Charles Shaw White Zinfandel 2012 – 80 Pts.

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There’s no need for pride to play into the equation — I’ve had the great fortune to try some truly wonderful wines in my short life. Earlier today, I shared a 1995 Smith Madrone Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2000 vintage of the same wine with some folk I met at a local wine shop, and both were utterly amazing. Those are complex, sophisticated works of art, yes, and they are worthy of the hype. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy something simple and cheap as well, does it?

I had chilled this for a cocktail party last night but everyone kept asking me to make Moscow Mules, Blackberry Mohitos, and other mixed drinks, which I was happy to do, and in the end nobody drank the wine. It’s damn near 100 degrees out here in Omaha right now; I could have passed out on my jog tonight. So when Sonja and I decided to spend our hot, sweaty evening on the front porch, well, what more could I ask for than a cloyingly sweet white zinfandel that cost less than a Subway sandwich?

The 2012 Charles Shaw White Zinfandel is… well… it’s cheap white zin. You had to see that coming, right? Dark pink coloration and sweet from nose to finish, it’s fruity, light, and boasts just a hint of backbone, the product of the Zinfandel. Mass-produced? Certainly. Cheap? Absolutely. Yet at $3 a bottle, it’s hard to go too far wrong. This stuff is drinkable, and when it’s ridiculously hot outside, a sweet, cheap blush hits the spot just right.

Newer vintages may fare better; don’t “age” this as long as I did. Later, I ended up turning half the bottle into a cocktail with club soda, muddled blackberry and lime, vanilla extract, and rum. Not bad.  The wine itself is very drinkable for what it is. 80 points on my scale, and recommended to those who want cheap blush wine on a hot summer day.

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