8/3/2012 10:54:00 AM Wine Review: Barefoot offers bang for your buck
Bennet Bodenstein Wine Columnist
Just in case you haven’t noticed, it’s summer, and with the season comes its own set of wine problems.
The summer ushers in lighter foods and outdoor parties, and the thought of sipping a cabernet sauvignon, merlot or, for that matter, any of the other full-bodied wines outside, during the heat of the day, turns off most wine lovers.
The order of the day is definitely lighter wine, and more specifically, the lighter sparkling wines.
The Barefoot name was derived from the joy of running barefoot on a beach, so their wines were designed just for that - the summer and the outdoors. This year’s selection of the lighter Barefoot wines project just that image and then some.
Barefoot sparkling wines are best served chilled at 36-40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do not be dissuaded by their affordable price tag; these are excellent wines of more than acceptable quality.
Barefoot Cellars Bubbly Pinot Grigio ($9.99) The pinot grigio grape is practically tailor-made for sparkling wines.
The grape's naturally high fruit acid makes processing it into a sparkling wine easier than most of the other grape varieties.
Normally, grapes for sparkling wines are picked early to take advantage of the higher acid in young grapes. There is no need for any of that with the pinot grigio.
The aroma and flavor of this wine feature bright golden apples and citrus, which continue on to the finish.
We have always enjoyed pinot grigio wines, and this sparkling incarnation definitely caught our attention. We believe that more of it will be seen around our house.
Barefoot Cellars Bubbly Moscato Spumanti ($9.99) Among the most popular wine styles in the U.S. today are wines made from the moscato grape, the most famous of which is the Italian Asti Spumante.
We found the California version of this wine, as made by Barefoot, to be a fruit-loaded extravaganza.
This wine beams with the aroma of orange blossoms and honey, while the flavor is sweet, accenting honey and raisins - all of which is enhanced by the carbonation.
This is truly a wine that can brighten up any outdoor event, even if it is as simple as a barbecue.
Barefoot Cellars Bubbly Pink Moscato ($9.99) Don’t tinker with perfection; at least that is what the old adage says. Unfortunately for the old adage, the Barefoot vintners paid it no heed and started messing around with the Bubbly Moscato Spumanti.
What resulted was another hit, the Barefoot Cellars Bubbly Pink Moscato.
The tinkering consisted of adding a bit of grenache to the already popular moscato.
Pardon our enthusiasm, but this wine is a knockout.
The wine retains the sweetness of a moscato while introducing new layers of flavors, none of which are subtle or benign. Cranberries, pomegranates and raspberries in abundance dance across the palate with the first sip and continue on to a very enjoyable fruit-filled finish.
If we sound like we really liked this wine, we did. It is not a wine for deep contemplation or elegant dinner parties. It is a wine to be enjoyed in great gulps with as many good friends that you can gather around. It is truly one of the best party wines that we have found to date.
Barefoot Cellars California Sweet Red ($6.99) While this wine is neither sparkling nor dry, it fits into the category of party wines.
This is a wine that strays away from the red wine mold; it’s sweet. This rarity among red wines displays the pronounced aroma of raspberries and plum, which go on to the flavor where it mingles with blueberry.
This is a chance to get all of the healthful benefits of a red wine for those who like their wines sweet.