As someone who deems herself a frequent, albeit modest, wine-drinker (with a preference for easy and bold reds alike), the chance to sample a wide selection of wines in the comfort of my own home – without having to “make up my mind” on the spot, as I stare into the abyss of a wine wall, meticulously organized by region or tasting notes (where’s the nearest exit?) – was truly a delightful one. I most enjoyed the discovery process: picking up each bottle, taking my time with each label, and looking each one up on NakedWines.com — where, unlike my impression of the unboxing experience, the story is rich and information, abundant. The brand does a commendable job not only profiling each wine – tasting notes and all – but also spotlighting each winemaker, complete with engaging story vignettes. The result is a curated wine-tasting experience without any of the unnecessary fluff or the cost.
With our wine cellar now freshly and conveniently stocked with wines previously unbeknownst to us, we spent the next few weeks feeding our curiosity about each wine and learning about winemakers across the pond, and even about wine regions I had severely underestimated (looking at you, Oregon — seriously, raise a glass). My husband and I turned our first case into a progressive wine tasting of sorts, selecting a new wine to “sample” every few days. In fact, having access to such a great variety of wines at home beautifully complemented (and in many cases, elevated), our daily homemade dinners, adding to yet another aspect of the Naked Wines Not to mention, in midst of a global pandemic that has had our pent-up wanderlust at its peak, these wines provided us an opportunity to trek (and taste) the globe one sip at a time.
These were the beauts we discovered (trust us – you’ll want to add them to your list, too), along with my best attempts at some tasting notes to please your palate.
Sachetto Col de L’Utia Pinot Nero Rose Frizzante. This subtle and softly sparkling rose was a pleasant surprise! It didn’t last very long. My Italian father would be tickled. Tastes like… bright cherries with a citrusy tang.
DRG Daryl Groom Chardonnay 2019. By far, one of the most delectably creamy Chardonnays I’ve ever had. Even my self-proclaimed “non-Chardonnay-drinking” husband genuinely, and outwardly, enjoyed it. Tastes like… equal parts oaky and creamy, with crisp touches of tropical fruits.
Patrice Grasset Sancerre 2019. We immediately paired this elegant French white from the Loire Valley with a charcuterie board – one of our date-night favorites. Tastes like… a refreshing blend of melons, pears, and peach without too much of the sweet.
F. Stephen Millier Black Label Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2019. An easy, no-frills red we supped on casually one evening, only to all-too-soon realize it was gone. Oops! Tastes like… velvet (seriously), with smooth hints of dark berries and winter spices.
Scott Kelley Pinot Noir 2019. This silky, easy Pinot by way of the Pacific Northwest checked all the boxes for me (unsurprisingly… I had a feeling about this one, as I do most Pinot Noirs). It’ll for sure be a new go-to for many happy hours to come. Tastes like… the right taste of vanilla meets cherry meets spice. This one was just right.
Matt Parish Cabernet Sauvignon 2018. This one tasted expensive, but at 50% off market price, it can’t be beat. We paired it with an air-fried steak (seriously) for a purely delectable pairing. I’ll be buying it again to follow the winemaker’s rec: let it age at least a year to enjoy it at its fullest. Can’t wait! Tastes like… just as indulgent as what you might expect from a barrel-aged red – oaky, full of dark berry flavors, and the right amount of spice.