Every bottle has a story

I am not a wine expert, but with each bottle I try and share with friends, I learn more. Wine is an exceptional social drink; it is the marijuana of alcoholic beverages because it must be shared. I seek to share with you my thoughts and experiences as I drink the wine in my closet, as well as my enthusiasm for the finds that come my way and the excellent values that I find. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences too, so please share!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cupcake Red Velvet 2009

This was a complex wine, but I don’t necessarily mean that in a good way. I had this at a party recently; I was intrigued because I had heard about it – I thought. Turns out that it wasn’t the Red Velvet that I had heard about, but the 2008 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, which Wine Spectator rates with a 90.

I don’t think WS will rate this one with a 90.

First of all, the name should have been a hint as to what I was about to taste. The nose was dense and lush with a blast of jammy fruit. The taste was very fruit-forward, almost sickeningly sweet, but there was something else there that was both intriguing and beguiling. It was odd. There was licorice and definitely chocolate, both on the palate and the nose.

The wine smoothed out a bit and became almost tolerable. It did have a velvety texture and the chocolate was intense. And then it hit me – this wine tasted just like a slice of red velvet cake with all its decadent richness and almost bloating body. The fruit was so intense: blueberry and blackberry jam on buttery biscuits. There’s enough intrigue to keep you drinking, but at the end of the day, the cloying sweetness was too much and the wine becomes intolerable.

This is a California blended wine of Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. It retails for about $12. I was surprised by some of the generous reviews that it received from others. As for me, I will only give this wine a 3.5 using my scale at the left. It’s drinkable, but I would never buy a bottle nor recommend it.

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