The windy and rainy weather San Diego had this weekend put me in the mood for a big pot of chili, and a glass of red wine. Fulfilling both cravings posed a bit of a challenge, as my chili tends to be a little more on the hotter side than normal and this can be bad news for good red wine.
Knowing that less expensive reds you find in the grocery store tend to be younger, and fruiter, (exactly what my chili needs) I decided to head to the store and make a fairly random pick. I set two criteria for this adventure: pick a red under $10, and find one to test Jeff’s theory ~ the cheesier the wine name and more novelty the label, the less likely something good will come out of the bottle.
After cruising the aisles, checking out basic red table wine, zinfandels, and syrah, I walked out with a bottle of Big House – The Slammer Syrah for $5.50. Under $10 – check, cheesy name and novelty label – check! As soon as I unscrewed the top, I knew it would be a match. Nice elements of blackberry and black currant instantly hit the nose. Those same fruits were found at first sip, followed by ripe and smooth tannins. Is this a wine I’d put at the top of my list of all Syrahs, no (but tasty for the price point). But, I would definitely buy it again to enjoy with a Roundtable King Arthur Supreme pizza, or have in the house as a “third bottle”.
Big House produces other catchy wines you may be familiar with ~ Cardinal Zin, The Usual Suspect (Cab Sav), Unchained (Chardonnay), The Birdman (Pinot Grigio), and their table wines Big House Red and White. The Big House winery is located in Soledad, Monterey County very near the Soledad State Correctional Facility, which explains the theme of their wines. Check out their website, which carries on the theme, to locate these wines near you.
The Slammer definitely opened my mind to trying other wines with cheesy names and novelty labels. Do you have a favorite that fits the bill? Share the name, and I will give it a try!