December 24, 2016
Can organic grapes make an inexpensive California wine good? On first opening, the cork had a fairly strong scent of vinegar reminding me of our first-generation next-door neighbor when I was growing up, who used to press his own grapes and make large barrels of wine in his backyard. He’d give my parents some bottles which generally turned to vinegar in a few weeks. But man, those few weeks were fun.
I doubt this one will turn to vinegar even if it has no sulfites added. And that, no added sulfites, is another reason I picked this up off the shelf. How many wines do you see with no, added sulfites?
Being a blend per the label, the wine is non-vintage and non-varietal (although a 2015 Trader Joe ad claims this is 100% Merlot). Umm, well, if we go with the label, that leaves out cutting and pasting from some Merlot review. But that’s another reason this wine reminds me of that backyard brew so many years ago. There’s no telling exactly what went into the bottle
What came out of the bottle is a fairly smooth mildly dry red table wine that’s very drinkable once you realize that red wines don’t really have to taste the same. This one will puzzle your taste buds into saying, what is that? When they give up trying to answer that question they’ll say, I like it. The only possible negative is a strange earthy taste that’s really not very objectionable once you get used to it. Maybe the taste is a bit of young tannins or maybe they do ferment in old wooden barrels? I don’t know if being organic had anything to do with it, but this inexpensive wine is good.
Growing up, we ate a lot of pasta with a thick red sauce that started as canned whole tomatoes and olive oil in tins, both from the old country, washed down with the backyard wine. This wine brings back pleasant memories. Price $5.99.