This wine label takes the understated approach to appeal to wine drinkers. Sure, the winemaker avoided critters, flowers, and other cutesy graphics. By trying to seem un-snobby and unfussy, though, I can’t help but think this too borders on self-conscious. The label’s pretense is that, hey, we’re a basic wine, something for the average person, labels aren’t important, the grape is. Blah, blah, blah. Don’t get me wrong. I like simple, straightforward labels. This one may have gone too far. The label looks like someone used a Sharpie to draw it. Think: wine for dummies.
House Wine is produced by The Magnificent Wine Co., which carries a line of generic sounding wines: Steak House Wine, White Table Wine, Fish House Wine, Red Table Wine–all but steak and fish are blends. The House Wine comes in a red and a white. The Magnificent Wine Co. also makes a cabernet, pinot noir, syrah and riesling. The labels feature similar lettering, the type of wine in big Sharpie black letters. The wine comes from grapes grown in vineyards located in Columbia Valley in Washington state.
I tried the House Wine Red the other night. It’s 73 percent cabernet sauvignon, 10 percent merlot, 8 percent syrah, 5 percent sangiovese, 2 percent malbec and 2 percent cabernet franc. The magazines Real Simple, Food & Wine and Gourmet recommended it. I think there are better red wines at this price — $11 — that offer full-bodied, complex flavors.