Maker: Big Red Productions, Rutherford, California
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork
Our Rating: 9 out of 10
We’re definitely suckers for a catchy wine label, so it’s no surprise that The Big Red Monster ended up into our shopping cart. This non-vintage wine has a movie motif, with a label that looks like a 1950s film poster. The edges of the label even feature faux chipping to enhance the vintage look. Various puns in the wording (for example, it’s from Big Red Productions, not Vineyards) further enhance the movie theme. The wine is far from monstrous, though. It’s a pleasant, if uncomplicated, red table wine with a relatively high alcohol content. Its aroma is mild and fruity, with some spice mixed in. The label recommends that the wine be allowed to breathe for 30 minutes before drinking. We had to sneak a taste after opening the bottle, but we agree that The Big Red Monster needs some air to achieve its potential. It’s flavor is fruit forward, with plenty of black cherry and plum and well-structured tannins. This wine falls into the “crowd pleaser” category in our opinion… it’s very accessible to those who aren’t wine snobs, but even more selective wine drinkers won’t completely reject it. Despite it’s higher alcohol content, The Big Red Monster goes down easily, and if you are serving it to guests you’ll find yourself refilling their glasses often.
We couldn’t find varietal information on the label, but the L.A. Daily News says this wine is a “syrah, zinfandel and petite sirah blend.” The Detroit news called The Big Red Monster “screamingly good.” And Playboy named it their “Drink of the Week“, noting, “it’s nice when something tastes as good as it looks. In this case, the big red combines syrah, zinfandel and petite sirah into one non-vintage blend, making for one big, meaty red with black currant flavors and hints of cherry. It is a full-bodied, slightly spicy wine better suited for beef or lamb than popcorn or Junior Mints.”
Overall, this a fun, uncomplicated wine – serve it for casual entertaining, and it will certainly attract attention and spark conversation.