leftieIn many parts of the country wines made from fruit other than grapes are an important product, especially in northern states that have trouble getting grapes to survive the cold winters. Blackberry wine is one of the better fruit wines. But I’m not sure we need grape wine blended with blackberries.

The geniuses at E.J.Gallo have a new product in which raspberry juice is added during the secondary, malolactic fermentation. I have heard of this technique when making beer and mead but not wine. So in the interests of science I’ll give this a try.

So what does it taste like? Blackberries. You get a strong whiff of blackberry on the nose with some cherry character as well. The palate also is dominated by blackberry but you can detect some chocolate and coffee notes, with discernable sweetness, between off-dry and semi-sweet. The round, full mouthfeel is soft and the short finish shows a bit of drying tannin but overall it lacks acidity.

It’s being sold as something innovative and eccentric, but it’s really just another option for the soft, smooth, and sweet crowd. If you’re tired of coke but can’t quite get your arms around grown-up wine this will do– think of it as gateway juice.  It isn’t awful but it doesn’t taste like grape wine and lacks the punch and zesty acidity of the best blackberry wines.

Kim Petras “A Heart to Break” has enough fluff and bubblegum to resonate with this wine.

Score: 80

Price: $10 (purchase here)

Alc: 13%