Barefoot wine review 2015

Barefoot wine revie 2015How is Barefoot the best-selling wine brand in the country, and perhaps the only wine costing less than $10 to thrive during premiumization? Because Barefoot is wine for people who don’t drink wine, and this year’s labels are excellent examples of that approach. And if the chardonnay was a touch sweet, the cabernet sauvignon was pleasant enough to drink again.

In this, it’s not so much that the cabernet ($6, purchased, 13.5%) and the chardonnay ($6, purchased, 13%) are simple, but that there is a method to their simplicity — sophisticated winemaking is used to get them to taste the way they do. Each wine emphasizes its fruit while pushing the stuff casual wine drinkers don’t like, the tannins and acid, to the background. The result? A soft, fruit-forward wine made for someone who buys Barefoot to have a glass or two in the evening, re-cork what’s left, and then drink again the next night. Frankly, that’s an impressive achievement for a $6 wine.

The cabernet, with an Argentine appellation but no vintage, was more enjoyable than the chardonnay, with a surprising amount of cabernet character, juicy dark berry fruit, almost no acidity, and enough tannins so that I noticed them but not so noticeable as to bother the brand’s target demographic. This is a red wine that is smooth and easy drinking, two terms that make wine geeks cringe but that are perfectly understandable to the people who buy Barefoot, and are the reasons they buy it.

The chardonnay tasted much like Cupcake’s chardonnay — not quite sugary, but sweet enough to linger on the tongue, plus caramel fake oak and lots and lots of green apple fruit. There was almost no acidity, and the sweetness helped mask a bitterness on the finish (probably from tannins from grape seeds and stems). That Barefoot delivers the same wine as Cupcake for half the price speaks volumes about how smart Barefoot parent E&J Gallo is. This wine is also non-vintage, and the grapes are from California.

More Barefoot wine reviews:
? Barefoot wine review 2014
? Barefoot wine review 2013
? Barefoot wine review 2012

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5 thoughts on “Barefoot wine review 2015

  • By Robert "Corky" Cartwright - Reply

    After studying the wine label, I am not convinced that the grapes are necessarily from California. The label says nothing about the source of the grapes. The phrase “vinted and bottled by Barefoot Cellars, Modesto, CA” asserts that Barefoot Cellars made the wine but reveals nothing about the origin of the grapes. I recently read on the internet (and the source sounded credible) that Barefoot (a Gallo brand) sources some grapes from abroad. Who knows what grapes were used to make this wine. I generally agree with your comments about the quality of the wine. It is a decent wine, particularly for consumers who do not drink much fine wine (which I generally cannot afford). I bought mine at the local 99 cents store for $2.99. It goes well with food but it is less sophisticated (less mouth feel due to the absence of tannins?) than the 2012 Jacob’s Creek Red Blend that I bought a few months ago at the same store for the same price and not nearly as good as the 2011 Quinta da Garrida Dao (93 pts from the Wine Enthusiast, which admittedly is not as reliable as Robert Parker) that I bought at the same store for the same price (my best buy of the past year!). So I probably will not buy any additional bottles. I still recommend it at the price of $2.99. It is significantly better than the usual fare from WalMart (Oak Leaf Cellars), Trader Joe’s (Charles Shaw, who incidentally made much better wine than Bronco Wine Company who makes Trader Joe’s stuff), and Aldi (Winking Owl) at that price point.

    • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

      Federal law is specific about grape origin. If it doesn’t say California, then less than 75 percent of the grapes aren’t from California. Mike Veseth at the Wine Economist has written about this, that the biggest producers can source grapes from anywhere to get the best deal. I quote him here — https://winecurmudgeon.com/wine-prices-in-2013/

  • By Robert "Corky" Cartwright - Reply

    I was replying to a review of Barefoot “Winter Blend” but for some reason my comment appears after a general review of Barefoot wines.

  • By Sandra Pimienta - Reply

    Hello I just wanted to bring something to your attention, I have been drinking Barefoot Wine Chardonnay for years, I love the wine The Taste is great. But in the recent years I’ve noticed the wine that I purchase in the neighborhood where I live The Taste is bad. So I decided to do a taste test, I purchase wine from Total Wine in another area of town and it tastes the way it should, I really think someone should look into this, why is this. Don’t we all deserve to have a nice tasting wine no matter what neighborhood we live in. Please feel free if you would like to contact me through my email thank you concern consumer

    • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

      Thanks for the comment. This is actually a common problem, which I have written about before. It happens with mass market wines that are non-vintage. My guess is that they sit on store shelves longer, so what you found happens. The wines wear out. My suggestion is to buy wines like Barefoot from retailers where there is a lot of turnover.

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