Friday, August 13, 2010

Wine of the Week - Well Red 2009 California Red

Almost every single bottle of wine you're ever going to see has these two words on the bottle: Contains Sulfites. So when I encountered a bottle at Trader Joe's with a label reading "Organic, Sulfite Free, Vegan Friendly," I had to see what that would be like.

"So, what are sulfites, anyway?"

The quick answer is that they're a preservative used in many foods to extend shelf life. In wines, they're used to exercise greater control over fermentation. Generally harmless, they can cause mild allergic reactions in some people. (Some wine drinkers blame sulfites for their headaches, but there's never been a proven link. Come on, people... it may not be a pounding headache, but it's still a hangover.)

Now onto the wine itself...


In the glass, it appears deep midnight purple. Strangely, it lacks the reflective sheen that just about every wine has, which gives it kind of a chintzy appearance.

Didn't get much out of the nose, except for hints of tomato that hit me high in the sinuses.

Up front, this wine was aggressively acidic and tart, not unlike Willy Wonka candy. This gives way to a surprisingly pleasant, breathable aftertaste which I genuinely enjoyed. But given the harshness of the initial taste, I can't recommend this one.

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