I'm going to start off by saying that I love red wine. My palette has a distinct preference for all things bitter, dry, sour, vinegary (just to note, vinegary should not apply to wine, and if it does, get thee a new bottle!!) - anything along those lines. However, I am far from a wine "snob"...I could not sit here and dissect a glass of wine down to fruity vs. floral vs. chocolate vs. leather (lol leather...) notes. If it tastes good to me, I'll drink it.
I figured I could take a moment to share what I am drinking right now. My usual go-to "cheap" wine is Yellow Tail Shiraz or Shiraz-Cabernet. Cabernet Sauvignon if there is no Shiraz. If we had a Trader Joe's where I live, I would absolutely try their $2 wine in a heartbeat, and probably love it. To sum it up - I'm not that picky. Spicy dry wine = good wine. Disclaimer: Personal Opinion.
The other night, I decided to try something different. I was browsing the Chianti section at my local booze market. I have never tried Chianti, and spotted a nice bottle, with an attractive black and red label.
|Apothic Red: Winemaker's Blend|
"Apothic Red: Winemaker's Blend". I assumed without looking closely that it was a blend of Chianti because of the shelf it was on, with other reds. I opened it up, let it breathe for a bit. I poured a glass and tasted it. Not bad. Not super super dry, how I usually like...but not too bad, either. It had a slight sweetness to it without it being too sweet. The first sips were more like the wine I know; then I noticed a certain "watery" taste (as stated before, I am no where near a wine expert). Merlot!! I don't know why but Merlot and I never got along. I tried to like it, I really did, but it just has certain characteristics that I can't enjoy. I know it sounds weird to relate a "watered-down" flavor with red wine, but all Merlot I've ever tried seem that way to me. The Merlot didn't ruin it for me, though.
I finally looked at the back label. No Chianti! Oh well, I'll try that some other time. This wine was a blend of 3 reds: Zinfandel, Syrah, and Merlot. Syrah and Shiraz are pretty much identical (same grapes, different regions and winemaking processes) except for a few differences that I only know because Google just told me - Syrah tends to be less "spicy" and offer a more "smoky" flavor, while Shiraz seems to have a bit more of a "peppery" bite to it. I like them both (although I think I like Shiraz more.) As for the Zin, I will admit, I've never had the red variety. The only Zinfandel I've had was of the white "Sutter Home" variety. Since it was a blend of the 3 it was hard to guess what the Zinfandel would taste like on its own. I guess I will have to get a bottle to find out.
Anyways to wrap it up, at $9.99 a bottle this wine was pretty good. The bottle is pretty slick but I'm not sure I'll buy it again because of the Merlot factor. If you enjoy any of those 3 wines, I recommend this blend!