Round four of “Battle of the Boxes”. If ever a box wine will ‘hold you captive‘ Big House Red will!
Winemaker Georgetta Dane who playfully refers to herself as ‘Warden’ produces a variety of wines a stones throw from the state penitentiary in Soledad, California known as ‘The Big House’. The playful use of prison jargon is used throughout; a visit to their website will show you just how playful they can get, but they are very serious about their wines.
The Big House Red is a fruity, not sweet, red blend of a myriad of grapes, check the line up below. The Grenache and Syrah are the most forward of the flavors, but they don’t crowd out the others. The wine is ‘very-berry‘ on the nose, with aromas of dark berries being prominent; followed by cranberry and cherry flavors with a finish of vanilla. To test the crowd pleasing appeal of this wine, I rounded up my usual suspects and got the ‘thumbs up’ from all even from the self-declared ‘white wine only’ lovers. Pair this wine with your summer barbecues and don’t hesitate to serve it slightly chilled with your next crab feast!
Grape Line Up19% Grenache 17% Syrah 16% Tempranillo 14% Petite Verdot 6% Mourvèdre 4% Sagrantino 3% Each | Malbec | Sangiovese | Merlot | Touriga 2% Negro Amaro 1% Each | Teraldego | Petite Sirah | Tannat 5% Variety of other Esoteric Reds
Second Sip ~ 1 week later
This box barely lasted one full week. I ‘crowd tested‘ this with a group of 20-something’s and they left me with just enough to do my ‘1 week later’ test. The wine stayed true to form, and no residual plastic taste at all. Please drink with in six weeks of opening the spigot, all boxed wines will start going down hill at that point.
Winner of Round 4 ~ Big House Red 2011 Why? If ever there was a crowd pleasing wine and with 3 liters there is certainly enough of it to go around, this is the quintessential picnic wine!
Are you still fighting the box? If so, I’ll be back with more, but in the meantime, I want to know which boxed wines knocked you out.
Thanks for the box series! I am ‘consulting’ with a local restaurant that is considering starting a wine program, and I am suggesting using box wines for carafes. So this is timely! Cheers.
Great thing about most of the wines I reviewed in box format is that they are also available in a standard bottle. You don’t have to invest in a 3L box for sampling purposes.
P. S. I have another box waiting for review.. A Chardonnay!
As always, thank you for stopping by.
Thanks for this post. I’m hosting a P.S. Smackdown this week, and this seems like it would be the perfect “warm-up” wine for the crowd, and an everyday drinker for me afterward! I’ll look for it!
This wine is completely different from PS, but probably a good warm up. I think you can have some fun with it; have everyone try to name the grapes they taste. There are certainly enough varieties in this blend!
I have enjoyed Big House Red in the bottle and I had no idea it was sold in box form. I will have to look for it when shopping because it would be great to have it in the 3 liter size for parties and gatherings.
Box wine is fun because most folks don’t really expect to see it at a party. Most people, when serving box wines, will hide it & serve the wine in a decanter (which is fine).. Letting them know it’s from a box (a plastic bag really) & seeing their expressions is priceless!!
I want to get my hands on their whites for the summer, a Pinot Grigio or a Grüner Veltliner perhaps.
Cheers Renee & thanks for stopping by!