Black Box Wines in Madera, CA. I’m a wine snob, so this is going to be tough. It claims to be delicious and environmentally friendly… I expect disgusting swill. Stand by for tasting notes. At 20 dollars for what amounts to four bottles, you just have to know what it’s like….

The pour – Takes me back to college days as it is like getting beer from a keg. Feels and sounds like a cheap solution to a wine craving, but has a nice look in the glass. Pours a crisp, light yellow with slight oiliness on top of the wine. If I did not know, I would not expect this came from a trash bag stuffed in a box.

Nose – The nose is nice. Slight tangerine and pear, with a slight bit of butter and just a hint of oak. I doubt that anything in this glass has ever come closer than 10 feet from oak, but the hint is there. It does smell like Chardonnay though, and that in itself is a bit of a surprise.

Taste – This is what it’s all about, after all… and …. This is no Napa chard. It’s not even a nice Washington State chard. Hell, this might not pass for a Smokey Mountain chard… That said, it is better than I expect for trash bag grapes. Lightly buttery, fruity, hint of grassy lemons and a pinch of pear skin. Not bad, but not something you would want to waste a 12 dollar cheese on. It should be noted that aerating the glass with a swirl makes a huge difference, as I should have expected considering this wine has been in an airtight container for who knows how long, and a good chard is under a cork, which allows a small amount of oxygen in. Taste is appropriate for a decent black and white comedy on TCM when you only have time for one glass because you caught the show halfway through.

Body – Not much to note here. It is oily, as you would expect, and has a heavier than expected mouthfeel due to an overly present alcohol burn. But its been in a bag, in a box, on a shelf for, like, ever – so what could one expect. For the price, the body is appropriate.

Overall – Our standard chard, Four Vines Naked Chardonnay (an un-oaked California offering that goes for around 13 bucks for a twist-top bottle), beats this one hands down on any day of the week. HOWEVER, for the money, this is an acceptable wine to drink with a movie for couch dates, spicy food, cheap cheese and wheat thins, or just a relaxing glass after work. WOULD NOT serve this for special occasions or even with a specially prepared meal. It is supposed to last four weeks in the box after opening, and I wonder if I can handle three liters of it in four weeks time. Maybe I can do a follow-up post later on. CHEERS!

┬áSide note – the wine has a lot of “rust” flavor in it on the initial pour, which i didn’t discover previously because a lot of time had elapsed between the pour and my tasting. This wine MUST be aerated to avoid a heavy off-putting overly oxygenated rust taste. That said, I stick with the review.

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