Name: Little Black Dress
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Where from? Vin de Pays d’Oc, France
How much? Normal price $12.99 On sale price: $4.99 at Fry’s Grocer.
Corporate literature: “Aromas of cherry and clove with light floral notes. A light bodied wine with a lingering finish of strawberry jam and pomegranate.”
What on earth would possess me to buy a $5 wine you might ask. I’m not really sure myself actually. I was at the grocery store buying some ingredients for a spinach chicken salad and like always I end up cruising through the wine section. I guess I thought I would try something completely different. This wine fits that bill on multiple levels.
1. Terribly cheesy feminine label
2. Pinot Noir…I have been on a big bold kick lately
3. French. I have been on a California kick lately
4.Extremely cheap. I have been spending far too much money on wine lately
The last time I tried a $5 wine it was absolutely terrible. It smelled like Methylethylketone (trust me you never want to smell that stuff). So I wasnt too keen to try anything in the under $10 category ever again. But I did.
I was really really surprised. I opened the bottle poured a glass and gave it a big sniff. There was actually a nose! There was a faint hint of cherry and clove, very faint, but it was there. And no solvent smell.
I took a sip and I was surprised again, it was robust. The tannins were right there, not overly aggressive but right up front. More than I would have expected for a 12.5% alcohol Pinot Noir.
The finish was like watered down pomegranate juice. Like last summer when I was so broke I mixed all my fruit juices 50/50 with water. yea. good times.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised. Why? Because there was nothing that was actually BAD about this wine. I had very low expectations and they were exceeded. I did not expect there to be a nose, or if there was I expected lots of heat. On the palate I expected nothing and I expected a lingering industrial solvent finish. But it just wasn’t there. I could actually drink this wine and very well might drink it on a more regular basis, just as a sort of filler. A wine to drink in between the really great ones. I have been buying beer as a back up incase whatever wine I’m drinking is undrinkable. But now, for $5 I know I can drink this. The only hangup I have is the label. I am not going to be caught dead in public with a bottle of “Little Black Dress”. I will have to drink it in the privacy of my own home, alone, and then hide the evidence in the bottom of my blue box.
What say you? What is the cheapest yet still drinkable wine you’ve tried?