For Halloween Wines 2020 Part 1 we are starting out with a budget-friendly Red blend, $7.99 at Trader Joe’s. The Dearly Beloved I Thee Red 2018 sourced from vineyards in California’s Central Coast AVA.
Its claim to Halloween wine fame is an elaborate Day of the Dead skull on the front label. The bottle is tinted black glass the skull is painted on in red ink.
I do not like wines that are made exclusively for a holiday. Except for a few specific wines, most wines will last in the bottle for a couple of years. So I am suspicious of a wine that is produced, with a holiday-specific label, that will reasonably only be on store shelves for a month at most.
Is the wine made for you to drink or is it mainly a decoration? I figure if the wine in the bottle;e was any good they would sell it year-round and not try to cash in on an eye-catching holiday label.
Luckily, for Halloween parties, there are a whole slew of wines with skull or skeleton themed labels along with other kinds of off-kilter labels. The Dearly Beloved wines, there are two Red blends ana a Chardonnay, all from the Central Coast AVA, all with variations of the Day of the Dead label.
These wines are available on their website, see link in the first paragraph, for $12 for the Chardonnay and one Red blend and $14 for the other Red blend. Since TJ’s sells this wine for $7.99 you can get a glimpse of the type of savings you can get from Trader Joe’s.
The I Thee Red 2018 is a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Sirah. It is sort of the greatest hits of California Red wine grapes. The grapes were fermented separately and then blended into the final blend.
They do not mention what type of oak conditioning that they use for this blend, but the tasting notes mentioned chocolate and toasty vanilla. This suggests a blend of French and American oak were somehow used for this Red blend.
The Dearly Beloved I Thee Red is included in our Halloween Wines 2020 Part 1 because it has been a reliably good wine. Cheapwinefinder has been reviewing Dearly Beloved wines since the 2009 vintage. So not only will this Red look the part at a Halloween party it will taste great, too. And since it is so inexpensive you can buy a few extra bottles.
Halloween Wines 2020 Part 1 Tasting Notes
The color is a barely see-thru black cherry red. The nose is very fruit-forward with sweet ripe fruit aromas. There are ripe cherries, chocolate, spice, light herbs, raspberry, vanilla, with a hint of smoke.
This is a medium-bodied red blend with smooth flavors balanced by tart spice and sour cranberry. It starts with a mix of blackberry and strawberry, then milk chocolate, toasted marshmallow (without the sugary sweetness), and spice.
The mid-palate offers tart to sour cranberry, and a welcome bit of grip from the tannins. So many value-priced wines have had the tannins watered down. You do not want too aggressive tannins, that can disrupt your drinking pleasure. But slight tug from the tannins, just enough to let you know they are there are, I think, an essential component of Red wine.
Halloween Wines 2020 Part 1 Summary
- How does the Dearly Beloved I Thee Red 2018 measure up as a Halloween Party wine? It might be the perfect party wine.
- The label is very well executed and fits the whole Halloween esthetic and the wine is well-priced and drinks well.
- This may be a $7.99 Red wine, but give it plenty of time to “open”. The flavors evolved as I was drinking and writing, so give it time to be it’s best.