Barefoot? Why not, it’s almost summer

Expanding tastes.

Expanding tastes.

How about a stop at Harbor View, my dear wife Karen suggested while we were plotting out trip to see the weekly movie.

Our favorite wine store. She expanded her reasoning.

I’d declared that I’d liked my glass of Barefoot brand Merlot on our visit with SUNY Morrisville journalism alumni and friends to celebrate the retirement of professor Brian McDowell a couple of weeks ago. Nance had told us how Barefoot was a go-to at her house, Merlot in particular, and it’s priced reasonably. Karen had sipped and also liked.

We ended up with a big bottle. Pretty! A little more than 10 bucks was the price. And it was sitting next to their Cabernet Sauvignon, the variety I’ve been drinking since our trip to wine country a year ago that’s gotten me onto the grape.

She put that into our cart, too, so we may compare Barefoot to our stash of Dark Horse.

We opened the Merlot Saturday night. Yes.

If you’re a wine lover, please feel free to simply explain the differences between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. And, what makes different brands distinguish themselves in the wine world? What wine do you order, and why?

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90 thoughts on “Barefoot? Why not, it’s almost summer

  1. Mark, I share your taste for the Barefoot brand of wines. Despite the health benefits of drinking the red wines, for better or worse, I prefer the sweeter varieties. Used to drink the sweeter reislings until a friend turned me on to Barefoot Moscato. I now have a new favorite wine! Regardless, hope you and Karen enjoy your wine tasting experiment.

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    • Thanks, Mark! I have to stay away from the sweeter varieties, health-wise. Fortunately, it’s been so many years that my tastes have evolved that way, too. So I live the reds better anyway. Barefoot is really nice. I’m looking forward to trying the Cab Sav, too.

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  2. i’m a wine lover by instinct, and could not explain the nuances of any wine, other than it tastes good. even after all of my wine training over the years as a server, bartender, caterer ) happy summer )

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  3. i will drink any wine Mark – i’m not fussy – Ha! or I have no taste. If given a choice I prefer a dry white wine. I know a few label names but very few. It is not a subject that I have devoted much time to. Of course, like yourself, in earlier years i was so busy that there wasn’t time.

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  4. I like Barefoot’s Moscato.
    Actually, now that I think about it, all the whites I’ve had by Barefoot are quite nice.
    In terms of Merlot vs Sauvignon, Sauvignon is stronger, more tannic, needs to breathe. It pairs well with richer meals, and in cooking richer meals as well. It’s a more serious, hearty wine and Merlot is lighter, more fit for folly, pleasant as soon as you open it.
    The grapes may or may not be the same, may or may not be grown in the same region, but they’re both considered Bordeaux.

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  5. I don’t know the difference between the two wines Mr. B, but I’ll have a glass, please. I know I don’t like super sweet wines (except for sangria) but I am not very picky on the brand. I do like being barefoot though. πŸ™‚

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  6. I’m quite picky when it comes to wine, and I navigate by instinct. When I find something I like, I buy a case and stock up my wine cellar – which never seems to stay stocked for long.

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  7. I would have to defer all wine questions to the blog of the Wine Wankers. I’ve had Barefoot but never enjoyed it that much. They sell it all the Walgreen’s though, so they’re making money hand over fist–or foot. I should have bought stock in them.

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  8. My preference at the moment, Mark, is for a Shiraz. I tend to go for your actual French wines, though not exclusively and enjoy exploring wines from different regions. I don’t have a favourite that I stick with. I have tried Barefoot but can’t recall which, probably the Cabernet. As you can tell, I’m not what you could call a connoisseur – as long as it’s red and full-bodied, that will do me.

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    • I am for the red and full-bodied, also, as a newbie, Roy. We have quite a vibrant grape-growing region here, with many vineyards clumped along the Finger Lakes. My dear wife Karen and I got started a year ago on a bus tour of a half-dozen of them, sampling with 20 or so friends. I think you’d like the wineries and the wine sampling experience with us!

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  9. I’m not a barefoot fan, though I’ve never tried the merlot. I think you’ll like the 19 Crimes red blend. I also like The Dreaming Tree Crush. Dang, now I’m thirsty.

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  10. I do not have time for wine talk right now Marky-Mark – but while I do not care for this brand, I have a friend who loves it – and I think it just goes to show ya that we all have different likes…

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      • well not too much – I promise – and oh Mark – if I could only remember half of what I learned from the 1990’s – I attended many wine tastings and trainings in the restaurant industry – and then coordinated some when I was in management – and it seems I have a sharp memory for some things – but not so much the others – but I do know a tad bit about Italian wines – which started because Trader Joe’s carries some amazing 5 and 10 dollar bottles of reds from Italy – whew – so good.

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  11. Barefoot is a good brand, I am not too fussy but I try to remember that I like Pinot Grigio, Any kind of Zinfadel and my new favorite is Malbec. Correct my spelling on any of them! A toast to your post, Mark! πŸ™‚

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  12. Oh my, you had me at hello! …I enjoy many different kinds and types of wine. The grape is what makes the wine along with the wine maker. But the weather is what makes the grapes different! (Grapes from a region of the Great Lakes are quite different then from California wines etc.)
    Cab Suav I feel has more body…more bones! Merlot is a bit lighter. Some wines are full of tannins… some people like that…I on the other hand want a full body wine with out the tannins and they are out there!
    I tend to drink a wine according to the food I am eating and I also enjoy a cold white wine in the summer. A buttery Chardonnay and I can go hand in hand all year and with any type of food I eat!
    I am not big on sweet wines… however in the area of the Great Lakes and Canada there are fabulous ice wines along the great lakes. Google ice wine and you shall see why they can be quite divine!
    A port… only if it is a good port … is fabulous! I had a spectacular one at a wine tasting here in AZ. The grapes were grown in Wilcox, AZ. The port had a hint of chocolate. Oh my, it was delicious!
    I will not spend and arm and a leg on wine either. There are plenty of fabulous wines that are quite fabulous! So… there you have it… I enjoy wine!

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  13. I like Barefoot brand and Felicia likes Yellow Tail for reasonable prices, Mark. I like to try new flavors and like a sweeter wine. If I am drinking with a meal, I don’t need it to be sweet. Italian meals taste good with Chianti and Spanish meals taste good with a hearty flavored red. My mom loves Sangria and Lambrusco. I see the new Smirnoff’s summer wines which are really fruity and the citrus one with grapefruit is calling my name, Mark!

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    • Thanks, Francis! I’ll take a look for it at Harbor View the next time MDW Karen and I stop there. Good to see you here, my Syracuse photo-taking and writing colleague. πŸ™‚

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