In June 2015, I made a short list of red wines that, for one reason or another, I often stock at home. I refer to these as my red “house wines” because much like a restaurant, they are my go-to wines that I drink when I want something reliably good. Although everyone’s pallet is different, these are also generally the wines I recommend to friends who are looking for something tasty to bring to a party or give as a gift.
Once I had my list, I invited my friends to join me for a tasting at my home. The event was called Floor Wine! Red Wine Tasting – at the time, my apartment had little furniture due to my upcoming move to France.
I planned to make tasting notes during the event, and then blog about it for The Marketing Lush. That didn’t go to plan, because I was enjoying my friends’ reactions too much. Instead I simply made notes of their ratings, as well as my own.
Each of us rated the wine from one to five, with one being “Yuck. Eww. I don’t want to drink this even if it’s the only thing available,” and five being “OMG, this is the most DELICIOUS wine evar!” Not particularly sophisticated, but it worked for our purposes. I should note that there was only a single “one” and a single “five” given out – the rest were somewhere in between, which explains why the average rating was in the 3.X range for all bottles.
The red wines that we tasted were:
- Meiomi Pinot Noir
- Sexy Wine Bomb Blend
- Alamos Malbec
- St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon
Below you’ll learn how I first became acquainted with the wine, the tasting notes from Total Wine, the ratings from me and my seven friends, and the price per bottle.
I was initially introduced to this wine by one of my long-time friends, Tom, who drinks it often because it doesn’t give him a headache the next day like most red wines do. It was unique to me because I hadn’t been a fan of Pinot Noir wines – they always tasted very dusty to me, and I was interested in wines with more body and bite. But this one was different.
Tasting Notes from Total Wine: Elegant, cherry, berry, vanilla, medium-bodied. This beautiful Pinot Noir produced by Caymus carries aromas of tobacco, dark red fruits and fresh berries. The rich cherry flavor is complemented by notes of cedar, raspberry and strawberry. Enjoy with turkey, salmon or beef dishes.
Our Ratings: The average rating for this wine was 3.4, making it the second most popular among our group of eight people. MV – 4 | AK – 3.5 | RB – 4 | NN – 1 |NB – 4 | JS – 3 | JW – 4 | KM – 4
Price per Bottle: $20
As a marketing professional, naturally I’m less susceptible to clever labels and branding. Except it’s really the opposite. In fact, the only reason I decided to try this particular wine when I saw it in the store was because of the sassy red and black label and the wine’s name. I enjoy red blends, so that may have been a factor as well. The first time I tried it, I realized that I may have stumbled upon something special. I continue to come back to it, and have brought it to gatherings on more than one occasion, partially for the fun label but mostly because I find it darn tasty and at a decent price point.
Tasting Notes from Total Wine: Intense, cherry, strawberry, medium-bodied. If this super-sexy blend were a mid-90’s girl group, its stars would probably be named Fruity, Spicy, Sassy, Jammy, and Not-Too-Sweety. A provocative fusion of sultry red varietals, this wine knows how to have a good time. Pair it with BBQ beef and stir fry.
Our Ratings: The average for this wine was 3.3. MV – 4 | AK – 3 | RB – 4 | NN – 3 | NB – 3.75 | JS – 4 | JW – 3 | KM – 2
Price per Bottle: $10
My mother came to visit me in Atlanta in 2014, and since we both love wine I had to take her to my favorite wine store to do a tasting and then peruse. While there, she pointed out this wine as having been something that she and her friend Michael had discovered, and loved. So I picked up a bottle to try while she was in town. When I did, it was the first solid indicator that I really like Malbec. (And the price point is unbelievable.)
Tasting Notes from Total Wine: Intense, black cherry, blackberry, medium-bodied. The nose offers bright black cherry aromas with light floral notes and a touch of toast. The mouthfeel is full and rich, with ripe, concentrated cassis and black raspberry fruit flavors interwoven with a touch of chocolate and sweet spice from light oak aging.
Our Ratings: The average for this wine was 3.2, making it the least popular with our crowd, but still not bad. MV – 4 | AK – 4 | RB – 3 | NN – 2 | NB – 3 | JS – 3 | JW – 3 | KM – 3.5
Price per Bottle: $8
The night that I first tried this wine was incredibly nerve-racking. Not because of the wine. It was nerve-racking because I was presenting our brand-new marketing plan to my company’s advisory board. I’d never met these four individuals before, but I knew they had been selected to serve our small company because they were incredibly business-savvy, and each held a high-level role within a large corporation. Luckily, the presentation went well and generated great discussions. Afterwards, the business meeting became a business dinner, and one of the advisors chose this wine for our group. I covertly snapped a photo of the label, because it was delicious, and went to find it at my favorite store later. I was expecting it to be expensive because the restaurant had been very high-end, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Tasting Notes from Total Wine: Ripe, rich, chewy blackberry, and black currant flavors lead onto this wine’s lush, velvety palate followed by impressions of cedar, tobacco, spice and vanilla with supple, round tannins on the finish.
Our Ratings: The average for this wine was 3.9, making it the most popular wine of the four tasted by far. MV – 4.5 | AK – 4.75 | RB – 3 | NN – 3 | NB – 4 | JS – 5 | JW – 3.9 | KM – 3
Price per Bottle: $17
As I mentioned above, this is my “house wine” list of reds as of June 2015. I expect it to be ever-evolving, especially once I start to experience more French wines in Bordeaux and other regions.
What is one of your own “house wines”? Post it in the comments.