Thursday, January 3, 2013

Weekly Wine Review - California Red - NV Smart Cookie Blend

Santa's generosity this year included a Christmas Eve sinus-infection type malady for my wife, which in the spirit of the season was shared with me by New Year's Eve. Unfortunately, Our Holiday season this year was heavier on Kleenex than on the wine and spirits we usually enjoy for Christmas and New Year's. I tell you that just to let you know that my sniffer is still a bit impacted, but being the dedicated wino that I am - I am playing through the pain to bring you this week's Wine Review!

I headed to Total Wine & More today with nothing particular in mind to review, just decided to pick something in the everyday bottle category that I normally wouldn't pick for myself.

After a few laps around the store, I noticed a display of Smart Cookie Vineyards California Red Blend. Hmmm... Smart Cookie, I would be stupid not to try it! The back label promised the aroma of double chocolate chip cookies so... SOLD!  The label did not specify, but I did a little research and the blend is Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine: Non Vintage Smart Cookie Red Blend - Can be a blend of grapes from more than one Vintage
Region: California - Grapes can come from anywhere in the State
Obtained from: Purchased at Total Wine & More
Price: $9.99
Wino4Life Category: Everyday Wine
Aeration before tasting: Just a swirl or two, no special aeration.

Cork Condition: Artificial Cork in very good - no defects or issues.
Appearance: Clear, with an intense inky purple color.
Aroma: I searched for the promised double chocolate chip cookie on the nose, but I could not find it. I would even have settled for a single chocolate chip cookie - but for me I only found some earthy aromas and some red cherry.
Taste: The initial taste was nice and fruity, with some nice acidity (mouth watering) and a little bit of tannin (mouth drying). The aftertaste is where things went a little awry - the best way I can describe is the same lingering sweetness and taste as a concord grape juice. Not really what I want in my wine aftertaste.

The Grade: I give this one a C+. The sweetness on the finish means this is not at all my type of wine.  But for less than $10, I'll give it a passing grade as this may be a good wine for someone transitioning to drinking red wine - who may be looking for something with a bit of sweetness (but I would not call it a sweet red wine). The sweetness may also make this wine pair with spicier food, like a Korean BBQ with some of my favorite Sriracha sauce.

I'm off to the grocery store to get the ingredients for Chocolate Chip Cookies - I'm getting some today one way or the other!


  1. I'm transitioning into reds. I'll be looking for this one. Thanks!

  2. Always glad to hear someone moving into red wine - a whole new world awaits!! Please let me know what you think of this wine - and any other wines that you've tried that you've enjoyed.


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