Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Winey Tasting Notes: The Naughty Wine Names Series: Menage a Trois Red

First of all, I never would have found this wine if my son hadn't graduated from high school and we hadn't been invited to billions of graduation parties. It was at one of these parties that a fellow grad mom told me I had to try a "Menage a Trois".

Now, knowing this woman to be stand up elementary school teacher with a great hubby and 2 very nice children, I pretty much just stared at her. So she laughed at me and showed me the bottle of Menage a Trois red perched on the "adult beverage" table. Somewhat breathing a sigh of relief, I took a glass.

Well, right away, there it was. One of the best reds I've ever had. Kind of odd when you like a wine that much at very first sip...but I did. Admittedly, on this outdoor party night, I couldn't tell you what it really looked like or what the bouquet offered...but I have sipped Menage a Trois many, many times since. (2009, 13.5 % alcohol, Napa Valley, CA.)

The racy name comes from the fact that this is a blend of three wines: Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The winemaker ferments each wine on its own, and then blends them before bottling. So it truly is a 3-way (in wine terms, people..wipe that smirk off your face NOW.)  The bouquet is fruity and zesty at the same time. Not fruity sweet, but you get that nice just-canned jam smell (at least that's what I think it would smell like if I canned fruit.) The wine itself is a lovely maroon-ish red. The jammy taste comes from the Zin, I believe. (I don't drink Zin that much, don't taste "jammy" that much...so this is a total deduction on my part.) Then comes the Merlot with its dark fruits that I so love. And the Cab gives it that little tannic zing that rides through the finish and hangs around a bit.

I have a few select wines that I can always count on (and I notice that blends are making that list more and more). This is one of them!! Plus, the fact that it makes it into the Naughty Wine Names Series only makes it that more fun. Just this morning, I told a 27 year old, highly educated, well mannered young man that my favorite red was Menage a Trois and he snorted and laughed like a frat boy. I have a girlfriend who told me she totally trusted my opinion on wine, but was too chicken to bring a bottle with THAT name on it to her grandma's house.

I would (and do) buy this wine over and over and over. It usually sells for around $12 a bottle, but I  often find it on special for $9.99. A very reasonable price for a menage a trois, don't you think?

(Note: I have also tried their white blend, which I will review at a later date. They also make a Chardonnay, Rose and a Moscato...but I'm still looking for them!)


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