This was on sale for $5.99 at The Store, for a 750 ml bottle, so naturally my interest was piqued, even though I knew nothing at all about Forest Glen. I’m a little suspicious of unknown brands that are priced very attractively but have names that are just too darn idyllic sounding. There’s many of them. It’s like there was a meeting to name their brand and they tossed around words that would evoke pictures of serene California farmland or vineyard country. “OK, how ’bout Forest Stream? No. Stream Cliff Glen. No, that’s not it. Waterfall Forest. Waterfall Glen. Forest Glen. Yeah! Forest Glen ! That sounds Napa-ish enough!” And a brand is born.
This brand was born in the early nineties and is part of a conglomerate of labels owned by the Bronco Wine Company. Bronco is the owner of dozens and dozens of California wine labels. The company is owned by brothers Fred and Joe Franzia, and a cousin John Franzia. (get it? BROthers and a Cousin…BRO-N-CO…Bronco). Yes, those Franzias, like the wine-in-a-box. But, ironically, their company has nothing to do with the Franzia brand. That is owned by a different giant conglomerate. Whew, I’m so confused.
Well, regardless of who owns the joint, or whether there is actually either a forest or a glen involved, I bought two bottles of the Cabernet. There was also a white one nearby for the same money-Chardonnay, I think-but while I was nosing around The Store some girl bought all they had for her wedding. I snoozed and losed on the Chard, but successfully scored the Cabernet.
We opened it last night to have with American Idol. Actually wife and son were well into bottle one when I got home from work, so now there’s only about half remaining of bottle two-some of which is in a glass in front of me as I type.
This was unanimously liked by all family participants. It is very dark in the glass, smells wonderfully inviting, and tastes of cherry, a touch of spice, maybe a hint of vanilla. No bite, very smooth, slight acidity on the tongue, linger of fruit after a sip.
I don’t really know if this is a real winery, or just a factory that processes dump truck loads of grapes from anywhere they can buy them, but for our purposes, it doesn’t really matter. It is quite good, and that is the bottom line. Here’s a quote from one of the Franzias: “I don’t make wine to put in a closet. We sell wine to drink.”