Big House Red Wine

Big House Red
Red Wine Blend
Vintage: 2011
Origin: California
Alcohol: 13.5%

It's not often that I drink boxed wine and actually, this is the first boxed wine that I've formally reviewed here on this blog.  Not that boxed wines are bad, but they tend to have a sketchy reputation.  Fortunately for the wine drinkers among us, boxed wines are making a turn for the better.  This is one such wine... 

This is the 2011 Big House Red, a red wine blend that is comprised of over 15 different wine varieties!  Does that sound crazy?  Yes.  Because it is crazy.  I have a feeling somebody just tried to embody the whole Go Big or Go Home idea and thought, "Hey, why not!!!"  In a way, it's kind of like when you were a kid and would mix ten different kinds of fountain soda together and called it a "suicide."  It's kind of like that... except this stuff actually tastes good.  According to the data sheet this stuff is:
19% Grenache 
17% Syrah 
16% Tempranillo 
14% Petite Verdot 
6% Mourvedre 
4% Sagrantino 
3% Malbec 
2% Negro Amaro 
1% Teraldego
1% Petite Sirah 
1% Tannat 
and 5% Other Esoteric Reds.

The grapes were cold soaked for a couple of days, then fermented at 60-65'F for two weeks.  The wine was then malolatic fermented and a small portion of it put in oak.  To say there's a lot going on here between the wine-making process and the 15+ varietals of grapes would be an understatement.  To my palette, it tastes primarily of Syrah and Tempranillo, but you can definitely tell there's other stuff going on and some flavors that are difficulty to pinpoint.  

It pours a transluscent ruby red and has aromas of cherry, raspberry, and a hint of pepper.  On the palette, it's very fruit-heavy with sweet red cherries, red raspberries, a bit of plum and cranberry, and a mild touch of earth and oak in the finish.  The tannins are moderate, smooth and well-balanced.  

Big House Red is fruity, jammy, and sweet without being cloying, and the moderate tannins really help balance out all the fruit.  There's quite a bit going on here through all the red fruit flavors, with a lot of mild background notes.  This actually surprised me and I kept taking another sip just trying to pinpoint all its nuances.  

I'd say this 15+ wine varietal blend is a success, especially at $22 for a 3 liter box.  But yeah, it also comes in regular 750 mL bottles if you just don't want to buy a boxed wine.  Granted, though, the box version will keep for 6 weeks after opening... totally worth it. 

If you're curious about the Big House wines, back in the Fall I reviewed their Cabernet Sauvignon and their "Naked" Chardonnay.  Check it out...

Drink This: if you want a fruity red wine with lots going on and good balance.  I say opt for the box version, if you're going to buy it.
Don't Drink This: if you want a dry, dark, and brooding red.  This is a much more light-hearted, fun wine, but complex nonetheless.  



  1. So I got this wine on sale (3 liters for $10), and Googled a review. Yours came up on top, and the review is positive. Maybe I should save my comment after tasting the wine myself, but your mistaken use of "palette" instead of "palate" seems inexcusable for a taste reviewer. Hopefully your palate works well no matter how you spell it. Cheers!

    1. Hopefully you're less of an a-hole when you drink. Cheers!

    2. Perhaps my taste buds are especially artsy and hip, meriting using "palette" rather than "palate." But at 3 liters for $10, I don't think my misspelling should matter! Just drink up and savor the moment...

  2. I'm looking for a good boxed wine brand for a big party I'm throwing soon...I hope. My old cell mate, Krayzee Shirley, slept with someone on the parole board and is getting out now...we hope. This wouldn't be the first time she's been lied to, but then who of us hasn't been?

    At any rate, I'll have a house full of ex cons who all have the palates of pit bulls so they'll drink any swill I put in front of them. This stuff sounds like it fits the bill. Cheers!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...