Sunday, July 5, 2015

Rowland's Brook Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon Blend: an ok wine for a ridiculously fine price $3.99

Ah, the refreshing taste of warm red wine in 100+ degrees and gale-force winds...

Lots of my camping trips take place in the desert. The desert doesn't go that well with red wine, so I am not entirely sure why I keep forcing myself to review red wines in the desert.

It's gross.

However, I'm serious about reviewing wines for you, so I pulled up my big girl gold boots and drank A WHOLE BOTTLE of Rowland's Brook, and then had a glass of yet another bottle of wine (sadly, I was too drunk to accurately taste that or even take a photo of the bottle, so we're just going to lose that to the sands of time).

See what I do for you?

Russ picked up several bottles of wine at Grocery Outlet and my selection of Rowland's Brook was entirely based on the twist top. We weren't even sure where the bottle opener was or if we brought it at all, so really, the twist top was our only choice.

I don't understand why the twist top gets so much flack. It's so practical! Who needs a special magic key to open a bottle of wine? Whose great idea was that?

Oh, it was monks? In, like, the Dark Ages? That does kind of make sense.

Isn't it time to join the 19th century (at least?) and embrace the modern technology of a screw top?


For a wine like Rowland's Brook, I think the ultra-modern twist top was a very on-point choice. That is to say, this is not ancient or sophisticated wine. But it was enjoyable.

It wasn't too tart, but also had a bit of a kick. For a $4 wine, it was pretty damn complex. If we plotted wines in Etch-a-sketch drawings, I would expect a square for $4. But Rowland's Brook actually delivered the flavor equivalent of a few interlocking squares! Pleasing indeed.

Still, it was not exactly ideal for the desert, so we ended up putting it in the cooler and I had cold red wine. Not as refreshing as, say, Strawberry Hill or Boone's Farm Blue Hawaiian, but better than blood-warm wine.

The next morning, I wanted to die. I took two ibuprofen and a migraine relief tylenol (with caffeine!), drank a half gallon of water (which I promptly threw right back up again into the tissue box, which wasn't as water tight as one would hope), and ate a piece of plain bread.

I don't think it was Rowland's fault. I hadn't drank anything in two weeks and I spiritedly tested the fuck out of that wine well before acclimating to the desert or properly hydrating myself. I really earned that hangover with both hands.

I'm not sure I would purchase Rowland's Brook again, even at the $4 price point. There are many other similarly priced wines that I have enjoyed more (like the Block Red Wine, which is even more modern in its delivery). But the experience of this bottle did not make me want to punch the vintners in the throat, so it gets two stars.