I’ve tried more than a few wine box subscriptions. The quality and presentation of said boxes can vary widely, so I’m always really excited when I come across a subscription box that I’m happy to recommend to others. Recently, through the ShareASale program, I was offered the opportunity to try out the Wine Down Box, and I was gifted a one-month subscription.
Wine Down Box Packaging and Presentation
The box didn’t ship until October, because the creators of Wine Down Box wanted to ensure safe shipping of their products. The box arrived in a temperature controlled bag, inside the box. When I opened the box, everything was still cold. I was really impressed with that. When I removed the actual box from the packaging materials, I was really impressed with the presentation. This makes a nice gift. The items are in a black, sturdy box that one could use for storing mementos in later (or is it just me who upcycles everything?). There is packaging material that protects the wine bottle during shipping to ensure that nothing breaks in that process.
What the Wine Down Box Included
The box had a bottle of wine – in this case, Cardella Winery’s 2011 Merlot. It also included Barolo Salami from Alle-Pia Fine Cured Meats, Peppercorn Garlic Cheddar from Plymouth Artisan Cheese, and some snacking crisps made of GMO-free wheat. There was also a sheet with tasting notes and information about why the proprietors paired the wine with the cheese and meat they chose.
Overall, this was a spectacular pairing. I really, really enjoyed trying it out with Wining Husband. Here are the notes from our taste test.
2011 Merlot from Cardella Winery Mendota, California (Approx. $18)
This wine is six years old, but it has aged really, really well. It has a slightly green feel to it. On the nose, it was wet burning wood, sea air, and sour cherries. After a swirl, and a sip, you could taste pepper and fire as well as a note of hatch chilies. The wine was very smooth with a light body. It was a very nice Merlot. The grapes were hand harvested, and only 4650 bottles were produced.
The winery is owned by the Cardella family, whose own history with winemaking dates back to 1902 when Carlo Cardella emigrated from Marlia, Italy to Firebough, California. You can taste the long history of family wine-crafting in each sip of this finely-crafted wine.
Bolero Salami from Alle-Pia Fine Cured Meats (Approx. $12)
This salami was handcrafted using Barolo Wine and fresh spices. The tasting notes tell the story that this traditional artisan salami was first made in Piemonte in Northern Italy. It wasn’t greasy or salty. You could taste the quality of the ingredients that went into making it. It brought out the pepper and hatch chili notes in the Merlot, and overall, it was a nice pairing with the wine
Peppercorn Garlic Cheddar from Plymouth Artisan Cheese (Approx. $10)
My goodness was this good. It was spicy and just delicious. It paired wonderfully with everything. Of course, I love cheese, but this is a very special cheese. It brought out the smokey flavors in the wine.
Nita Chips – GMO Free Flattened Wheat Bread Crackers ($8)
The Nita Chips were light, crisp, and not intrusive on the other flavors. They brought out notes of clove and spice as well as red current from the 2011 Cardella Winery Merlot. They were a fine accompaniment to the rest of the items in the Wine Down Box.
Wine Down Box Verdict
For a month-by-month subscription, the Wine Down Box costs $70. The total approximate cost of the items in the box (without shipping included from the separate vendors) was $48, meaning $22 applies toward shipping, the beautiful packaging, and the convenience of their well-thought-out curation. 3-month subscriptions cost $204 (making each month cost $68), 6-month subscriptions cost $390 (for a $65 a month cost), and the year-long subscription is the best value at $756 (just $63 per monthly box). For the quality of wine and pairings, as well as the beautiful box presentation and the quality shipping packaging, this is a very nice value and would be a nice way to treat yourself or provide for a very nice gift.
Subscribe to the Wine Down Box Today. Use code NEW5WDB to save $5 off any order for new subscribers through October 31 or SHOP35WDB to save $35 on orders of $450+ through November 4th.