Tag Archives: Black Box

A boxed wine for an out of box experience

This is a first for us, but we got to thinking that for a casserole loved by someone who cherishes her box dinners — especially those that can easily be cooked in a microwave — we should follow the box theme.

That’s why we’ve opted to recommend a box wine.

Now before you throw your noses in the air and click away in disgust, take a minute to hear us out.

Boxed wines have come a long way since the days Franzia’s boxed wine ruled the scene. Many winemakers are realizing that boxes — well actually airtight bags inside a box — are a great way to serve wine once they are opened. Unlike their glass counterparts with a cork or a screw top, boxed wines actually preserve wines longer. That’s because there’s less chance for oxygen to get in the bottle and change the character of the wine.

In France, it’s not uncommon to see wines in boxes, and even smaller containers with plastic twist off tops — think orange juice or soy milk tops — that are air tight. Italy has sold individual servings complete with a straw.

French Rabbit is one brand that’s been using the box design for a while now. They even offer a smaller design that pours just about two glasses per container — as their website states “think juice boxes for adults.”

As box wine becomes more widely accepted, winemakers are starting to put higher quality wines in these containers. The cost of producing wine goes down too because the cost of the containers went down.  There’s probably still some resistance — not because the boxes aren’t good vessels to hold the wine, but because consumers tend to turn their noses at the mere implication that a good wine could come in anything other than a bottle.

Even restaurants use box wine because it has a longer shelf life than a bottle, no matter the size.

For those who have embraced the box and are using it to sell good-quality wine, the experience is great for the wine drinker. And the beauty is the wine will last longer than if you had the same wine in a bottle.

So what wine would we recommend for Mrs. Brewster’s Casserole?

We’re going with our fall back favorite, Chardonnay. But we figured since we’re recommending Chardonnay in a box we’d get a pass for recommending a wine we tend to favor.

Look to Black Box or Wine Cube from Target as your choices. Each received top reviews from Wine Spectator (Wine Cube’s 2007 California Chardonnay received 88 points; Black Box’s 2008 Monterey California Chardonnay received 87 points).

Tasting notes for the full-bodied Wine Box Chardonnay include apples, melon, citrus and a delicate floral note with hints of creamy vanilla; Black Box tasting notes include tropical fruit aromas of pineapple and banana accented by hints of floral spice and creamy oak.

The Black Box runs about $25 for a box — which is the equivalent of 4, 750ml bottles. The Wine Cube can be purchased in either a 3-liter cube for $18 or, if you’re uncertain whether you want that large of a box, you can purchase a four-pack of 250ml bottles for $10.

And if you’re enjoying a glass of house wine at a restaurant, be sure to ask who the producer is.