Cheap Wine Friday: A week of Snobbery

June 29, 2012 | Posted By: Troy Redington | Categorized in: Food & Dining Out
Last week was different. We barely found the time to even perform our wine sampling. The day was hot and busy - and apparently, everyone was in the mood to be a wine snob. We had a record number of people in my office, and we opened 3 bottles. The 3rd, a mead, being the clear and obvious winner.

Simply Naked: Undressed Red

This was first bottle we opened. We had previously had a Simply Naked Unoaked Merlot that was fantastic, so we had high expectations for this one. The crew jumped right in on the negativity, before the wine even had a chance to open up. Everyone in the room was absolutely hating on this wine. My first thought was, 'wow, this wine is REALLY warm'

An early indicator of a bad sampling - my office was a moist 85 degrees and the wine had been sitting on my desk sunbathing in the glow of my two 30" monitors all day long.

I think the wine tasted fine. The warmth certainly had an effect, but overall it had a pretty good flavor. It wasn't phenomenal, but certainly wasn't terrible. But "haters gonna hate."

Joe: This is hard to drink! It's dry and kind of 'sock-y'
Bryan: It's tart. Kinda mellow and fruity.
Heather: It has a skunky aftertaste
Laura: It tingles on my tongue and it has some bitterness to it. MEH
Joe: I could tolerate this if I had a steak to eat with it.
Mike: I'm a bit skeptical of wines simply described as "red," and this wine shows why. The first impression isn't terrible, but it has a strong, unpleasing aftertaste. Thumbs down.
Melissa: Wasn't excited about it but it wasn't horrible. I would drink a glass if offered and not be unhappy to drink it, but probably wouldn't buy it for myself.
Bryan: Agree with Mike. I liked the wine (as stated above), until the after taste hit. Maybe due to serving it @ like 90 degrees?
Ann: I'm a huge red wine fan. This wasn't terrible, but I probably wouldn't seek it out in the store. aside from the room temp, it tasted almost like grape juice.

I'm going to buy another bottle of this and re-label it. I'll serve it to the crew again at the proper temperature and see if their opinions change.

Alice White - Riesling

It's possible that drinking a cheap riesling after a red wine isn't a good move. The haters continue on this one; however, this one deserves it.

I like moscatos and rieslings. I'm easy to please. This wine was terrible. It lacked flavor and substance and it smelled like something you'd use to clean your floors with. That said. I still drank it :)

Joe: It's watery
Heather: It smells and tastes like nail polish remover!!
Melissa S: I felt was kind of harsh in the back of my throat. I'm not sure how to pinpoint in, but I didn't care for it much.
Laura: Blahhhhhhhhhhh
Heather: **Spits wine out into my garbage can** (Thanks for that)
Mike: I had a bit of a flashback to college with this wine. The alcohol by volume wasn't high, but the flavors were so weak that it was the only taste that came through. I can't recommend this wine.
Melissa: This was a bit too cheap I think, not the sweet end of the riesling spectrum. Not a lot of personality. Again not horrible, wouldn't refuse it if it was served but wouldn't choose this one at the store.
Bryan: It tasted like a $4 bottle of wine. Smelled bad, and had very little taste. Avoid at all costs!
Ann:I wasn't a fan either. it had a strong alcohol smell to it (almost like rubbing alcohol). It reminded me of college as well..

Oliver - Camelot Mead

I'm glad we saved this for last. I don't really know if this is considered a wine or not - but after that crappy riesling no one really cared. It was a pain in the butt to open, but the bottle is really pretty. At this point, there's 10 people in my office and it feels like a sauna. Fortunately everyone kept their clothes on.

This bottle went fast, yet the reviews were slightly mixed. To me, it was totally drinkable. Heck it was chuggable. It had no bite. It was cold, sweet, and smooth. The aftertaste and smell were very pleasant.

our boss: *peaking his head in the door* It's 100 degrees in here, are you guys crazy?
everyone, in unison: It tastes like honey
Carmelina: It tastes like i'm eating potpourri
Troy: I'm not sure what kind of potpourri you've eaten, but this doesn't taste like ANY of the potpourri I've eaten.
Mike: If you're a sweet wine lover, you'll like this wine. It's a bit too sweet for my tastes, but I agree with the group's general consensus that it tastes like honey.
Heather: Smells like honey, tastes like honey, must be honey mead. Very very sweet but flavorful.
Melissa:Very sweet, a bit of a thicker consistency - I liked this one a lot. Hands down favorite of the day. Bottle was pretty, too.
Linda: That was my first thought Melissa - pretty bottle! wasn't there for the taste tho.
Bryan: Very sweet but is easy to drink.
Melissa S: I could see myself purchasing it again. Not sure if it has something to do with the correlation between "Melissa" meaning honey bee in Greek and the wine being made from honey. ;) This wine was pretty sweet which may be why I enjoyed it so much.
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