11/19/2009

Barefoot Wine Doesn't Suck

Posted by The Wine Whore |


Few words in the wine world elicit as much emotion as the word Barefoot. Does that make sense? Here's why...

I remember receiving a shipment of Barefoot wine earlier in the year. Not only did they send me a few bottles, they sent me an entire case! After that, they sent me another case. Considering the fact that these aren't $500 bottles of Lafite, this may not sound like a big deal, but then again, how many wineries take the time to send one bottle, let alone two cases?

I never imagined how much I would learn from these shipments. Not only did I learn about the winery, its history, and how their wines taste, but I also ended unintentionally discovering a lot about how other winos view this winery. Clearly Barefoot has many fans and followers... but I never realized how many people unwittingly classify them in the same category as their famed Gallo bastard brother (and my personal favorite): Boone's Farm.

Does Barefoot wine really suck?

As soon as I did my first post about Barefoot, the arrows starting flying in every direction. Some people love the stuff, others would rather see it go down the drain. Many people even criticized me for mentioning Barefoot wine on my site. Clearly, you'd have to be a wine idiot in order to taste, nonetheless review a bottle of this wine. (sarcasm)

I have to admit something. Over time, I let this grape version of groupthink change my perception. Maybe I have become a bit of a wine snob. Maybe I am no better than the people I often criticize. Maybe I let other people influence my palate without even realizing it. In any case, I am here to say that I have realized something important... something that proves I am anything BUT a wine snob. I am here to say today that I have realized why Barefoot wine doesn't suck!

Yeah, I said it. So what do you think about that?

Before you toss your wine at your monitor, unsubscribe to my mailing list, and delete me from your favorites, please allow me to explain....



Last weekend's wine tasting reminded me about something important: most people casually drink wine. They don't spend $100 on a bottle. They don't age their wine for decades (unless of course they forgot about a bottle in their fridge). And most importantly, they don't care about what other people think. Instead, they casually enjoy wine in every sense of the word.

I think that EVERYONE should casually enjoy wine this way. Sure, it's great if you have some rare jewel stored for that special occasion, or you just bought a bottle rated 98 points. What does it really matter in the end? Ultimately, the goal is always the same: drink the wine, enjoy the experience, and remember the moment. As long as you can do all three, you have a GREAT bottle of wine... at the very least, I would have a hard time saying it "sucks".

At the wine tasting, I noticed something funny. There was one bottle that everyone seemed to love. We all scored it high. Everyone agreed that it was something they could see themselves buying, opening, and enjoying regularly. Well, here's the funny part. Once the bottle's true identity was revealed, we were all shocked to see that it was in fact a bottle of Barefoot Pinot Grigio. Gasp! Could it be? It was disturbing to watch the reaction from the group unfold. Barefoot? How could a $5 bottle from Gallo be anything worth drinking? Well, before you knew what it was, you were totally digging it! You're busted! You LIKE Barefoot!

There's no wonder why the Barefoot wine review I posted months ago still receives the bulk of my traffic from Google searches. There are many good reasons why people should like Barefoot and the wines they produce. Barefoot is easily found practically ANYWHERE that sells wine, it is very inexpensive, the winery donates a great deal of time and money to charity, and they have a ton of loyal fans. What about the quality of their wine? Well here's something you may not realize. Their Pinot Grigio has won several awards. I bet you didn't know that!

To put my message into a corny and otherwise abused cliche: you should never judge a book by it's cover. You should also never jump off the Brooklyn Bridge just because your friends are doing it. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush... okay, maybe that last one doesn't apply here, but you get the point!

Cheers!



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16 comments:

Spazz said...

Both Miller Lite and Pabst Blue Ribbon have "won several awards". I'm just sayin'...

The Wine Whore said...

Yep, and look at how much market share Miller Lite has.

I'm just sayin'...

savage said...

Hey WW -

Thanks for giving Barefoot some props. My wife and I love the 1.5L Sauv Blanc in the summer time. And to be honest, the biggest surprise out of Barefoot is the Bubbly line. Its actually quite good, especially the Brut Cuvee and the Extra Dry.

-Kevin

The Wine Whore said...

Hello savage!

I almost forgot to mention those... you are absolutely right! Ever try their sparkling Pinot Grigio?

Cheers!

savage said...

Yeah, I like it better then the regular sparkling Chard, but not as much as the Cuvee or Extra Dry.

The issue here isn't about market share or prizes, its about approachable taste. Barefoot is approachable on the white wine side. I can't say I'm a big fan of the reds (although the Zin is passable), but that should come with time (just look at Red Truck).

The Wine Whore said...

Good call... I think you are right, the Cuvee or Extra Dry are their best sparklers.

Thank you for making another good point. It really is all about approachable taste. The whites being their strong point. I am NOT a fan of their reds.. just not quite up to par... their whites on the other hand aren't bad at all!

Who would you say is their biggest competitor in the white wine arena?

Cheers!

Rachele said...

Interesting! I've always been a fan and honestly think they are producing better wines than they started with. I may not take a bottle as a hostess gift this holiday season but wouldn't be insulted if someone brought one to me.

savage said...

Probably labels like Little Penguin, Yellowtail, Red, White, and Pink Trucks and Rosemount (my favorite of the group). I think beyond that, each subset has a competitor, with the reds going up against the Ravenswoods, Beringers, Charles Shaw, and Sycamore Valleys (the bottom shelves), and the whites not really having a label competitor, but rather individual "vs" pairings - Barefoot SB vs Monkey Bay SB, etc.
And nothing touches them at that price point for sparkling wine.

I'm sure I'm missing a ton, but these are the pervasive, similarly priced brands that I see near me...


-Kevin

The Wine Whore said...

Rachele, I have to admit, you were actually the inspiration behind this post! After your comment the other day, you got me thinking.... Am I really a wine snob? :)

Now I feel relieved!

Cheers!

Spazz said...

Randy, with your post above about market share you sound like me in college. Quantity over quality.

The Wine Whore said...

Savage- I think you got most of 'em. You know what's funny? All of those wines are everywhere, but for some reason I had a mental block trying to recall their names... is it possible that I am conscientiously blocking them out?

Cheers!

The Wine Whore said...

For anyone paying attention to my dialog with Spazz, the irony is that we both work only 100 feet from each other.... in fact he actually set my wife and I up on our first date!

He has also become quite a WINE SNOB! Aside from Rachele's influence on this post, he was also part of the reason why I wrote this...

Don't worry Spazz, I have a case of Miller Lite and a bottle of Barefoot with your name on it! Hey, one more thing! Weren't we drinking Miller Lite together about two weeks ago? :)

Cheers!

Rachele said...

I think it's interesting what happened at your wine tasting. I think people "label" inexpensive wines just by the fact that they are cheap (inexpensive). The fact that everyone loved the wine before they knew what it was should say it all. Why then is everyone so shocked to find out the brand. Wasn't it an under $10 tasting? I'm surprised you snobs weren't trying to figure out which was barefoot just so you could score it low;)(jk)
The lesson should be that we need to let the wine talk and NOT the label. If we all drank our wine from an unmarked bottle, what would we really choose as our favorite? I think if we pay $100 for a bottle we could easily convince ourselves that it was the best bottle we ever had. I like to find the treasures in inexpensive range. It's an experiment I can afford:)

The Wine Whore said...

Very true! The limit for the part was $16/bottle but that's not far off. I completely agree that the wine should do the talking, not the pricetag or the label.

Besides the name of the winery, do you think the region of the wine also influences people's view of the wine?

Cheers!

Kate said...

In short - great post!
And I love the mention of Little Penguin by someone (their cab and pinot noir are some of my fav. every day bottle!)

The Wine Whore said...

Thank you Kate! I just wanted to remind people that it's not all about expensive wine... it's about ENJOYING wine! :)

Cheers!

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