Bota Box Shiraz 2006 ~ $21.99 ~ Rating: 83

wines_shiraz_new06Don’t let the price fool you – this is a relatively inexpensive wine in that four 750 ml bottles of wine fit into this nicely compact, eco-friendly box. Distinguishing it from other box brands who try to hide the fact they’re using cardboard to house their wine, Bota Box uses a light earthy brown cover. It gives a nod to the tree huggers out there, while showing off its design and its ability to be a wine contestant. Once again I bought this wine with my now two roommates in stow, and they both raised their eyebrows a bit. I am not drinking more wine, I tried telling them, but am attempting to be more economically sound. Whatever.

I let the wine sit for a few minutes before sniffing and tasting it, because dispensing wine from a box is kind of like popping open a cork to the wine. While some air gets to the wine when not being poured, it’s pretty well sealed up. When I finally swished the wine in my glass, the color of the wine is medium red with somewhat of a haze to it. The aroma has a little petrol to it as well as some dark red fruit smells like plum and cherry. The flavor is semi-dry, with the dark fruits coming out to play, along with some pepper and licorice. For a box wine, it’s quite dynamic and enjoyable, but can dry out the palate for those seeking a “refresher.” Some meal pairings would include hamburger, pizza, salad and various Mexican dishes with a little “zing” to them.

I would actually recommend not having this wine with a “meal,” however, but with a snack instead. Mozzarella and sliced tomato would be divine with this wine, as would crackers with cream cheese and pesto. As a boxed wine, I think this can be very beneficial as it would be very good at a small party with finger foods.

Now let’s delve into a little history behind Bota – no it’s not affiliated with Botox. Bota Box is one wine among several produced by DFV Wines in Manteca, California, the same wine makers who produce Gnarly Head, Joe Blow, 337, Delicato, Twisted and Clay Station. DFV had its beginning in 1924, when Gasparé Indelicato decided after moving from Italy to start growing grapes for wine and selling his produce locally. Even during the Prohibition Indelicato’s grapes were sought after by home winemakers. Eventually, when Prohibition was repealed, Indelicato decided to make his own wine out of his grapes instead of selling them to wine makers. Soon after his wine was sought after country-wide.

So that might be misconstrued as gold. It's bronze. Just deal with it.

Bota Box’s Shiraz 2006 won a bronze in San Francisco’s annual wine competition: http://www.winejudging.com/medal_winners_2009/430.htm

The 2005 seemed to be more likeable, but the 2006 vintage is nothing to sneeze at. Actually, be sure you don’t because that’s kind of gross. In the end, I’m ranking this a solid 83 points out of 100.

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