A Possible Pour: Bourbon Barrel Aged Wine Review

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Red Wine with a Twist of Bourbon

By: Carol A. Wilcox    Photos by: Paul Wilcox

On one of my recent jaunts to the local wine store, I came across Barrelhouse Bourbon Red Wine. It's a bourbon barrel aged wine with an attractive, rustic, woodsy-looking label. I thought it might be worth a try.

Barrelhouse Bourbon Red Wine is one of those wines you can’t find a lot of information about, so it’s most likely made by a large commercial wine producer who wants to get in on the bourbon barrel aged wine marketing craze. Nevertheless, for around $13.00 a bottle (purchased), it’s pretty good!

The theory behind aging wines in bourbon barrels is to enhance the flavor and aroma. Since bourbon barrels hold the character of what was previously aged in them, the idea is to age the wine for just a few months to produce results that are similar to bourbon including smoothness and sweet spiciness.

This is a California red blend aged in traditional oak and then in bourbon barrels for just three months so as not to overwhelm the wine with a bourbon flavor, but to simply enhance it. It’s an easy drinking wine, not too complex, with a slight warm bourbon aroma, hints of rich red fruit and vanilla, ever-so-slightly sweet with a long, spicy finish.

We served this wine to guests with an appetizer of hard, pungent cheeses, cured meats and fleshy olives. It would also pair well with a pork roast or pulled pork sandwiches.

Many wine and spirits fans theorize that bourbon aged wines are simply a great marketing tactic used by commercial wineries that want to capitalize on the craft bourbon and whiskey trend. Whatever the case, this is an interesting, uncomplicated  wine, a conversation-starter, and a lot of fun to drink.

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