As a member of Foodbuzz, we received an offer to review a wine from Black Box Wines, a brand that offers "a full range of high end box wines crafted from grapes grown in the world’s best winegrowing regions". Now, our regular readers know that we are fans of some box wines and laud the virtues of this serving vessel. To summarize, box wines oxidize quite slowly after opening (Black Box states that their wines remain fresh for at least four weeks after opening) and they offer convenient usage (portable to the beach, boats, picnics, etc). They are also cheaper to produce and to transport - equating to lower prices coming form the wallet. And in many cases, you can find quality wine coming out of a box.
Black Box Wines offers several brands - Cabernet Sauvignon * Merlot * Shiraz * Chardonnay * Pinot Grigio * Sauvignon Blanc * Riesling * Reserve Merlot * Reserve Chardonnay - and we received a New Zealand made Sauvignon Blanc. In general we prefer other varietals to Sauvignon Blanc, but New Zealand provides some of the best SB growing regions - particularly the Hawkes Bay, Marlborough and Gisborne - where grapes for this wine were grown. The box retails for $25, which translates to a little over $6 for a 750ml bottle equivalent. We punctured the box, removed the seal and poured a couple glasses and allowed the wine's temperature to raise a little. A nice floral aroma slowly developed as the wine warmed - however when tasted - the wine had no real acidity. That's odd, because New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is known for providing a refreshing acidic feel. Even worse, the wine had no real flavor and was hindered by a dull metallic finish. Basically I can't tell if this particular box was just a dud, or if this brand is just not good. basically we now have 4 weeks to save as cooking wine. We will check back with one of the their other varietals - maybe a red - to determine if this was an isolated incident or a painful trend.