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  • Writer's pictureCraig Stoltz

Unboxing Boxed Wine #1: Black Box Sauvignon Blanc Review

In our debut Unboxing Boxed Wine review, we check out Black Box Sauvignon Blanc to explore the claim that boxed wines are getting better. Our conclusion: Um, no

Boxed wine has a horrible reputation: It's seen mostly as a low-priced beverage to be served at a party where people don't much care about the wine. No harm there. It serves a legit purpose.

And yet: Inevitably, winemakers are now claiming that they're putting better wine into those boxes [actually into plastic bags that are packaged in boxes]. Here at Drink Smart World Headquarters, we had to take up the challenge: Are boxed wines really any better, or is this just the same wine in different bags, to coin a phrase?

You know all those YouTube "unboxing" videos where someone buys a product, opens the box, shows you what's inside, and tries to use it? Yes: In this new series we will "unbox" boxed wines and report back to you, our favorite readers and viewers.

Unboxed wine #1: Black Box Sauvignon Blanc.

First, the name. Clever! Maybe not so smart!"Black box" usually means "thing you can't see into so you can't figure out what to do." It often implies that someone is hiding something.


So: We will find out what's in the Black Box.

Let's give Black Box a taste

I put Black Box through the ol' see/swirl/sniff/swallow/savor routine.

As the video above demonstrates, Black Box Sauv Blanc provides no evidence that boxed wines are getting better.

As claimed on the label, it's tart and tangy but...well, not much else. Lemon? Sure, common for a Sauv Blanc. Sour apple. No grapefruit or lime, despite a claim that the wine delivers "bold" notes of that. Acidic as hell. No finish.

The wine also carried a whiff of...plastic. This may be inevitable, given how it's packaged, and characteristic of all boxed wines. I suspect that boxed wines may simply need to be swirled violently for some time so the wine can off-gas. I'll keep my nose tuned for that as we continue our Unboxing adventure.

Bottom Line on Black Box Sauvignon Blanc

At $20 for 4 bottles' worth, Black Box is a slightly elevated 5 Buck Chuck. Cheaper than your $10 bottle of Cupcake or Barefoot, the product level that boxed wines play in.

A decent choice if you're having a party where most people drink beer but you want to offer wine too. You don't have to mess with corks or corkscrews or even screw-off cap trash.

Overall, I give Black Box Sauvignon a C+, grading on the boxed wine curve.

The label claims it'll last 6 weeks after it's opened. Again, your intrepid Drink Smart correspondent will report back, tracking the degradation of all boxed products we review. That's just how much we care. And drink.

So you don't have to.


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