- 2018 Simi Winery, Red Wine Blend, Sonoma County, California ($9.99* @Costco in California – Item #1487627)
- 2018 Hook or Crook Cellars, Field Blend, Lodi, California ($5.79* @Costco in California – Item #1529759)
We love the in-store discounts that Costco is known for. Here are two wines that would be good values before the $5 discounts applied. After the discounts are applied they are screaming good values. 92 points for under $6? Can you say sky high QPR?
But as you know, these Costco “instant” discounts can evaporate as quickly as they appear, so be nimble, be quick. Because these discounts aren’t meant to stick. (See what we did there?)
The other thing we like about these red blends is that they are a bit lighter than say a Cabernet Sauvignon, so they are approachable on warm summer evenings. That they both would pair with all things grilled (even grilled cheese!) is a bonus.
About the Simi Winery and its “Rebel Cask”:
The winery describes this as a Prohibition-style wine. I am not sure what that is, because this bottle is – by all appearances – 100% legal. I am confident there were no bootleggers or “rum-runners” involved with the making of this wine. But I applaud them for clever and creative marketing. The label is striking, and the glass bottle is hefty. You could build your biceps with this puppy. It feels like a $25 bottle of wine, which is what you will pay if you buy it at wine.com.
The wine pours an electric purple with clear edges. It first draws you in with aromas of dark bramble, red cherry, anise, orange peels, tobacco and baking spice. (Me thinks the spice notes come from the rye whiskey barrels used to age this red blend.) It delivers concentrated flavors of blackberry, dark chocolate, and tart cherry. Warm toasty notes and sturdy tannins lead to a lingering finish. The wine is still young and the tannins firm, so if you don’t plan to age it, consider decanting it or letting it breathe a bit after pulling the cork.
Since 1904, Simi Winery has never been without a female winemaker on its staff. It began with Isabelle Simi who ran the winery for sixty-six years (1904-1970), to the first and second female graduates of the esteemed Viticulture and Enology program at UC Davis (MaryAnn Graf and Zelma Long) and continues to this day with Director of Winemaking Susan Lueker. A scientist at heart, Susan fell in love with winemaking from her first enology class. In her words: “I loved the vineyard, the interaction with the people, nature and science”. Susan joined Simi in 2000, and today she carries on Isabelle’s legacy while creating wines with harmony and a true sense of place that promote the unique beauty and diversity of Sonoma County.
About the Hook or Crook Field Blend:
Located between the San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada Mountains lies Lodi Wine Country, one of California’s emerging wine destinations. Over the past decade fourth and fifth generation winegrowers dedicated to the soils and vines have brought creative winemaking and cutting-edge technology to the region.
One of the first winegrape varieties to be planted in the area during the California Gold Rush, Zinfandel holds a special place in Lodi’s history, and legacy. Lodi is the self-proclaimed Zinfandel Capital of the World, producing over 40% of California’s premium Zinfandel, with some plantings dating back to 1888.
And while this wine is not described as a Zinfandel, the taste profile suggests that it has no small amount of Zin in the mix. After all, it was made in Lodi. The fact that the winery chooses to describe this as a “field blend” is just more good marketing in my opinion. A field blend is a wine that is created by piling all of the fruit (regardless of variety) from a single vineyard into one big lot, a practice almost nonexistent in the modern California winemaking world.
Pours brick red with clear edges. Nose is a bit closed. In the mouth you get gobs of blueberry and blackberry fruit (suggests a big dollop of Zinfandel is in the blend, which makes sense for Lodi) along with vanilla with hints of tea leaves. Rustic and jammy but not heavy. Firm tannins. Again, this red blend would pair well with roasted or grilled meat and Mediteranean style meals.
Need More Wine Picks from Costco – or Trader Joe’s Even?
If your wine shopping excursions land you in Costco, prepare by grazing our most recent reviews of Costco wines here in our Lucky 13 list.
And if your shopping finds you at Trader Joe’s, you can find our Lucky 13 list of TJ’s wine here.