The “Woodbridge” label has a long standing history of being a friendly and approachable wine that represents good value for the money and its success has generated a lot of competition trying to duplicate that level of acceptance over the years. Those labels that have met with success in blending taste with price, you know who they are, did so by developing their own style and character rather than a straightforward duplication of someone else’s craftsmanship. Now available on our shelves is Looking Glass wine a non vintage varietal lineup bottled by a California firm and distributed in our area through Walgreens as their “house brand”.
The Looking Glass Merlot is a see through garnet color in the glass, pretty if not compelling to the eye when compared to other wines with more sparkle and refraction. View it through sunlight while swirling the wine in the glass and you will benefit from a full nose of fruit, dark berries and black cherry with a touch of wood at the end. The bouquet carries through faithfully into a soft natured fruity wine that has just enough tannin to keep it from being considered a soda pop drink for adults. The upfront palate is a classic Merlot profile, dark berry, an underlying black cherry note with a burnt coffee touch at the very end. Do not look for a lot of depth or layering in this wine, it is front end loaded and tails off very quickly toward the finish. Good on its own or with a meal, I have to mention the lack of edginess lead to much less sipping and savoring and much more quaffing and drinking than I prefer in my wine consumption, word to the wise there is alcohol in this beverage so do not be fooled by the tasty fruit and soft mouth feel.
The Looking Glass Merlot like its label mates, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and White Zinfandel are very easily found at your local Walgreens here in Southwest Florida and I assume elsewhere around the country. The price seems to vary a bit, a quick online price search shows this wine anywhere from $3.99 to $6.99, as well as 3 for $10 on salek. It should be noted that I picked up my bottles at the very special introductory price of $1.99 when it first hit the shelves, so like many other things these days buyer beware and it pays to look around. Bottom line if you are looking for a drinkable wine at the low end of the price scale you should consider the Looking Glass Merlot. It is a good value for the money and for those who are accustomed to a fruity wine with just enough structure to know it is wine and not a soft drink this may very well be just the ticket.