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!

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