Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon Review

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What Makes Chilean Wine So Affordable

Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon | Re:Wine w/bschwitty | Wine Review

Chilean wine is considered cheap for several reasons.

When comparing South American wine to more traditional European or new world wines, their prices are significantly lower than other countries, despite the astounding quality.

There are three major influences that affect the price and allow Chilean wine to be sold for so much less

  • The cost of labor especially in the vineyards are significantly less than Europe or America. In fact, the labor costs are 1/3 or of countries like France and Germany. This is, unfortunately, largely to do with illegal labor practises too.
  • The cost of land and their standard of living is significantly lower than the USA and most European countries.
  • Chile has to be able to compete with larger producers in the USA and Europe, so they will cut their prices in order to compete with the bigger names.

Boxed Wines Ranked From Best To Worst

If you’re trying to drink wine on a budget and you’re not drinking boxed wine, you’re missing out.Boxed wine has long been one of the most maligned wines in the industry, even though it’s always been the more affordable and environmentally friendly option. In the past few years, boxed wine has grown into a compelling genre of its own, reaching beyond the familiar Franzia and Carlo Rossi to include European brands and even local Oregon and Washington wineries.On a recent fateful evening with the upcoming winter holidays in mind, we sat down and blind-sampled 45 boxed wines — 19 white and 26 red wines — to bring you this ranked guide to the best and the worst wines available at major grocery stores across the city.For both reds and whites, we tried to buy the same variety. Most of the whites are pinot grigio, with a handful of sauvignon blanc and chardonnay mixed in, depending on what producers offered. Reds are mostly cabernet sauvignon with an occasional merlot, pinot noir or Italian/Spanish variety.Wines were purchased from Fred Meyer, QFC, New Seasons, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. We found the most wines at Fred Meyer and QFC, which both had a sale running when we bought the wines. The price/bottle calculations are based on what we paid, but may vary when you make your purchase.Here’s our guide to every boxed wine we could find at major grocery stores, ranked from best to worst.

Bota Box 2017 Nighthawk Black Cabernet Sauvignon

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Basic cherry, plum and berry aromas qualify as standard. This boxed Cab feels creamy and sticky. Sugary flavors of maple syrup, milk chocolate and berry jam finish without much grip or structure. Subtract a point or two if you can’t handle residual sugar in your Cabernet. Michael Schachner

  • rating

All tastings reported in the Buying Guide are performed blind. Typically, products are tasted in peer-group flights of from 5-8 samples. Reviewers may know general information about a flight to provide contextvintage, variety or appellationbut never the producer or retail price of any given selection. When possible, products considered flawed or uncustomary are retasted.

Ratings reflect what our editors felt about a particular product. Beyond the rating, we encourage you to read the accompanying tasting note to learn about a products special characteristics.

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Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon Honest Review: I Tried Every Boxed Wine So You Dont Have To

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My honest review of Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon.

This is a series of posts designed to help you choose the right boxed wine for you. No one would ever pay me to write about this, so you can rest assured my opinions are unbiased.

Overall value of the wine is primarily graded by taste and the number of ice cubes needed to make it drinkable. Wines are rated on a grading scale of F to A+.

So join me as I suffer through three liters of every Black Box, Bota, Barefoot, etc and take myself way too seriously.

And A Few Disadvantages

Wine Review: 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Black Box  Trust The Devil You Know

Boxed wine has a sell-by date. While bag-in-box wine has an impressive shelf life after it has been opened, its longevity is limited before opening. The big issue with bag-in-box wine is that as a container, it doesnt keep oxygen out as well as glass bottles, says Andrew Waterhouse, PhD, a wine chemist and the director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at the University of California, Davis. The plastic is designed to absorb oxygen, but that only lasts for a few months. Basically, after six months, the wine will start oxidizing pretty quickly. Youll know its oxidized if the wine has a distinctly nutty flavor, rather like sherry, he says.

Dont plan to age your boxed wine, Waterhouse advises, and check the sell-by date when you purchase.

Forget about boxed Champagne. Most champagnes and other traditional sparkling wines, like cava and prosecco, require strong packaging that can handle the pressure of carbonization. You cant do sparkling wine in a box, Waterhouse says. No way could those bags hold the pressure. Very lightly fizzy wines, like some moscatos, may work in a bag, he says. Otherwise, this is a category thats best in a bottle or a can.

This doesnt mean you cant get boxed wine in a richer style. Case in point, the malbec we evaluated and enjoyed. Its just less common, so youll have to look harder for the good stuff.

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How We Evaluated These Wines

We arent going to lie: This was a fun story to work on. We chose some of the most popular and widely available boxed wines we could find and consulted with wine sellers at Astor Wines & Spirits and Trader Joes in New York City for recommendations for delicious boxed wines that are widely available.

None of our dozen panelists is a sommelier, but neither are the people most of us serve wine to in our homes. We interviewed a wine seller and a wine chemist about the advantages and disadvantages of boxed wines vs. other packaging styles. Then we each hosted wine tastings in our homes with friends and family, with whom we sniffed, swirled, tasted, discussed, and documented tasting notes and general observations about each of the eleven wines we purchased.

We judged this wine by several criteria. First, we noted its aroma. How rich and fragrant was the wine before tasting? What odors did we detect? Then we took a sip and assessed how it tasted, writing down the flavors we noticed, as well as its balance, its complexity, its brightness, and its depth. Then we considered its finishwhether the wine vanished from our palates as soon as we swallowed, or if it lingered like a welcome guest . We also compared it with the characteristic flavors commonly used to describe the varietal, in case it diverged from the typical pinot, cab, and so on. Finally, we asked ourselves if we would buy it, and for what occasion.

Black Box 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon

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Aromas of vanilla, asphalt and milk chocolate are infinitely more fake smelling than natural. A thick, grabby palate lacks definition, while this tastes of stewed fruit and Nesquik. Michael Schachner

  • rating

All tastings reported in the Buying Guide are performed blind. Typically, products are tasted in peer-group flights of from 5-8 samples. Reviewers may know general information about a flight to provide contextvintage, variety or appellationbut never the producer or retail price of any given selection. When possible, products considered flawed or uncustomary are retasted.

Ratings reflect what our editors felt about a particular product. Beyond the rating, we encourage you to read the accompanying tasting note to learn about a products special characteristics.

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Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wine Box Wine

  • Premium box wine from Valle Central, Chile
  • Full-bodied wine with an aroma of black currants, vanilla and toasty oak
  • Flavors include red berries and chocolate with smooth tannins for a soft finish
  • 40% less expensive than comparable bottled wines
  • 70 Gold Medals, 34 Best Buys from Wine Enthusiast


Rich aromas of blackberry excite the senses and lead to notes of toasted oak on the finish. A full-bodied and well-balanced red wine that lingers on the palate, this Cabernet Sauvignon pairs beautifully with filet mignon, braised ribs and mushroom pizza.

Made from grapes harvested in world-class appellations, Black Box award-winning wines hail from Californias famed wine country and the acclaimed vineyards of Argentina and Chile. Through a meticulous, traditional winemaking process, each wine is crafted to be food-friendly and fruit-forwardwithout the expense and fuss of bottled wines.

In 2003, Black Box Wines redefined the wine category by becoming the first U.S. brand to offer premium, appellation-specific, vintage-dated boxed wines. Since then, their expanding repertoire has earned more than 70 gold medals in wine competitions nationwide, yet still costs 40% less than comparable bottled wines.

Which Months Is The Wine Season In Chile

Review: Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon Chile

The Chilean wine season falls between March and May.

These are the best months to visit the region, as the Central Valley and all of its beauty is truly exhibited. It is also when the major wine events, festivals and celebrations take place all across the valley.

These regions of Chile offer some truly spectacular travel adventures, traditional cuisine options and some truly welcoming residents.

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Woodbridge By Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

Just missing out on the top three is Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine had a full body and we loved the smell of the wine as it was opening up in the glass. The wine featured notes like dark caramel and berries without being overly fruity. We enjoyed this by itself and didn’t feel the need to have any food with it to help cut the acidity as we did with some of the other wines we tasted. We spotted it at Kroger for $22.99.

Barefoot On Tap Cabernet Sauvignon

Barefoot wines are known for being drinkable and accessible to anyone no matter what type of wine they like. That’s especially true of the Barefoot On Tap Cabernet Sauvignon, which is our number one boxed red wine. The wine has notes of dark berries and vanilla, which makes the wine hearty enough to cut through food or flavorful enough to drink on its own. The smooth taste makes this a top contender, not only for boxed wine but for less expensive wines overall. Total Wine has a 3-liter bottle of this starting at $19.99.

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How To Shop For Boxed Wine

Even if youre unable to find one of our recommended picks in your area, you can still find a perfectly delicious boxed wine in your local wine shop: Smaller winemakers that sell only within a particular region can offer spectacular wines that arent available nationally.

Find the right shop. Find a retailer that focuses on wine, Leon says. It helps with the quality of whats being offered. Small shops that focus on beverages, specificallyrather than, say, a grocery store or a big-box storeare going to pay more careful attention to what they stock, he says, so youre more likely to be able to trust whatever you pull from the shelf.

Pay attention to what the box says, too. Leon says that the more specific the information, the better the wine youre probably getting. If the label states where the wine is coming from, and exactly what grapes are in the wine, you are already way ahead of the game, he says. For example, on the Wineberry Beaujolais, you can find the appellation, or the official region where the grapes are grown the winery that made the wine and where the wine was packaged. These are all indicators that a wine is at least decent, if not better, quality.

Like all CR evaluations of products and services, our Outside the Labs reviews are independent and free from advertising. If youd like to learn more about the criteria for our lab testing, please go to the Research & Testing page on our website.

Angela Lashbrook

Where In Chile Is The Central Valley Located

Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon 3L

The Central Valley is precisely in the middle of Chile.

The Central Valley is located directly across one of Chiles other key wine regions, Mendoza. The Central Valley includes four important wine regions, including Maipo Valley, Rapel, Curico and Maule Valley.

It is these regions that are able to produce iconic Bordeaux varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, along with Syrah and Chardonnay. Interestingly, the cooler areas of the Central Valley are used to grow varieties that are often seen in Germany, like Riesling and Gewürztraminer.

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We Tried 7 Boxed Red Wines & This Is The Best

Boxed wine has been around since the 1980s, but has spiked in popularity over the past few years as people look for easier ways to store and drink wine, as well as be more eco-conscious. In fact, more people are turning to boxed wine after realizing the quality of wine is the same as what’s in the bottles, and it’s way easier to let family and friends pour themselves a glass right out of the fridge without the need for a corkscrew.

In the name of science, we tried seven different boxed wines to see which one is the best. To start, I narrowed down this search for boxed wine to only include red wine, which is consistently the most Googled wine across the United States, according to a Google Trends search. Then, once I was at the liquor store, I tried to pick options that I knew would be readily available in most grocery stores. After gathering a few friendsbecause who wants to drink aloneI broke open the boxes and we started tasting.

This is the official ranking of seven of the most popular boxed red wines. If you prefer a canned wine, we’ve got a list of the 17 best canned-wine brands that you should try. Cheers!

The Central Valley Of Chile Is A Charming Key Wine

The Chilean Central Valley, which should not be mistaken for the Central Valley of California, is a South American area that includes some of the countrys largest regions, from the Maipo Valley in the north, to Maule Valley in the South. The California Central Valley, however, is a stretched-out region in North America, which includes important regions of Sierra Foothills AVA and Lodi AVA.

The Central Valley is the most important, volume-producing region of Chile. Because of its size, there are several climates and soil-types that can be found in the Central Valley, which allows for a vast variety of grapes to thrive here.

Generally, the Central Valleys climate is relatively cool with dry summers and mild winters. This creates the ideal circumstances to grow just about anything which is why the Central Valley is the major producing area of Chile. Although the region often experiences droughts, floods, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, the vines are capable of overcoming it all.

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Innovation & Success By The Makers

Packaging innovation is not easy to come by. Especially when for years and decades we have been conditioned to think that quality comes packaged in a particular set way.

Constellation Brands, however, seems to be transforming this kind of thinking with their Black Box premium wines.

The wine has been around for hundreds of years, and with palates becoming more sophisticated each passing year, it seemed as if theboxed winewas lagging further and further behind. Somehow people didnt think it was attractive or enticing enough until now.

But despite not being a popular pick, Constellation in 2003 redefined the wine category by offering premium, appellation-specific vintage dated boxed wines. You could say that they saw an opportunity to transform the world and took it by the horns. And to overcome the bad press that was associated with boxed wine, they embarked on extensive sampling and trial to change peoples perspective.

In fact, according to Chris Fehnstrom, CMO of Constellation, they used to decant the wine when inviting customers to sample it and only after they had tasted it and were impressed did they bring out the Black Box. It was practically a Candid Camera surprise approach. And it worked!

Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Pairing Options

Wine Review: Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon

This Black Box wine offers many pairing options and complements roasted and smoked meats quite well. Filet mignon or roast duck will mesh well with the flavors of the wine, as will mushroom dishes like wild mushroom ravioli. This Chilean wine makes the perfect counterpart to an elegant dinner party without needing to empty your bank account for it.

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Bota Box Cabernet Sauvignon

Bota Box Cabernet Sauvignon is the wine we’re reaching for when we’re watching a movie with friends or family, hanging out on the back porch in the evenings, or simply just craving a glass of wine. The wine is lighter bodied than most of the other wines on our list, which makes it ideal for pouring a glass and enjoying it by itself. We loved the slight cherry notes that didn’t become overly fruity or sweet. a 3-liter box of this wine can be yours starting at $19.99!

Black Box Wine Review

If youre like us here at realfoodtraveler.com, you appreciate good wine and, how it can, when properly paired, enhance the flavors of foods. But most drinkable wines these days are selling for $15 or more per bottle at retailers or, worse, $8-12/glass at bars and restaurants. If we buy a bottle of wine at these prices, how do we keep from wasting wine weve opened? Enter Black Box Wine, the first brand in the U.S. to put premium wine in a box that keeps wine fresh and enjoyable for weeks. Heres our review of Black Box Wine but you can judge for yourself.

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