Barefoot Zinfandel

barefoot zinfandelPrice: $6
Maker: Barefoot Cellars, Modesto, California
Variety: Zinfandel
Packaging: Bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Barefoot Cellars seems to be a big presence in supermarket wine centers these days, and we were surprised to find they had a Zin. Previously, we recall seeing only Merlot and Cab in the red category. We popped the cork on a bottle of Barefoot Zinfandel, and found it to be a perfectly acceptable wine and a great bargain for six bucks or so. Cheap zins are hard to find (compared to cheap merlots, cabs, and shirazes, for example), and some of the bargain zinfandels are barely recognizable – or drinkable. (For an example of the vagaries of low-end zins, check out the truly awful Gallo Cafe Zinfandel.)

We found the Barefoot Zinfandel offered an interesting aroma of spice tinged with vanilla and tobacco. The flavor is juicy, with powerful raspberry and cherry notes. In no way is this an overly sweet zin – its acidity balances the fruit and leads to a flavor that isn’t particularly complex but is pleasing enough. In short, there may be better twenty dollar Zins, but for a wine selling for closer to five dollars than ten, Barefoot Zinfandel is a great buy.

This wine was a double gold winner in the 2003 California Zinfandel Competition. Unfortunately, the Barefoot Zin isn’t marked with vintage, so comparisons may be difficult. Regardless, this wine is an excellent value. We checked out the Barefoot Wine website, and found that,

Jennifer Wall, Barefoot Winemaker, was hired in September of 1995. “Barefoot California wines are perfect as everyday dinner wines for wine connoisseurs of all levels of experience,” comments Wall. “The wines are affordable, varietally correct, soft and approachable and are immediately ready to drink off the shelf.”

8 thoughts on “Barefoot Zinfandel”

  1. I tried the barefoot zinfandel and absolutely loved it! But now I can’t seem to recall where I purchased it, and very few places in the Syracuse, NY area carry it. Where can I buy it in Central NY?

    Thanks so much,
    Maria B. Brothers

  2. Unlike the other reviewers, I find the strong vanilla and tobacco aromas to be discordant rather than pleasant. But since I like wine coolers, the problem is solved: half and half Barefoot Zin with sparkling mineral water. Perfect.

  3. Tastes great – priced right – cover the label and serve with dinner and you’ll think its much more costly than it is.

  4. without a doubt, my favourite “cheap” wine. like another poster said, if you decant this wine and serve, your guests will think they are drinking much more expensive wine than they really are.

  5. A few months ago my local sources for the Barefoot Zinfandel quit carrying it. They seem to have replaced it with a Barefoot Sweet Red which they claim is a “delicious red wine blend.” I haven’t been able to find out why this has happened. I really liked the Barefoot Zin and am very disappointed that I can no longer get it. Does anyone know what’s up with this?

    1. No idea, Janice. I’d be sorry to see Barefoot Zinfandel go away, it was probably the lowest cost (but somewhat tolerable) Zin on the market.

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