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Mama’s Got a Fusebox

Our brains work in mysterious ways.  Ever since I got my Fusebox wine blending kit from Crushpad Wine, all I think of when I think of the beautiful box of wine designed to create a custom blending experience is the notoriously sexual and metaphorical “The Who” song, Squeezebox.  This, all told, is somewhat apt because if the Fusebox were not an inanimate object, I would want to make love to it.

I had the opportunity to join Indianapolis wine blogging pal Mark of and Renee, the doyenne of the Indianapolis food blogging scene from her outpost at Feed Me / Drink Me, along with a few other notables, including a wine distributor, on Saturday night.  Couched in conviviality was the desire to put the Fusebox to work.

If you are interested in the Cliffs Notes version, I will simply say this—the Fusebox is incredibly well executed and an absolute smash for a party.  At $120 bucks, it is well worth the money.  In addition, the wine, six bottles of 375 ml blending varieties, is very, very good individually, let along as the sum of the parts.  On top of that, the wine distributor in attendance wanted to distribute the Fusebox and Mark from, who works part-time at the best wine shop in Central Indiana, said the storeowner thought he could move an easy 150 units at the holidays.  The Fusebox has my unequivocal Good Grape endorsement.

If that is not enough, Alder from Vinography is represented in the Fusebox with his Wine Aroma cards.  It felt like a karmic match with the wine blogger representation.  Though, as a sidebar, I will admit that I chuckled to myself at the end of the night, much drunken wine later, when I read “peeling willow bark” as a scent component on the wine aroma card from Alder.  Ahem … note to Alder: stay away from your wife’s high-end, wacky-scented body lotion, my friend.

What transcends the Fusebox from the merely interesting to the compelling is both the organization and the quality of the wine.  It is primarily comprised of six 375 ml bottles of blending wine including Cabernet Sauvignon (two bottles), Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc that top to bottom are of excellent quality.

The kit also contains a mystery wine for some palate testing and all of the accouterments necessary to blend to your heart’s content—graduated cylinder, pipettes (mini wine-thief’s) and some schwag like a corkscrew and some evaluation cards, etc.

As I noted, the thing that makes this kit sing is the quality of the wine and the fact that it works.  With the ingenious recipe cards, you can custom blend your own wines adding a dash of this and a dash of that and it is a true aid in helping to understand how components add different qualities.  We all know that Petite Verdot and Cab Franc are frequent blending partners, but if you have a bit of Cab and you add in the Petite Verdot and the Cab Franc it brings the whole picture together for your palate.

The other masterstroke of this kit is the recipe cards they include.  They offer blending suggestions to mimic a 2002 Joseph Phelps Insignia, 1996 Lafite Rothschild, 2000 Chateau Margaux, and a 1997 Opus One, amongst other things.

Those at our party all took turns creating blends from the recipe cards and sharing.  It’s vicariously thrilling to put a blend together and imagine for a moment that it may approximate a wine that retails for $2000 +

If I had to give one recommendation for the kit, it would be to include tasting notes for the marquee wines on the recipe cards so users of the kit could subsequently take some of their own notes on the created blend with a baseline.  I kind of want a little more context to why my blend is supposed to equate to a very premiere wine, but, in the end, that is just a quibble.

Next time, I am going to buy a kit to do on my own blending, at home, as a self-study aid, you will want to, as well.  The Fusebox is fantastic for a party, but probably equally as valuable, in a different light, as a way to hone your palate chops in a more intimate setting.  In fact, I hope and fully expect Crushpad to change it up every year to keep customers coming back and trying different things.

Either way, using the Fusebox in a crowd or in your kitchen with your significant other, it’s a smash hit.  Make sure to turn on “The Who” and croon with me, “Come on and tease me like you do, I’m so in love with you, Mama’s got a Fusebox …”


Posted in, Free Run: Field Notes From a Wine Life. Permalink | Comments (5) |


On 05/15, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I looked into ordering one and the site said it will not ship to Indiana!  What was your experience?

On 05/15, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I looked into ordering a Fusebox, and the site informed me that they do not ship to Indiana.  What was your experience?

On 05/15, Jeff wrote:

Hi Becca,

I got mine in California and shipped it back myself. 

Tough, I know.  If you can get your hands on one, I highly recommend it!

Thanks for reading!


On 05/27, Approaching wrote:

i am gonna get myself one.

On 05/06, TN Pas Cher wrote:

a get myse


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