Red wine is my mistress. She keeps me warm on those long, cold nights. She takes the tension out of my bones. She makes me think way too much sometimes, not nearly enough other times. She keeps me company once a week, during Castle. In fact, that’s usually the only tradition I have every week- a glass of wine during Castle. Life is a rough draft most of the time for me these days, and I can count on that one hour of peace and quiet on Monday night(it sometimes does end up being two glasses, due to my ineptness. One Nathan Fillion scene that gets me so excited I end up accidentally kicking over a glass of hearty red wine, all over my beige carpet. Last Monday. True story. The rug—anyone have a good remedy for wine stains in a light carpet? Do tell)?
Sorry, there will be many distractions from the true purpose of the post. If you know me, you aren’t surprised. If you don’t know me, surprise! Get used to it. I’m 40 and not turning back the hands of time and changing now.
Anyway- let me tell you a little of my history with Yellow Tail. I discovered them through my sister in my virgin year of wine discovery- the evil, dark days of 2002. Evil and dark because my falling down the rabbit hole of wine came at the break of round one of three rounds with my Scorpio ex. But again- a bright star in every dark Pluto-dominated cloud. This was my bright star, I became friends with wine. Drinking loads of it. Different ones. The vodka and whiskey disappeared for good. Red wine hurt my stomach less. It also paired better with most of the food I was eating at that point(White Castles and red wine, still my favorite. Only I can’t eat White Castle anymore, sadly. Damn gluten!). It also made me feel French(oui, oui, wee, wee, my ass), minus the filth and the unpleasantries tied to the French. It made me feel like there was a whole continent of discovery lying before me waiting to be unearthed. Reds, whites, roses, zins. What region? What vintage? Indeed. 11 years later and I’m STILL learning about wine. I call myself a novice because I am, meaning I don’t read much about the history of the wine, making of, label, etc. I do not, shamefully, keep a wine journal.(although this sort of is an interactive wine journal, though, isn’t it? Ha ha!). Yellow Tail was the cheapest bottle of wine that the 7-11 in Willow Springs carried. Also the only one that the 7-11 in Willowbrook carried. My sister tried various ones and discarded them almost immediately. Just not her type of wine(not enough joie de vivre?). I loved it- maybe it was the kangaroo. It made me think of Australia, INXS, and koalas. Bright label made sure it got your notice. I quickly discovered that Yellow Tail was a mixed bottle- the Cabernet was not to my liking, nor was the Merlot. the Shiraz/Grenache blend gave me one of the worst wine headaches of my life(two glasses, no kidding). The Riesling was way too sweet, even for Riesling. I was ready to give up- until my sister saw the pinot noir one night when we were stocking up on booze before American Idol(as I said, in the perils of heartbreak, I did not exhibit the best judge of entertainment to forget my misery). We went back and popped that sucker- and surprise! Finally- a smash hit. I still love the pinot noir from Yellow Tail. It just gets harder and harder to find, which makes me more and more determined to stockpile it in the bombshelter camoflauging as a sinkhole behind my shed. I had a real love/hate relationship with Yellow Tail- until recently a couple of new arrivals got my attention.
The Big Bold Red was the most recent addition to the Yellow Tail line- they have also released a Sweet Red along with this one. I’m not a sweet wine lover, so that one may have to wait, say maybe Easter next weekend..it would likely go well with ham. We will see. The label is gold and silver and sparkles in the light- right there they had me. Don’t judge the book by its cover, don’t judge the wine by it’s label. Shoofly, that’s what this wino goes by! Of course it was on sale, that helped nudge me to try it. I think the Sweet Red was around a while, actually. They do have a new Pink Moscato and a Sweet White Roo blend that were released the same time as this Big Bold Red. I like Moscato, will have to give that one a shake. Not sure about the Sweet White Roo, it will depend on what whites are part of the overall blend. If Lady Chardonnay is anywhere near that wine shed, count me out(chardonnay makes me violently ill). Anyway, onto the review.
At first smell, it smells like a lighter pinot noir. I’m sure there’s pinot in there somewhere, but I honestly haven’t been able to peg what the blend is for this Big Bold Red. I love a mystery, but for heaven’s sake, if anyone has a clue, please, fill me in. It has a mellow taste to it. It has a smattering of strawberries and raspberries, and some spice. I don’t detect much more than that, but I’m sure an experienced wine drinker would be able to nail it down. Usually blends have some cocoa overtones to it, not here. I think it helps the wine. It has a smooth finish, and no vinegary aftertaste. I had a vinegary red not long ago and it was not a fun finishing off of my FIRST glass. Yes, I will be reviewing that beast eventually. If nothing else, you might be able to use that wine as a housecleaning agent(vinegar and water, get it?). This wine was really, really good. I have had it several times since. No bad aftereffects. My only complaint with this blend is that it didn’t mess me up. I had a slight buzz, but nothing of consequence. Unfortunately. If I was sprouting X-rated limericks to bald men at Aldi after two glasses, then I would have to give it a 5. I give it a 4. Not bad, though, for a blend from Yellow Tail, whom I had basically written off except for the pinot noir. They have redeemed themselves with Big Bold Red. Try it.