Big Red Monster definitely has some bite
Most of my wine writing focuses on where something is grown, who made it, the legacy and history of the winery, and the regional style the wine shows. Lately, a number of what I call “ghost wines” has emerged where none of that means anything. Basically, somebody goes out and finds some grapes, contracts with a winery to make it, hires a winemaker to do it and then slaps a label on it. Such is case with the 2010 Big Red Monster, a California red that comes in a big dark bottle.
This Big Red Monster is very tasty, with no indication of grape types or provenance to be found anywhere. I guess the grapes to be zinfandel, petite sirah, syrah and maybe some others. But what comes off is a wine with aromas of red cherries (almost Jolly Rancher cherry), damson plum, mulled blackberries and dark chocolate. The mouth is rich with fruit all around that helps mask the 14.4 percent alcohol. It is really fleshy, broad and ample, and able to stand up to assertive flavors found in chili, ribs, red-sauced pasta dishes and steak.
Contact 55 Degrees, the state’s wholesaler for this wine, if you can’t find it at your favorite store.
Roger Gentile is the owner of Gentile’s, the Wine Sellers – www.gentiles.com – and the author of two books on wine.