***I received this wine as a sample***
Normally, I write posts about my workday and the wine I enjoy in the evening, but this July 4th was a big wine holiday for me. Hubby and I stayed in DC for the long weekend, and, in an effort to avoid the crowds that are drawn to DC for Independence Day, we tried not to stray too far from the condo. Plus, this year, the high temperatures would have squelched any thoughts of heading to the National Mall for the Capitol 4th Concert and fireworks. Instead, the holiday weekend was the perfect opportunity for me to open the box of 2008 Big House Red I had on my counter, as I could easily grab a glass on my way to the pool or before heading up to our roof deck, where we can watch not only the fireworks display over the Washington Monument, but also the fireworks in Maryland, which are visible along the horizon.
The 2008 Big House Red 3-liter Octavin Home Wine Bar (winery, snooth) was made with 23% Syrah, 14% Petite Sirah, 9% Grenache, 9% Montepuliciano, 6% Mourvedre, 6% Sangiovese, 6% Algianico, 6% Tannat, 5% Nero d’Avola, 4% Sargentino, 3% Touriga, 3% Barbera, and 3% Petit Verdot grapes. The wine was a medium-to-dark purple with flecks of ruby. On the nose, there was a blend of red and black berries, mainly blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries. There was also black pepper and something oily. In the mouth, there were tart blackberries and strawberries, cranberries, smoke, cedar, and a touch of vanilla, dark plums, pepper, and something metallic. The wine had low-to-medium tannins, medium-to-high acidity, and a medium body.
Is this worth a glass after work? Sure…you won’t be drinking anything out of the ordinary, but you’ll have a decent, reliable glass of wine. At $20 for 3-liters, or the equivalent of $5 a bottle, this wine has the quality/price ratio working in its favor. It isn’t a wine that stands out as something special, but it’s a surprisingly decent option. Admittedly, the 3-liter container is probably more than you need for after work, and it’s not a wine I would open and drink over a couple of weeks, as after several days, the wine developed a strong metallic taste; however, if you’re having a BBQ and are looking for a cost effective way to provide your guests with a good red wine, the 2008 Big House Red 3-Liter Octavin Home Wine Bar is worth considering.
I paired the wine with Hubby’s homemade Philly cheese steaks, which he makes with provolone cheese, and the wine definitely held its own with the big flavors of the sandwich. The key role for the wine, though, was played when I brought it with me to watch the fireworks, and there is no question that was a perfect pairing—beautiful fireworks, friends from our building, my Hubby, and a good California red.
Hope everyone had good Fourth!!