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I found this wine in my local Sainsbury's store whilst trying to decide between a white and a red for the evening's consumption , and to be totally honest I bought it mainly out of curiosity and for the lovely soft , slightly coral/pink colour .
I have bought Sutter Home wines before as they are inexpensive at around £5 for a 75cl bottle , and the quality is more than adequate for an evening's casual drinking in front of a good DVD or your favourite TV programme . Having said that , I hadn't ventured much into the White Zinfandel territory , preferring either a definite red or white to what I had considered " in between " option . But as I said , this particular day I was having another of my indecisive moments and decided to give it a try .
On opening the bottle the first thing I noticed was the very light aroma of blended Summer fruits , raspberry being predominant with its sharp sweetness , but on tasting the wine I found the blend to be more complex than I had first assumed . This is my impression only and everyone's palate will pick up on different flavours , but I first tasted the raspberry , quite strongly infused with strawberry . Despite this I found it not over sweet which is common with these lighter fruity wines , and there was also a hint of something less predictable and more exotic , possibly melon . The overall impression was a light wine , soft in the mouth and surprisingly full of flavour , that I feel would appeal to most tastes with the exception of those who prefer a very dry wine .
The colour in the glass is soft and very natural looking , and doesn't give the impression that it has been tampered with for the sake of visual enhancement as some of the inexpensive wines do . On looks alone I feel that it is an elegant and sophisticated alternative to your standard red or white , and taste wise it is adaptable and would be equally as appropriate consumed with any dish . Personally I like it most with a good Thai Green curry .
It isn't particularly high in the alcohol content at 9.5% , but this appeals to me personally as four people could easily share three to five bottles over the course of a meal without too much ill effect . I rate that as a plus point , as believe me I have hosted several dinner parties where some of my guests haven't made it to dessert with their ability to use cutlery intact . Maybe that just reflects the calibre of person I invite . I leave that to your judgement .
All in all , I would be happy to offer this wine at a meal with family or friends , but maybe not if I was out to impress . Then I would revert to my usual white with fish , red with meat and Muscat with dessert . In summary , a good , well priced and very acceptable quality , extremely drinkable and good looking .
In addition , I would like to mention that this is now available in an Alcohol removed version , also by Sutter Home , under the name of Fre . This would be a good alternative to offer a non drinker or nominated driver as the alcohol content is only 0.05 % . It looks very similar and is easily available in supermarkets . I bought the Zinfandel for my daughter as she has a heart condition which means she cannot drink standard alcoholic wines , and she often feels as if she is not fully joining in with social occasions because of this .
Unlike alcohol free wine , Alcohol removed is not just another term for the same product but is a real wine which has either been spun in a centrifuge or has had the alcohol evaporated out . What remains is a drink which retains a decent proportion of the original taste but virtually none of the stimulant . Handy to know if you have a similar problem or are expecting a guest who isn't drinking either for health reasons or taxi duties . I would even give this to older children on special occasions such as Christmas lunch . For adults this is a much more acceptable option than the usual Coke or fruit juice , and at £2.99 for a 75cl bottle is very well priced . It is available in the same varieties as the regular Sutter Home , namely White , White Zinfandel or Red . The flavour is , as described by my daughter " not too bad at all " , and from her that is almost a compliment as she is a Vodka drinker by preference . And after all , you've only got £2.99 to lose , so I would say it's definitely worth a try if any of the above conditions apply to you .
I know that this is not a hugely technical review , but as wine is such a personal thing I thought it better to give you my impressions of the product as a consumer rather than as a wine expert .
an excellent really helpful review! i can't get into wine but my guy might so will tell him about it! :) x
blonde_girl774 17.12.2005 15:26
An alcohol removed version, now no disrespect to people that don't drink but why bother buying wine that has no alcohol? Some people hey! Do love a nice glass of rose and £2.99 tends to be a students limit for wine! Sam
Mayclair 10.12.2005 20:08
Great review....You made this sound delcious....gina