As previously mentioned, I’m starting to experiment with red wines. The two styles I’m trying the most are Pinot Noir, and plain old red blends. It appears that for the most part, red blends are more mild, lower in tannins, more “juicy” and “fruity”, and generally easier to drink on their own.
As advised by some folks, I’ve acquired actual wine glasses (SVALKA glasses, from IKEA, which were 6 for $4.79) and a Vacu Vin wine saver set (this one came with 4 stoppers, all for ten bucks), which has proven handy at letting me have more than one bottle open at a time without any of them getting that tinge of vinegar.
So, here are my thoughts on six red wine blends:
Radius Red Blend: I got this at the Total Wine, on the recommendation of one of their wine know-it-alls. It’s from Washington, so how could I not give it a shot? It was decent, tasty, but a wee bit too sharp for me. Still, if it were the only wine offered, I’d take a glass. $10.
Sexy Wine Bomb: Got this at the same time as the Radius, and I liked it a little better. And no, not just because of the packaging. It was a little more fruity, a little less tanniny. A pretty good choice for me for the price. $10.
Fancy Pants Red Wine: I can’t find a good link on the internets for this wine, but that’s OK. I got it at Target (we have Target grocery stores down here in Florida, which blew my mind when we moved from Seattle), and it’s just not that great. I suppose some people like it, but it wasn’t as flavorful as other red blends, and had more of that sharp tangy sting of tannin. Quite a disappointment, since I dig the name. $9.
Barefoot Sweet Red: This wine is unlike any of the others. It’s almost more like a mix between wine and fruit punch. I have to wonder if this is kind of what sangria is like, since I’ve never had sangria. Anyway, it’s fairly decent and tasty, as long as you’re not looking for the specific taste of red wine. And for the price, it’s a great bottle of boozy fruit juice. What puzzles me the most is that it’s a clear glass bottle, not the green I’ve seen from everyone else. $6.
Cupcake Red Velvet: A number of friends recommended this one, so I grabbed a bottle. And I have to say, what a disappointment. Not terribly fruity, and I don’t get the chocolate notes they advertise on the label. Plus, there’s a really funky aftertaste, almost a plastic flavor. It’s hard to explain, and likewise hard to enjoy. I’m in the middle of the bottle right now, but the rest might eventually end up down the drain. $9.
Colby Red: I got this at Walgreen’s, which if you don’t have Walgreen’s, is a drug store chain. Yes, the drug stores in Florida have full liquor store attached. And what a surprise, it’s my favorite of the red blends so far. Nice and fruity, full of flavor, and practically none of that puckering dry feeling from tannins. It was a great balance for me, and I’m definitely getting another bottle. $13 ($10 with my Walgreen’s discount card).