Tag Archives: Barefoot

Barefoot wine review 2016

Barefoot wine review 2013

Barefoot wine review 2013This year, the Wine Curmudgeon picked two Barefoot award winners to review ? the pink moscato, which earned a double gold this month at a prestigious California competition, and the merlot, which got a gold at the 2011 Critics Challenge (the 2013 version of which I judged over the weekend).

The 2014 Barefoot wine review

My impressions? Both were sound, not flawed, provided value, and were much more impressive than the pinot noir and sauvignon blanc in the 2012 Barefoot review.

I write an annual Barefoot review because hardly anyone one else does; the Winestream Media can ?t be bothered reviewing wines that people actually drink. Not surprisingly, the Barefoot post is always among the most popular on the blog, with Barefoot reviews coming in at No. 2 and No. 4 in 2012 ?s top 10. This year, it was heartening to see others taking up the cause, and my annual Google search found a handful of other recent reviews. How can one not appreciate a blog called Honest Wine Reviews?

The pink moscato ($6, purchased, 9%), made with California grapes and non-vintage, was surprisingly balanced for a wine cashing in on the moscato craze. Think of it as sweet pink lemonade with a bit of fizziness, and make sure to chill it. Having said that, it was firmly sweet, much more in the style of white zinfandel than rose. But, having said that, it was one of the best sweet wines I ?ve tasted recently, and especially for the price.

Was it a double gold medal wine? Yes and no. When I first tasted it, the moscato didn ?t seem much more than a very well-made, lemony white zinfandel. But, on a hunch, I tasted it after I tried the merlot, and the difference was amazing. That ?s when I got the pink lemonade, and the wine tasted fuller and more complete. I ?d have given it gold, too, and I think I know what happened.

The contrast with the merlot, which was drier and more tannic, brought out the moscato ?s flavors. This happens all the time in wine competitions, where judges alternate between colors to lessen palate fatigue, and that was probably the case at this competition.

The most noticeable flavor in the merlot ($5, purchased, 13%) was caramel. Who knows how many valiant oak chips sacrificed their lives for this wine? In this, the merlot goes for the chocolate cherry flavor that so many casual wine drinkers look for, and mostly succeeds. It ?s a simple wine (also made with California grapes and non-vintage), and is almost certainly not the one that won a gold two years ago. A merlot from Bogle or McManis would be more interesting. But you ?ll get your $5 worth with the Barefoot.

Ironically, I chilled the merlot before I tasted it, on the theory that some cheap red wines are better cooler. That wasn ?t the case here, and the wine needs to be red wine temperature (60-ish F/16-ish C) to be at its best. And don ?t worry if you smell burnt rubber or cork when you open the bottle, something I ?ve noticed with many Barefoot reds. The aroma goes away quickly (in wine terms, it blows off), and is probably a function of the sulfur used to help preserve the wine.

For more on Barefoot wine:
The Internet loves Barefoot and Cupcake wine
Barefoot and the wine magazines
Barefoot wines (again): Value or just cheap?

The Internet loves Barefoot and Cupcake wine

Dec. 24 update: The blog has been going crazy for a week, thanks to Barefoot and Cupcake. Six of the top 15 days ever have come since Dec. 18, as people search the Internet for Barefoot and Cupcake reviews. If I'm getting numbers like this, imagine how much wine Gallo and The Wine Group are selling — and imagine how little they care what wine writers think of their products.

The blog has had four of its top 10 days ever in the last week, mostly because wine drinkers are looking for reviews of Cupcake and Barefoot for the holidays. And, as we well know, there aren't a lot of places to find those reviews in the cyber-ether.

Almost 10 percent of the visitors yesterday — the seventh-best day ever — used the search terms Barefoot or Cupcake to get to the blog. Which, if I understand how this stuff works, is an impressive figure, especially for a one-man operation like this.

The other thing worth noting: The people who visit the blog are much better educated and make a lot more money than the typical Internet user, according to Quantcast. And they're searching for cheap, grocery store wine. What does that say about the wine business?

And, because the Wine Curmudgeon is always eager to boost traffic, here are links to the most recent Cupcake and Barefoot reviews.

Barefoot wine review 2012

Barefoot, the $6 grocery store brand owned by E&J Gallo, is tremendously controversial among wine writers. They refuse to believe that any wine that sells that well at that price can be any good. That it is ?mass produced ? doesn ?t help their disposition, either.


New this year: The 2013 Barefoot wine review

Or, as so many of my colleagues have vowed (including the famous ones), ?You aren ?t going to catch me reviewing those wines. ?

Which is not the way the Wine Curmudgeon does things, is it? After the jump, my annual Barefoot review, featuring the sauvignon blanc and pinot noir (with links to four of my Barefoot posts at the bottom of this one).

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Barefoot, flipflop, and the wacky, wonderful world of wine trademarks

Barefoot, flipflopRegular visitors here know how the Wine Curmudgeon feels about wine companies that sue other wine companies over similar labels and similar names. Curmudgeonly, of course.

The most infamous lawsuit of recent years was the faceoff between the company that owns Cristal, the mega-pricey Champagne, and the $7 Spanish cava, Cristalino. But there have been a fair number of others, including Anheuser-Busch vs. an Argentine wine producer called Budini, and YellowTail vs. the Wine Group, who were fighting whether a kangaroo looked like a wallaby.

As much fun as these were, they pale in comparison to what could be the next big trademark and tradedress lawsuit in the wine business — if E&J Gallo and the Wine Group square off over two fabulously successful brands, Gallo’s Barefoot and Wine Group’s flipflop. More, after the jump:

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