Barefoot Merlot Review

Name: Barefoot Merlot
Type: Red
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: Non-vintage
Price: $8.99

Barefoot wines have interesting marketing. They all have these stickers indicating that they won some wine competition. I’m not really aware of the competitive wine circuit so I can’t judge all this but I suspect they sponsor the competitions. It must work. People must like those stickers and buy the wine on that basis (“Look, this one won a competition and that one didn’t!”).

The judges at those competitions had a crappy job…and I recognize the irony of me saying that. Every bottle of Barefoot I’ve ever tasted has been utterly pedestrian. This merlot is no exception, in every sense of that phrase. The color is appropriate and it smells of boysenberry and tobacco. The flavor has berries, spice, a touch of smoke and a medium finish.

It’s not a bad wine, it’s just unexceptional, which is normal at this price but one can do better.

Bottle of Barefoot Merlot wine

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