As many of you know, I love wine. Let me repeat. I LOVE WINE. This January I made a commitment to use 2008 as my first real foray into Wine Country, meaning THIS YEAR I would be judicious, thoughtful, and disciplined in my consumption. AKA, not just a drunk.
I started with a plan. I would select modestly priced wines – as many as I could muster – and I would drink them, paying special attention to each & every nuance, bouquet, hint of fruit and je ne sais quoi. In this new & thoughtful manner, I would MASTER the Art of Cheap Wine. And so, glass in hand, I began my quest in earnest. And although that first bottle of wine, consumed Wednesday, January 16th, was really quite awful, earning just a C rating, I was excited. B/c I knew the CHALLENGE was ON.
Since that first evening, I have sampled many, many wines. Some of them exceptionally good, as iterated in my First Quarter Summary. And a few of them inexcusably bad. There is nothing worse than going out, buying a bottle of wine, and bringing it home – or worse! presenting it to a friend – and finding you’ve been HAD.
BIG HOUSE WHITE 2006, California
This wine should be the poster-child for DON’T JUDGE A WINE BY ITS LABEL. The bottle looks truly appealing, with its cute artistic label. Don’t fall for it sucka. The wine inside merited a candid “YUCK” in my wine journal. Granted, a mix of 7 varietals could go either way, but this one is not a success. Very tart apple flavor, paired with high acidity and a distinctly unappealing aftertaste make this a wine to avoid. Even drinking it ice cold didn’t improve the lot. Thumbs down.
BAREFOOT SHIRAZ, Calfornia
The bottle features a *2 GOLD MEDALS* sticker prominently, so I went into this wine thinking YUM YUM YUMM. Unfortunately, once I tasted it I went “BLEECH”. This mass-produced red is not a great wine – cheap or not. It is strongly acidic and dry, with a pronounced aftertaste. If you are looking for another inexpensive, big-bottle wine for a party, I suggest trying Nathanson Creek Merlot instead, which for the same price provides a decent, tasty wine to be enjoyed by all.
RUFFINO LUMINA PINOT GRIGIO 2006, Italy
I must confess, my husband & I were divided on this wine. While I gave it a C+ for its low acidity and almost-imperceptible aftertaste, John stated that it “SMELLS LIKE A DEAD ANIMAL” and rated it an “F for FUNK.” You be the judge.