Maker: Schmitt Söhne, GMBH, Longuich, Germany
Packaging: 375 ml aluminum bottle, screw cap
Our Rating: 8.2 out of 10
Relax Cool Red 2005 stands out because of its packaging - it comes in a sturdy aluminum bottle that holds 375ml and is closed with a screw cap. Unlike, say, an aluminum soft drink can, the bottle is a much heavier gauge and, even empty, can't readily be crushed by hand. I was prepared to dislike the wine itself - it's a mere 12% alcohol, rather light for a red, and the labeling suggests serving it slightly chilled. Neither seemed like a good sign.
Thankfully, our expectations weren't realized. The nose of Relax Cool Red, suprisingly, was quite robust, with licorice, clove, and vanilla dominating weak berry notes. The wine itself is soft and slightly sweet, with strawberry and cherry leading the fruit charge. Its salvation from insipid sweetness is a slightly acidic finish with a hint of pepper.
While the wine may not please serious wine lovers, it might be good party fare. It's wine-like enough to be drinkable, but even non-wine drinkers may find it accessible. It comes in a regular glass 750ml bottle, too. The Relax line is also apparently packaged in boxes, too, though we've never seen one.