2008 Big House Red – Box Wine Breaks Out!

I haven’t had the pleasure, or displeasure, of pouring box wine since I don’t know when.  I guess when I was a waiter our red and white house wines were big boxes that were served from a bar gun, so that’s probably the last time I ever cracked open a box of wine…  But all of that aside, I’ve been reading and viewing a bunch of reviews of new higher quality “box wines,” so I have high hopes for this one.  Get out your waiter’s box cutter and let’s go!

The Nose: The nose on this wine is not quite like the bent nose of some mook just busted out of prison, it’s actually pleasing for a red blend.  Hints of berry and red cherry.  There is something reminiscent of wood and smoke, like a dried out cigar box.
The Taste: Supple fruits come out to play immediately, spicy black pepper is predominant, there may be just a touch of medicinal or band-aid (just super slight), the finish has a touch of bitterness.
The Mouth Feel: There is a touch of tannins on the front palate that fades away into the mid palate, mid to late palate is reasonably structured and the finish is long and has a nice minerality to it.
The Color: Ruby red to purple throughout, very pretty IMHO.
The Nitty Gritty:
13.5% ABV
3 Litre Box w/spigot
The blend includes:
Syrah, Petite Sirah, Granache, Montepulciano, Mouvedre, Sangiovese, Tannat, Aglianico, Nero d’Avola, Sagrantino, Barbera, and Tourigo.  I always thought Montepulciano was Sangiovese, but perhaps they sourced some juice from Montepulciano!?
I found an online retailer selling 3L for $16.99

The Verdict:
After a hiatus of drinking box wine, since I stole sips from my grandmothers cup of Franzia, I was pleasantly surprised.  This wine has character and structure comparable to a $6-$9 bottle of any other Red Table Wine, like Bob’s Spaghetti or something like that.  So for your $/yumminess ratio, this should fit the bill for any party of average Joe/Jane winedrinkers.  I believe this would make an exceptional BBQ wine, the smokey and spicy character would pair up decently with any red meat slathered in Sweet Baby Rays!

80 pts, C+ to B-

NOTE:  This wine was provided to me as a professional sample.

Addendum: 05/12

Great News!  This wine is great with spicy pepperoni pizza!  Two days after cracking the seal and still tastes the same, nice spicy character an excellent companion to leftover pizza!

14 thoughts on “2008 Big House Red – Box Wine Breaks Out!

  1. Wow! A lot of different grapes in that blend. I guess they used all the leftovers, but it sounds good!

  2. I have been told (professionally, might I add) that Black Box wine is also a good “party or beach” wine, not to have it’s nose turned up to it because it came in a box. I’d like to see you do a comparison to the two.

  3. I have another “unopened” box of Chardonnay, I’ll be reviewing it very soon. The Big House was/is really pretty good. Had a few follow on glasses, definitely as good as some more expensive “glass bottled” vinos!

    1. Trust me, you don’t really want a wine that’s served from a bar gun. Although I keep hearing more about wines “On Tap” perhaps the gun is resurgent!?

      Thanks Tamara

  4. Just tasted this Big House Red yesterday at a picnic. Normally I stay away from boxed wines, but I was IMPRESSED. Took out my pen and wrote the name down. I am currently enjoying mostly Malbecs with an occasional bottle of Shiraz/Cab thrown in. If I can find this Big House Red locally, it will become a household staple.

    1. PJ,
      I too was incredibly impressed with this “boxed” wine. I will talk to my PR contact and see where they are selling it. Where are you located?

      I am in Sonoma County and recently saw a bottle of Big House Wine Co.s at G&G market in Petaluma. Here’s a link to their website, but didn’t see any links to retailers. I know it’s available online at wine.com. They’re having a 1 cent shipping deal right now too.

      Thanks for the comment!

  5. Bought this wine based on its name… Heheh, Big House. Im actually a black box pinot grigio drinker, and red wines are a bit of an afterthought for me. I loved this Big House Red! Im assuming all the different blends of grapes made it mild but complex enough for me.

    Also, this is one of the very few reds that did Not give me heartburn. And red wine is the only thing that gives me heartburn!

    Try it, you’ll be happy. Especially nice price point.

  6. Have been a fan of Big House for over 10 years. Had it from the box in Missouri. I live near Charlotte, NC 28277 zip
    Where can I get it??

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