Monthly Archives: October 2014

Barefoot Refresh Perfectly Pink (3 out of 5)

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Okay, this indulgence can be blamed on Greg Dulli, lead singer of the Afghan Whigs. How? After seeing the Whigs in concert the other night, I suddenly had a great desire to drink and let some of the heavy duty roller coaster emotional wallop associated with them sink into pleasant, fizzy oblivion. Cue Barefoot Wine- Perfectly Pink! I had to go to Target Saturday night for several items, and this was on the clearance shelf in the liquor aisle. Normally retailing for $5.99, it was on sale for $2.98. I catalogued my tired brain and realized I had not tried this brand of Refresh- I have tried the Red and it is one of my favorites (see my post from last summer). Whenever I see PINK, I think the dreaded- grapefruit and pink lemonade. I am a fan of neither, but you’re not likely to get a wine highly concentrated in either of those flavors, so I figured I might be okay. Not only that, but Barefoot is one of the few wine labels that isn’t only economically feasible, but the wine itself is actually pretty good.

This is a mashup of Moscato, Chenin Blanc, and White Grenache. I like Moscato well enough, and Grenache, well, if it’s full tier red, that stuff messes me up majorly, so I am intrigued by the combination of the three . There is a nice, pleasant aroma to this wine. First taste reveals a nice blend of what tastes like mango and mandarin orange, with some slight notes of cherry and peach. Not normally my ideal wine, but since I am no longer drinking the good, hearty red wines of my youth (cue before gastrointestinal issues intervened), I am open to new suggestions. This is a light, fizzy, delicious wine. If you’re looking to get buzzed, well, not so much, unless you drink the whole bottle, and that’s hardly advisable. It’s the perfect wine for a summer day. In this case, since I worked all weekend and had a ton of things to do around the house, being annihilated was NOT the goal, so this was the perfect wine to sip and pair with my kale grilled chicken salad and lemon garlic couscous. I would say if you have a light lunch or a light dinner, this would be an ideal wine to sip with your meal.

Overall, not a lot to complain about here. The price is excellent (even without the clearance!), the aroma and taste are pleasing to the nose and tongue, no aftertaste, and it goes well with a number of light dishes. The flavor is distinctive, but not so much that it singles it out as a wine that will stand the test of time. Likely, it’s the sort of wine that will still be selling well over the next few years. It’s not a “stand alone” type of wine, but as said, light, crisp, and a pleasant flavor. And that did just fine.

Burlwood Cellars Merlot (1out of 5)

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The Burlwood Binge continues! Just kidding, I have NO intention on binging on these wines- at least, not all of them. I am gun shy with the cab after drinking this. As said last night, I like the pinot noir a lot. The merlot does not please any sense, my fellow winos. I got this because I figured if I try one I should try the other. Merlot is usually my first or second choice, so it made sense to try this next. Glad I didn’t reverse the two, or I might not have even tried the pinot and missed out on a very good wine. This merlot, unfortunately, not very good.

This wine has predominant tasting notes of plum (although it tastes more like prune, in my opinion), chocolate, a little vanilla, a little bit of cherry, and some very strong essence of vinegar. Yes, vinegar. Which is what happens often when your wine has gone bad. I know this isn’t a bad bottle, for the manager was unloading a whole new case of it from which he nicely offered me a bottle (if I knew it tasted like this, I would have handed it back to him and chose a different wine). It has a VERY strong odor wafting from it, even after letting it air out a hour. It tastes like the strong odor smells- and that gives you a fair idea. Ever wonder how that tankard of ale tastes after you leave it out for ten hours under the beach umbrella on the moat? This would be your answer! I do like the price- $4.99. I do like the alcohol content of 13.0%, but what’s the use of a strong alcohol content when the wine itself is so gross you may not finish it all? Not worthy of the applause you may give it.

I paired it with gluten-free pepperoni pizza, and even that couldn’t save it. The delicious basil and pesto on the gluten free bread knots? Couldn’t save it. Nothing could save it. It’s just nasty, and not in the Janet Jackson way. I would advise you to steer clear of this Burlwood Cellars wine; stick with the pinot or try the cabernet.

Burlwood Pinot Noir (4 out of 5)

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Aldi’s at it again. They’ve spent the past month stocking up their shelves with Burlwood Cellars wines. Not sure if this is for seasonal sales, or if they’re just mixing it up, but these bottles are now hanging out with the Winking Owl winefolk. I thought I had tried a Burlwood Cellar wine months ago, but the similarity of their label to the other wine had me confused. My neighborhood Aldi doesn’t have a lot of pinot noirs, so when they have one, I always try to pick it up and try it. It’s not as bitter as a merlot, nor as light as a cabernet sauvignon. It’s usually a little lighter and heavy on fruit accents, and this was no disappointment in either area.

Perhaps the dirtiest little secret I can reveal about Burlwood Cellars is that it’s a sub-label of E&J Gallo Wineries. Ernest and Julio Gallo.. you remember those dark, sultry wine ads of their vineyard in the 1980’s? No? Well, the hell with you, I’m old, and I know they existed.

*Now I dare you to get that annoying music out of your head. I dare you!*

Maybe that’s why I enjoyed Burlwood more than some of the other unique brands I find at the local Aldi. There’s some history behind these wines, and it’s a well known winery. This pinot has a lot of bright cherry flavor to it, also some plum, and I also detected strawberry. With a good hint of smokiness in the wine also. After it was exposed to air for awhile, I tasted and sniffed what I thought were some notes of blackberry as well. Overall? A great little blend, this pinot. It’s currently available at Aldi for $4.99. Your alcohol content won’t topple you over, nor that cement bust of Mozart that you have behind the shed that you talk to while inebriated. This is the sort of pleasant pinot that would go well with ham and pineapple, pork loin roast with ginger sesame glaze, or even some prime rib. I tried it with dark chocolate, and it really didn’t pair well. Definitely worth a nice afternoon sip or with a light dinner, but make sure there’s some sweetness in your dinner somewhere, and it’ll pair off fabulously.