Barefoot Red Moscato Review

Name: Barefoot Red Moscato
Type: Red
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: Non-Vintage
Price: $5.99

I’m not sure how to categorize this wine. It’s a Moscato, which is supposed to be white. It’s named “Red” but due to some apparent mixing of red and white wine it has a color that I’d describe as a rose, maybe a touch darker.

It smells and tastes like cherries. It’s very light and slightly effervescent, as a Moscato ought to be. There’s a very light touch of acidity on the short finish. This is a deft addition to the Barefoot portfolio because a red Moscato is somewhat intriguing and while the flavor is sweet, it’s several shades less sweet than the Barefoot Sweet Red wine.

This is a prototypical summer wine. Good for pleasing crowds of people who aren’t wine connoisseurs, in fact, it closely resembles my memory of what a wine cooler tastes like and could easily be altered into a passable sangria. I wouldn’t bring it to a party unless I was crashing, but if you used it in the punch bowl at your own affair, none would be the wiser.

Bottle of Barefoot Red Moscato wine

2012 Cupcake Red Velvet Wine Review

Name: Cupcake Red Velvet
Type: Red
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2012
Price: $10.99

I’ve previously gone on about how calling a wine Cupcake is marketing genius but sets an expectation that won’t be met. They’ve one-upped this strategy by calling this one Red Velvet, bringing to mind a niche cupcake that some people LOVE and I think is just so-so.

It is a dark, almost purple-ish colored wine with a slightly chocolate-y aroma, but mostly dark berries. It has a rich mouthfeel and distinct tannins. It’s a pretty good wine, but again, it doesn’t deliver on the marketing promise of a red velvet cupcake. If you want a dessert wine…get one…but this isn’t one. If you want a cupcake, then buy a cupcake. This is just a decent wine with berry and chocolate flavors.

 

2012 Cupcake Red Velvet Wine

2005 Geja’s Big Bold Red

Name: Geja’s Big Bold Red
Type: Red
Grape: Red Blend
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2005
Producer: Baya Cellars
Price: $9.99

I believe this is the last of the wines I got from the Wine Insider’s club. And while it’s not a bad wine, it’s name is entirely inappropriate. It has the light coloration and even the mouth feel of a Pinot Noir, yet it’s called “Big Bold Red.” It does have a nice woodsy aroma and some tannins after the fruity burst on the tongue, but I wouldn’t call it a bold red by any stretch. It’s labeled “2005 California Private Reserve Big Bold Red” even, which calls to mind–I don’t know–a rich Cabernet maybe? It’s a decent wine for a decent price, just egregiously mis-labeled.

Apothic Red Review

Name: Apothic Red
Type: Red
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2013
Price: $9.99

I’m currently tasting the 2013 Apothic Red “Winemaker’s Blend” from California, but this is a wine I’ve had before and it doesn’t seem to vary that much from year to year. It’s blended to be pretty consistent. It’s a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah (aka Shiraz) and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The color is deep, nearly opaque with an aroma that bursts with berry scents. It’s a pretty fruit-forward wine with abundant berry flavors and a touch of vanilla and spice. The mouthfeel is lighter than the color would suggest and some slight tannins are detectable on the medium finish. Despite looking very bold in both color and the design of the bottle, this wine is actually pretty versatile and could be easily appreciated on its own or paired with food. Good buy.

Barefoot Sweet Red

Name: Barefoot Sweet Red
Type: Red
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: Non-Vintage
Price: $5.99

A lot of people seem to like Barefoot wines by the volume sold so I bought a couple more bottles to see what’s going on (it’s been a long time). This one is the Sweet Red blend from California. I had it slightly chilled as that seems like the right thing to do with a sweet wine.

Here’s the thing…this is a cheap wine. They put a prominent sticker on every bottle showing how they won the 2012 Riverbank Competition (?) for “consistent quality. proven value”. I definitely believe that it can be produced consistently…

It smells like cheap wine, sweet and green. I wish I could describe it better because all cheap wines have a similar smell. Same with the flavor. Sweet Red is a perfect name for the wine because that’s what it is, sweet and red. That’s where the character begins and ends. It won’t be accused of intrigue, subtlety, complexity or generally being “interesting.” It’s just sweet and red, like a decent boxed sangria.

If that’s what you like–and a lot of folks do–go for it.


Image of Barefoot Sweet Red wine label

2011 Phantom

Name: Phantom
Type: Red
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2011
Price: $19.99

It’s just after Halloween and this bottle is marketed just for the occasion…it’s known as the Phantom. It’s produced by Bogle Vineyards and has the tagline “mysterious and hauntingly seductive.” I bought the bottle for $19.99 before Halloween (~$18 after case discount) and I should have seen this coming, but I just saw it at Wegman’s after Halloween for $14.99. Nothing haunts me like over-paying for a bottle of wine by $5…so they got me there. Boo!

On the plus side, it has one of those super heavy bottles. My drip ring barely fit on the top. Whenever I get a bottle like this I simultaneously feel like I got more for my money and guilty for consuming the extra glass even though I recycle.

The wine itself is dark…like the wraith shackled to your soul. Nah, it is a deep ruby color though and it has an earthy, pungent aroma of black pepper. It has distinct tannins, dark berry flavors and a robust feel in the mouth. Spicy too, very spicy. It’s a very good wine though I like it a LOT better at $14.99 than $19.99. Stock up now.

 

Picture of bottle of 2011 Phantom red wine from Bogle Vineyards

Villa Antinori Review

Name: Villa Antinori
Type: Red
Origin: Italy
Year: 2011
Price: $19.99

Bumping right up against my $20 price limit is this bottle of Villa Antinori. It’s a red blend from Tuscany that came to me as a recommendation. The ruby red colored vino has a potent aroma of jammy fruit and earthy, leathery notes. It’s tasty and well-balanced with soft tannins and a lengthy finish. One of the dominant flavors is chocolate, but not milk chocolate, but rather a nice dark chocolate. I’m going to say 85% with a bit of grit in the texture. If your BS meter is going off then you’re just astute….but this is a very good wine for the price…

Villa Antinori Review

2007 Purple Cowboy Tenacious Red

Name: Purple Cowboy Tenacious Red
Type: Red
Grape: Red Blend
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2007
Producer: Purple Cowboy
Price: $11.99

Interesting name, interesting label and an interesting little story on the back about the wine. True to the name, the wine is deep purple, almost opaque. The nose is all stewed fruit and tobacco. The wine is a blend of cabernet sauvignon and syrah, and true to form it’s a boldly flavored wine. Plum, other dark fruits and earthy flavors dominate. The finish is rather lengthy and it there I detected the tannins. This isn’t a wine for everyone and I’d suggest drinking it with food but I do like it.

Villa Fassini Sangiovese-Cabernet Sauvignon

Name: Villa Fassini
Type: Red
Grape: Blend
Origin: Italy
Year: 2008
Producer: C. Campagna Gello
Price: $7.00

I like Italian wines, they are generally decent quality and easy to appreciate. This one has a classy looking bottle, especially at such a low price. It has a subdued aroma with blueberry and blackberry scents. The flavor leaves a bit to be desired though. It’s just a little too boring. There are some berry flavors with some tartness on the short finish. It’s smooth but rather thin, with a lightweight mouth feel for Sangiovese and Cabernet.

Big House Red (3L Box)

Name: Big House Red (3L Box)
Type: Red
Grape: Blend
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2009
Producer: Big House Wine Co.
Price: $16.99

There is much to like about this everyday red. Let’s start with the environment. This box wine comes in an octagonal cardboard container (which they call the Octavin Home Wine Bar, I love marketers) which they claim reduces packaging waste by 92 percent and carbon emissions by 55 percent vs. traditional bottles. So we’re off to a good start already. As box wine goes, it’s a nice looking package too. The octagonal shape is also less awkward and has a smaller footprint on the counter than most. My only complaint is the spout, it’s more difficult to use than others I’ve seen.

The wine itself is a combination of 14 different grapes, everything but the kitchen sink basically. It has a nice purplish hue and a strong aroma of fruit and subtle spice. The flavor is smooth, round and inoffensive in any way. It even matures on the palate and shows some tannins before the medium finish. All in all it’s the best box wine I’ve ever had by a decent margin. Recommended.