17 December 2010

The Naked Grape

"There are eight million stories in the Naked City; this has been one of them."
The Naked City (1948).

"With my naked eye / I saw all the falling rain / coming down on me"
"Naked Eye" by Luscious Jackson

"Jane, since I've met you, I've noticed things that I never knew were there before... birds singing, dew glistening on a newly formed leaf, stoplights."
The late, great Leslie Nielsen in The Naked Gun (1988).

Use of the term "naked" in advertising is always a bit odd, as it rarely refers to what we in the South might call "nekkid". Rather, it's usually about openness or honesty. Here The Naked Grape
is the name of a line of Gallo wines that also includes a Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in addition to the two listed below. These are fairly basic table wines that are priced under $10 and appear to be aimed at luncheons, wedding receptions, and similar events.

NV The Naked Grape Pinot Noir
Proprietary blend of Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Grenache, and Alicante Bouschet. (This might be the oddest Pinot blend I've ever encountered)
$9, 13% abv.

Strawberry and raw beef, touch of brambles. Light and smooth with no discernible tannins. The finish is so short that you can forget you've taken a sip, but there's a little aftertaste of black tea that shows up.

NV The Naked Grape Pinot Grigio
Proprietary blend of Pinot Grigio, Gew├╝rztraminer, Viognier, and Riesling.
$9, 12.5% abv.

Lemon and tarragon, citrus and tangy with a short finish. Ideally suited towards light seafood, pasta, and salad courses.

Note: These wines were received as samples.


acorn said...

I must admit that I am not typically a "bargain" wine drinker. I usually indulge in substantially more expensive wines than this, although recently my wife and I have been experimenting with less expensive wines in the $10-$20 range. We have found quite a few in that price range that we enjoy. That was not the case with The Naked Grape Cabernet.

I had the misfortune of tasting this wine at a work function this afternoon. It reminds me of years ago, before I knew what good wine tasted like, when I thought that I didn't like wine. I went from disliking it, but finding it drinkable, to absolutely hating it and pouring the rest of glass down the drain in the course of drinking my first glass. If all wine tasted like this, I definitely go back to drinking cheap beer. Frankly, I think Gallo and their winemaker should be ashamed!

Anonymous said...

Dear Acorn,

I can understand that The Naked Grape Cabernet was not your cup of tea. But to say that both the Gallo Winery and The Naked Grape's winemaker should be ashamed is a little too dramatic, don't you think? Just because YOU didn't enjoy 1 varietal out of the several that The Naked Grape offers doesn't mean that there aren't millions of people who DO enjoy that wine. Wine preference is subjective. That's what makes the wine industry so amazing! If we all liked only the same wines, our palates would be very bored. I happen to love the Cabernet. But I also take it for what it is - a $7 bottle of wine that is geared towards the everyday drinking. It has little oak, hence the naked, and happens to be a certified sustainable wine. So if Gallo is to be ashamed of an Eco-friendly wine, then I am disappointed in your close-minded ness.

Lover of wine of ALL prices

Anonymous said...

I'm a basic wine drinker and I like The Naked Grape's Malbec. Friends introduced me to Malbec and I like the flavor. I don't know which label to buy when shopping so I tried The Naked Grape once when i was in a hurry. I'm not a connoisseur so I can't say anything more than I like it. I did have several friends try it and they liked it too. We also recently tried and liked their Cabernet. There are lots of occasions where I want to grab a bottle of inexpensive wine and now I'll grab wines from The Naked Grape.

Anonymous said...

I tried the naked grape cab and it literally tasted like grape juice...wow it was bad, we dumped it down the drain. The pinot noir was slightly better, tasted like half wine and half water though...

Anonymous said...

As someone in the liquor industry, I will not say the wine sucks, but I will say it definately under-delivers. Since it's debut, I've had Gallo reps doing back flips in my store to get it to sell. I don't see loyal brand followers like I do with Gallo's mega-brand, Barefoot.

What I will do is knock Gallo for being greedy, and think they can make lightning strike twice by using Barefoot's formula for success. Barefoot does not advertise, yet maintains high demand in my store. Naked Grape also doesn't advertise (as far as I can tell), but has no demand in my store. At first everything about this brand mimicked Barefoot, and from all the sales pitches I've heard, the brand seems to be struggling to find it's own identity.

I'd personally discontinue it in my stores (I don't need a mediocre brand with little demand on my shelves. I need stuff at that price point that can sell without me pushing it.

Anonymous said...

I like the Cab. It's my "Tuesday" wine. Locally it sells for $4.99 bottle. I personally like cabs that are fruit forward so it suits me. I bought a case a year ago when there was a promotion and it got somewhat better with age. Just finished my last bottle that was laid down for a year and it was delicious.

Unknown said...

I'm drinking the cab right now and regret not buying an expensive bottle. Its not dry at all like a cab should be, its like drinking a dark pinot noir, when I should be tasting accents of the dark noted fruits I'm left with a smooth single flavored grape. Very disappointed, though I've had wors .