Cheap Thrills: Black Box Wines & Pop Music

I have two new cheap thrills I have been enjoying for the last few weeks. They are boxed wine & cheezy pop music. In my car, my usual mix of NPR & WEVL, the local volunteer station, has been trumped by one of the local Top 40 stations. If you pull up next to me at a red light you will more than likely here a muffled rendition of Christina Aguilera, J-Tim, or Nelly Furtado (her new song with Timbaland, Promiscuous is my new jam) escaping my windows. Don't judge. I have my reasons for my new listening pleasures.

I also dove head first into the boxed wine world which strike me as being very similar to the world of pop music.

We tried two of the Black Box Wines, the Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles & the Shiraz from the Barossa valley in Austrailia.

The Black Box Wine & the Top 40 hits I have been enjoying are both superficial pleasures, not meant to be explored too deeply, because if you will certainly be let down. Take Justin Timberlake's new hit "Sexy Back" for example. It is an infectious groove with a bouncy disco-house beat & some cool synthesized vocals in which J-Tim proclaims to be "bringing sexy back". If you think about it was sexy ever really gone? If so, where did it go? The French Riviera for holiday? I dont think so.

Both of the Black Box Wines we have tried are great weeknight wines with beauty that is no deeper than skin deep or deeper than the catchy hook, if you will. The Cabernet Sauvignon was full of flashy fruit & mellow tannins. It was simple, but not quite one dimensional. It was fantastic with left-over meat loaf sandwiches & an enjoyable week night wine.

The Barossa Shiraz was similar in style, but had a little more depth to the flavors & aromas. The typical shiraz meat & pepper were represented in the nose & palate, albeit somewhat subdued. We enjoyed this one more than the Cab because it showed a lot more varietal characteristic & there was a little more structure.

One thing that drew me to the Black Box line of wines was the fact that they from specific appellations & they are vintage wines. Instead of being a blend of grapes from all over California or Australia & a blend of grapes from different vintages, at least by law, 85% of the grapes came from where the wine is labeled & all of the grapes were picked in 2004. This usually means you are getting a little higher quality wine. Most of the other boxed wines I saw were non-vintage & only labeled as California wine. Which typically means a little lower quality wine. Basically, the more specific the place the wine comes from, the better quality of wine it is.

These boxes sell for about $20 & have four bottles worth of wine concealed in a silver bladder within the box. This has been dubbed by my brother "The Silver Tittie". That equals to about $5 a bottle. Not a bad deal if you ask me & definitely falls under the "Cheap Thrills" category along with the J-Tim I have been jamming out to.


  • At 12:52 PM, Blogger Papa Squirrel said…

    J-Tim? No way! I want my coconut bra back! (ok, that didn't sound right.) Might have to try "The Silver Tittie" though.

  • At 2:31 PM, Blogger Collin said…

    Hey, man, I am trying to cope here. My newfound listening pleasure/cheap wine habit (I wish my habit, er..hobby was cheap!) is not easy to swallow...Pun intended!

    If it makes you feel any better, I am listening to some French techno-pop right now. Boo-ya-ka-shaaaa!

  • At 4:52 PM, Blogger Jen said…

    I cannot wait to get the new Christina Aguilera CD!

    Have you tried any of the Chardonnays in a box? I tried the small,yellow one - can't remember the name, maybe called the Block or something like that - and it was horrible. I would love to find a decent box white but am now hesitant to invest in another one.

  • At 6:27 PM, Blogger Collin said…

    No Chards in a box yet... We were going to try the Black Box Chard next since the Cab & Shiraz were decent. We will keep you posted.

    I think I know the one you mentioned & will be sure to steer clear.

    Re: Christina Aguilera...I like her new song, but it is not as good with out the video. She can dance. ;)

  • At 6:06 PM, Blogger Nicole Sauce said…

    Love the wine after it has aired a bit.

    Just like my music...


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