Wine Cube Cabernet / Shiraz 2004

Price: $10
Maker: Trinchero Family Estates, St. Helena, Napa County, California
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon – Shiraz blend
Packaging: 1.5-liter box
Alcohol: 13%
Our Rating: 8 out of 10

When we tried Wine Cube Shiraz 2003, we were a bit underwhelmed. I’m happy to report that Wine Cube Cabernet / Shiraz 2004, available at Target stores, is somewhat more to our liking. The aroma is mild, with berry and oak notes. The flavor is straightforward and juicy, with just a bit of oak and spice to add interest. This wine doesn’t have a lot of structure, but it’s the kind of red that pleases crowds. It’s easy to drink, and would be a fine cookout wine.

The 1.5 liter cube is our favorite form factor for boxed wine – it’s tiny and space efficient, and doesn’t pack so much product that it lasts to the point of being boring. Oddly, at least in the Target where we obtained this Cab/Shiraz box, only a couple of varieties were offered in the 1.5 size. To buy their Cabernet Sauvignon, you’d have to step up to the 3-liter box. I don’t know if this was just a stocking decision by the Super Target I was in, but I’d certainly encourage them to offer their full range in the 1.5-liter size. I think box wines would be more popular in the U.S. if smaller sizes were available. 3 liters for twenty bucks may be a bit daunting for the nervous buyer who’s not sure whether he’ll like it – not so much because of the price, but because of the fear of getting stuck with the equivalent of four bottles of wine he doesn’t like. The 1.5 liter size for half that price reduces risk and encourages sampling new products.

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