A Spooktacular Red Blend from Costco

Fast facts:

  • 2016 Chronic Cellars Purple Paradise (Red Blend)  Paso Robles  $10.99 (@Costco; California)


This wine tasted nothing like I expected, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it…


I have to admit that it was the Halloween/Dia de los Muertos vibe of the label that first caught my eye. After all, at our house on October 31, we hand out candy to the kids and glasses of vino to the parents that accompany them!

But I was also attracted to the promise of the wine itself. Paso Robles is a lesser known California appellation that is capable of turning out really high quality wine, especially red wines.  So the promise of something “purple” got my mouth watering like the promise of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or a Almond Joy bar, my two personal Halloween candy favorites.

A quick read of the back label seemed to support that this wine was going to offer two tickets to Purple Paradise since Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah – which all tend to yield inky wines – make up 94% of the blend. But it didn’t deliver….

The Costco register receipt declared this wine to be a Zinfandel.  But technically it isn’t.

In the glass this Zinfandel-dominated blend (to be labeled a Zinfandel 85% of the blend has to be that variety) was less opaque than I expected. If I sound disappointed, I may have been, until I tasted it.  The wine tumbles out on the tongue with flavors of dark cherries, fresh, ripe strawberries, and a double dip of chocolate and vanilla.  Medium bodied, it would pair well a wide range of foods, but it really made me crave Italian fare since it reminded me of some of the wines we have tasted in Tuscany.

This wine would cost you $14.99 at the winery, but you can save yourself some travel and $48 a case by stocking up on it at Costco.



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