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It’s Christmas Eve and I’m at my mom’s house.  Within 10 minutes of my arrival, I am handing her two cans of Underwood Pinot Noir.  Yes, I said cans.  I haven’t tried it yet, but on novelty alone I decided it was worth the purchase.  A short while later, she reaches into the fridge and pulls out an open bottle and proclaims, “I don’t like this, it’s weird.  It’s a little too sweet and it’s a little bubbly.  Try it!”  That’s the wine equivalent of saying to someone, “This smells awful!  Here!  Smell it!”  Game on.

From the bottle: Northern Italy provides a spectacular backdrop for Roscato, a violet-hued red with aromatic notes of cherry, blackberry and red raspberry.  A touch of sweetness and bright acidity underlies the appeal of this charming wine.  The traditional winemaking style for this fruit-forward red complements regional “heart and soul” cuisine such as bruschetta, calamari, pasta in red and cream sauces, breaded cutlets and spicier fair.  Enjoy chilled.

My thoughts:  Definitely an aromatic violet-hued red.  My initial sip just brought on confusion.  There’s way too much going on here.  There are a multitude of fruit flavors battling each other and then being drowned out by the bit of fizz happening.  It finishes much sweeter than I anticipate.  Not sickeningly sweet, but like a berry Moscato.  So a little too sweet for my personal preference.  I try another sip to try to figure out the fruit flavors that are coming through.  I get as far as, “Cherry and….  Cherry….and….?  Cherry…………and?  Blackberry?  Black raspberry?  Black cherry?  No, not black cherry.  Cherry and…..something.”

While contemplating (aka – finishing the first glass) I decide to make myself dinner.  Flatbread pizza with minced garlic, basil, fresh mozzarella and fresh Roma tomatoes and then sprinkled with crushed red pepper.  I pour myself a second glass just before I pull this out of the oven.  These two paired together actually worked.  The wine was still too sweet, but I understood what they were going with here when they listed off suggested food pairings.  The garlic and spice helped bring out more of the fruit flavor of the wine.

On a scale of “this tastes like piss” to “oops, I just drank the whole bottle” I would give this a “I’m drinking it because it’s here and it’s already open and I don’t completely hate it.” Would I buy it again?  No, definitely no.

Final Grade: C+  It has potential, but fell short for me.  If you’re into sweeter reds, go for it.  I’m not sure if the fizz is supposed to be happening either.

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