California · currant · Merlot · oak · plum · under $10

2011 Oak Leaf Merlot

This is a cheap dry wine.  My husband bought it from Wal-Mart of all places and he paid $2.97 for it!  It seems a bit odd to me that a wine from a vineyard that’s won 40 awards since 2008 would be on sale at Wal-Mart for less than $3.  These are the awards that this particular wine has won:


“SILVER” 2011 Florida State Fair International Wine Competition 

“SILVER” 2010 California State Fair 

“BEST BUY” 2009 Beverage Testing Institute
Let’s just say you definitely get your monies worth.  It’s not a bad wine by any means but I wouldn’t pay more than $6 at full price.  I really love the packaging of wines (I know that’s silly) but it’s often what draws me to the wine.  While I didn’t pick this one out I do like the changing seasons as depicted by the oak tree on the bottle.  

Their website says to pair this wine (with it’s hints of plum and black current) with steamed mussels and fresh tomato sauce over linguine.  We ended up pairing this wine with pizza.  I know SUPER classy but it tasted good:)  At least we got the “fresh tomato sauce” in there!  I may buy this wine again solely based on the price but I’ll admit I’ve had better boxed wine.  Moving on to the next one (after we finish off this bottle of course!)

Give it a try if you want to but don’t expect to be blown away by the taste. 

bad wine · berry · Cabernet Sauvignon · plum · red wine · under $10

2005 Papio Cabernet Sauvignon

Boasting luscious plum and ripe berry flavors this wine does not hold up to its label.  It’s almost as if this after taste happens at the beginning; BEFORE I even taste the wine.  My sense of smell picks up the rancid bite and I make a face even before I try the wine.  It’s terrible at the beginning and then mellows off.  I can’t pick up on any of the flavors becuase of acidity of the wine.  I wouldn’t go as far to say the wine had gone bad but with a 2005 date it could be on it’s last legs.  This wine was brought to a dinner party and the person who brought it forgot to take of the DISCOUNT sticker on the wine (it cost $5).  After researching more recent years 2008 and 2009 it appears they are all priced around $5.  I had to to cut the wine with some Ginger Ale.  The sweetness from the Ginger Ale made the wine tolerable enough to drink (hate wasting it).  I do think the rest of the bottle will need to down the drain. Maybe I’ll pick up a “newer” bottle of Papio some time in the future but I’m going to need awhile to get over this experience.