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For this week’s Trader Joe’s Wine Review, we are coming at you with a bottle of Epicuro red blend the Mrs. picked up yesterday. For the sake of transparency, I must divulge that prior to this tasting I was enjoying a couple of tall IPAs at happy hour. This may or may not have had an affect on both my pallet and cognitive ability to evaluate a wine’s flavor profile. That being said, here we go.
Type: Red Blend
From: Rome, Italy
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
First, there is nothing special about this wine. It doesn’t come in a cool can, a juice box, or have a fancy twist cork. It is a standard glass bottle with a traditional cork and an assuming label. What sold the Mrs. on this bottle was the hand-written note provided by the Trader Joe’s staff. They offer the following description, as seen in the above photo.
“New world forward fruity. Blackberries & sweet black cherries”
As to what exactly “New world forward” means, I couldn’t tell you. It got Mrs. Cush’s attention though.
This bottle rang in at $5.99 plus tax and deposit. We have had cheaper wines from TJ’s but still, six bucks for a bottle is a bargain compared to literally anywhere else you would be purchasing wine from. The price is right, but the wine falls a bit short in other areas.
The first thing you do when tasting wine is let the bottle breathe after removing the cork, pour a small amount in a glass, swirl the glass around like you know what you’re doing, and give it a sniff. I wish I didn’t do that and had gone straight to the tasting. It just doesn’t smell like a good wine. Not sure how to describe it other than “a little stinky.” I am aware that I am tasting a $6 bottle of wine. But I am also aware that wine shouldn’t smell like this.
For the tasting, I will say it tastes better than it smells. This wine was consumed at room temperature, which was hovering around one million degrees in our living room last night. The label states it should be served at 18°C which is about 64°F for anyone not living in the metric system, so we were a little above the recommended serving temperature. I am not about to invest in a wine fridge when all I drink is cheap ass bottles from Trader Joe’s though. The wine claims to be “full-bodied” and “elegant.” I can agree with the full-bodied flavor profile; it is not lacking any depth to it. And the color is actually quite beautiful. Maybe even “elegant,” some would say. However, I found the wine to be too dry than I would like in a red blend. The big pull for red blends is that they are very drinkable, and this wine lacks that. I first learned to like red wine from red blends, so I am glad that I didn’t start off with this one. I did like the berry and cherry mixture they used with the grapes, but the blackberry does leave it with a tartness at the end that caught me off guard.
Who knows, maybe this wine would be better with a piece of red meat instead of acting as a chaser with the IPAs I had. I just wasn’t happy to be drinking it. I have had much better red blends.
The label is extremely unassuming. It is so bland and boring. In the past, a poor labeling effort was redeemed by a price tag that stood out and was too good to pass up. This isn’t the case. I would skip over this wine altogether if it wasn’t for the hand-written description that accompanied the pricing label. The wine’s name “Epicuro” is pretty neat, and the polo player at the top is cool. Other than that, it is a pretty low effort wine label in my opinion.
I am passing on this wine and will not be buying it again. There is just too much talent out there in the red blend world to be wasting even $6 on this bottle. Hopefully the next review will bring us something better..