Menage a Trois California Red

 No, it doesn’t come in three packs. OK, there, I’ve included the mandatory double entendre regarding this wine’s name. I’ll resist further temptation to act like Beavis and/or Butthead and snicker about more “three” puns. The Menage a Trois name is a clever expression of the fact that three grape varietals are combined within. Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are artfully blended to produce this very fruity, soft, smooth California Red Wine.

Menage a Trois, in terms of family tree, is sort of a second cousin to Sutter Home. Menage is produced by Sonoma County’s Folie a Deux. Folie a Deux is, in turn, owned by Trinchero Family Estates. The Trinchero family wine business began as Sutter Home, which sprang phenomenally successful White Zinfandel on the world in the 70′s. Today the Trinchero portfolio of labels numbers about two dozen, from Argentina, Australia, and California.

Blends are hot! If there is such a thing as a fad in the wine world, that’s no-doubt Moscatos, which continue to explode in popularity. But there is also a lot of buzz in this segment-blends. There are the wines labeled “Meritage” (rhymes with “heritage”), which mimic Bordeaux style wines-blends of very specific grape varieties that would be found in Bordeaux-Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, mainly. There are also hip new “creations” that break out of the restrictive rules of the Meritage label, ignore Bordeaux traditions and allow the winemakers to show off their skills with California’s Zinfandels, Syrahs, and Petite Sirahs as well.

Cupcake’s red hot “Red Velvet”, Apothic Red, Cline Cellars’ Cashmere, Red Truck California Red (also from Cline), Shannon Ridge’s Wrangler Red, Rex Goliath Free Range Red, Middle Sister Rebel Red and others increasingly crowd the red blend section of store shelves. Many of these folks do a white blend as well, including Menage a Trois’ California White.

Menage a Trois barely qualifies as a Cheapskate selection. It was on sale around the holidays for $8.99, which makes the cut, but is regularly $11.99 in The Store where we shop. So it can’t be on our regular rotation list, due to the self-imposed rules of Cheapskate-ism. But if, and when, opportunity strikes again, we will sign right up.

If you’re bored with the same old grape time after time, check out the blends. There’s a lot of new, exciting flavors, textures and aromas to be found in that section. Menage a Trois California Red, for example. Proof that, at least in a wine bottle, three definitely is not a crowd.

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One Response to Menage a Trois California Red

  1. I like the White Zinfandel’s when i have wine, sometimes a medium sweet.

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