Double Dog Dare Merlot

Price: $3.33
Maker: Double Dog Dare Cellars, Ripon, California
Varietal: Merlot
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork
Alcohol: 13%
Our Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Most wine drinkers might not be excited by a new $3 wine, but here at Box Wines we are always on the lookout for great wine values. Double Dog Dare Merlot (non-vintage) looked very promising – a $3.33 price tag, making it just about the least expensive bottle in the shop, and a marketing approach that ‘s a bit more clever than most of the low-end wines. The label shows a smiling canine leaping through a flaming hoop. The wine, unfortunately, was perhaps not bad for $3 but was not particularly good. The nose had licorice and spice elements. The flavor was dominated by the earthy plum notes that we associate with very low-end merlots and cabs, and there was a sharpness in the finish that breathing didn’t entirely cure.

Cute label, ultra-cheap price… it’s too bad that Double Dog Dare Merlot didn’t quite measure up on the palate. For about the same price, we like Two Buck Chuck Merlot a bit more – it had better fruit and was not quite as harsh. Overall, we’d recommend stepping up a few bucks per bottle and getting a better Australian or California Merlot. A couple that come to mind are Bohemian Highway Merlot at about $6, Barefoot Merlot for $5, or the oaky Forest Glen Merlot that retails for about $9 but can periodically be found in the $5 range. If you do try Double Dog Dare Merlot, do give it plenty of air – we did notice improved balance and a slightly smoother finish after an hour or more of breathing.

15 thoughts on “Double Dog Dare Merlot

  1. Lolly Denn

    My friends and I love the Double Dog Dare Merlot.
    But we hae trouble finding it in Minnesota dn Wisconsin. Can you tell us of some retailers around the Twin Cities that carry your wines?
    Thank you

    Reply
  2. Naomi

    Need to know where we can purchase Double Dog Dare Merlot in southern California – Inland Empire (Redlands, San Bernardino, Riverside). We have only been able to find in North Dakota.

    Reply
  3. Natchamp

    Every once in a while I take a chance on a lower priced bottle of wine. I was intregued by the title of this wine. However, the title and the label design is the only thing going for this wine. I’m very glad that I only spent $4.00 for this wine. But then even that was a waste. While it hadn’t turned, I’m not sure there would be any difference. It was harsh, had little aroma and miserable aftertoons. Please don’t waste even $2.00 on this wine. Splurge and buy a Lindeman’s or Barefoot. A far better investment for only a few dollars more

    Reply
  4. Keven

    This is for the Boonsfarm market & is actually wine. No one who really appreciates wine should buy it, but for the ecomically challenged folks double dog dare brands are a signifant upgrade from similar priced competitors.

    Unward and upward for these guys!

    Reply
  5. thomas

    For what it is worth, I would not purchase a bottle of the merlot again. Compared to Crane Lake, this product is particularly lacking in overall quality.

    Reply
  6. Darren

    Hey, it’s not great, but it’s also only $3. This is my recession wine of choice for a daily glass (or two). There is a bottle shop in Fargo ND that has a pyramid of these by the checkout and folks pick it up by the case, not bad stuff really, and perfect for when the in-laws visit.

    Reply
  7. Chris

    It’s alright, I like it just sitting watching TV, on the computer & not trying to impress anyone. I buy it at Bottle Buys on Long Island. Trying to save a few bucks for what I drink around the house myself and with close family (who also like it). It is what it is. I’m not looking to spend $20 on a bottle of wine, & if I want something a bit better, I buy Yellow Tail, Blackstone, Sutter, or one of the many other brands. Then of course there’s all the local Long Island Vineyards too.

    Reply
  8. Chris

    I guess it’s just a matter of each person’s taste, because I prefer this over Barefoot & a few others. For $3, give it a try. Just a matter of taste, no one person is the same.

    Reply
  9. vodkaniac

    I much prefer this over Barefoot as well. Barefoot becomes cloyingly sweet after the first few sips. DD strikes a nice balance. I find it quite smooth. When compared side by side with the Barefoot, the color of the DD is makedly paler, and I prefer the deep bloom of the Barefoot. But, in the end, taste wins out.

    Reply
  10. Mike

    DDD is actually one of my favorite merlots. I guess I lack the proper sophistication, and am surprised by the poor reactions to this wine.

    Oh well… more for me then! :-)

    Reply
  11. Jim Umhofer

    For $3.99 this is a good wine. Definitely not the best, but what do you expect for $4? if decanted you could probably fool your snooty friends.

    Reply
  12. Faulder

    So, lotsa comments.

    I love reading the connoisseurs’ comments, because they are so irrelevant to me. I’ve been sipping wine for decades, maybe longer than some of them have been alive. I am less interested in the “nose” or the “finish” or the “overtones.” Too bad we can’t do double-blind, placebo controlled tests of these “terms,” to say nothing of their taste buds.

    I am interested, however, in whether the product works for me, is reasonably pleasing, and leaves me money for the kids’ medical expenses. DDD Merlot is a winner balancing those three criteria. I’m going to try it as a base substitute for gluhwein, tonight, to see if it holds up as well as I suspect it will. And, yep, I’ll use a microwave, not a stove, with a stick of cinnamon and a few whole cloves.

    Happy sipping!

    Reply
  13. Jack Conway

    I’ll be at Cape Ger, Mo. next week. Where is the closest store? I’d also would to suggest that this would be a great product for Aldi’s.

    Reply
  14. Bonnie

    Ok I LOVE A BARGAIN AND hATE paying $9.00 a glass out for some basic wines.
    Double Dog Merlot was a let down. No bold taste. I am really sorry but I would rather drink Traders Joes…anything.

    Reply

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