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spin the bottle winesI recently received three samples of … yes, Spin the Bottle wines  − Chardonnay, Cabernet, and a Red Blend (Syrah, Cab, Zin, Merlot), all priced at $12 – and all with a kitschy 3D animated label  that change or move as the image is viewed from different angles – or as you play “spin the bottle. ”

It took me a while to get over the packaging but duty called and I finally mustered the courage to call a group of wine tasting colleagues, uncork the bottles and blind taste the wines.

We knew right away that these wines were not made in established wineries, and that, like so many other, they  are a product of “virtual wineries”  which source their must or their grapes from different regions.  But  Surprise!

The fruit for the Spin the Bottle Chardonnay 2012 was sourced from the  the cool central coast wine region of California, where grapes reach their peak.  And so this wine is balanced and fruit-forward with alluring aromas of ripe grapefruit and freshly sliced Golden Delicious apples. Nice acidity, elegant flavors of soft vanilla and ripe melon join in on the palate over a toasty oak finish. Pairs this refreshing Chardonnay with gnocchi in gorgonzola-cream sauce or roasted quail with fingerling potatoes.

We then tried the Spin the Bottle Red Blend 2011, an enticing medium-bodied blend (13.8% alcohol) of Syrah, Cab, Zin and Merlot with fruity aromas of berries and black fruit on the nose that combines the best of each grape and explodes on the palate along with a freshness and a very pleasant acidity tempering soft tannins.  We later had the wine with grilled meats and salads.

Spin the Bottle Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (13.52% alcohol) opens with rich aromas of cedar box, tobacco leaves, mission glack figs. On the palate, deep appealing flavors of black cherry, plum, emerge over espresso, dark chocolate and toasty oak. Pairs well with roasted meats and veggies, pastas in red sauce, strong cheeses.

Those so inclined, or still hung up on adolescent nostalgia, can even get to play! and then kiss...

Spin the Bottle wines are sold at Winn-Dixie, Target, Safeway,  Total Wine & More  and the red blend is available at Target. Check retail outlets at http://spinthebottlecellars.com/STB-Site_Retail-Page.html