wino_logo.jpeg
Illustration by Andrew Saegar, tHE ARTdept.
Hey fellow lushes! Just the other day, I was at Grocery Outlet loading up on deeply discounted fancy hot

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A Trip to Grocery Outlet Makes The Wino See Red in a New Light

wino_logo.jpeg
Illustration by Andrew Saegar, tHE ARTdept.
Hey fellow lushes! Just the other day, I was at Grocery Outlet loading up on deeply discounted fancy hot chocolate mix (really), Martha White cornmeal and cheap ass wine when I saw something that made me wanna vomit. No, it wasn't the samples in the "produce" department. It was a bunch of bottles boldly touting sweet red wine inside. Can I get a hell no?

This naked attempt to lure fake ID-carrying children who grew up eating breakfast cereal that has more sugar than your average candy bar into picking up a bottle of this gateway red seems downright sneaky. Really, there's no need to drink sweet Malbec. You do not want your red wine to taste like a Coke.

There are plenty of reds that are soft and velvety with great fruit character. You don't need to stick a cherry on top. Here are a few picks for entry-level reds that are just ripe for convincing skeptics of the charms of wine of a certain hue:

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Photo by Leslie Kelly
No need to candy coat it, sweet red wine is a lot of crap!
Barnard Griffin's Cabernet Merlot is as mellow as a Grateful Dead cover band. The bright fruit flavors shout black cherry and plum while there's a little peppery kick whispering on the back end. This baby's a deal at around $10 and it goes great with burgers or a steak.

Charles Smith Wines in Walla Walla makes a bunch of fine reds including this one that won't bust your budget. Charles & Charles Red Wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah that is like Welch's Grape juice on steroids. OK, wait. The biggest insult you can hurl at a classy wine is to say it tastes grape-y, but this 2010 release does taste like the fruit from which it was pressed. In a good way. And this one was on sale for $8 at QFC.

If you've got a crew coming over for a holiday shindig, grab a box of easy sippin' Big House Red. That's right, those boxed wines have come a long way since they were the hallmark of standard swill. This one's from a pretty darned famous California winemaker named Randall Graham, a guy I once heard call himself the Jerry Lewis of the winemaking world and I've been nuts about him ever since. Buy this clever box and for about $18, you get the equivalent of more than four bottles. It's almost like shopping in the bulk section.

Finally, if you really like the idea of a sweet red wine and you think I'm a knob for getting my knickers in a knot, please go to a restaurant with a nice wine list and for dessert, ask for them to recommend a port. Now, there's a red that's meant to be sticky because it's balanced with a healthy dose of spirits, which will undoubtedly lift yours. Bottoms up!

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