Don’t need 130 glasses of wine at once? Octavin’s 3-liter boxes will get you about 20, while saving considerable space through the elimination of glass. We’ve reviewed lots of these boxed wines in the past — with generally awful results — but these two are surprisingly not bad.
2009 Big House White California – The companion to the ubiquitous Big House Red, this wild blend is “loosely modeled” on the whites of Fruili, Italy. How wild? The blend is this: Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne, Malvasia Bianca, Orange Muscat, and Muscat Canelli. Although some Viognier peachiness is present, that Chenin Blanc medicinality shines through here, giving this wine very little in the way of pedigree or real character. Fortunately, the finish offers more balance, making this a bit easier to drink than most boxed wines. B-
2009 Bodegas Osborne Seven (Spanish Red) – This one’s a blend of seven red grapes from Spain: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo, Grenache, and Graciano. Rich but not overpowering, it’s a balanced red with clear Cabernet notes and a bracing amount of spice from those native Spanish varietals bringing up the rear of the blend. No one would accuse Seven of being a nuanced or delicate wine, though. It’s a fruity and lightly herbal red, moderate in body and with a short finish. Great for pizza night, a party or, dare I suggest, a base for sangria. B+
$20 per 3-liter box