Sunday, July 10, 2016

Winking Owl Moscato (Aldi)

Couldn't have taken a gaudier pic of this if I tried.
Winking Owl has always had a wide variety of wines, but the wife and I were never that interested, because they never offered a Moscato.  My wife will drink other kinds, but never reds, and it seems that Winking Owl’s main offerings were of the red variety.  So despite the cheap price tag, we stayed away.  Well, until I saw in an Aldi ad that they would start carrying a Moscato after all.  Then I was first in line to try it!

I’m not sure if my local store was just getting ready for its arrival, or if it was popular right off the bat because the first few times I looked for it, there was a sign there, but no wine in its place.  Finally, after two or three weeks of this, they had a measly three bottles left one morning.  I decided to return later to buy it, when they were down to just two bottles.  Either our store doesn’t get much inventory, or they seem to be blowing off the shelves!

Unfortunately here in Ohio, state minimums seem to be incredibly high, compared to the rest of the Midwest, so a bottle of this stuff retails for $3.99 (I’ve seen Winking Owl go as low as $2.49 in other states, which honestly makes me a little jealous.)  But it’s all relative…since all wines are more expensive in Ohio, a $4 bottle is almost as cheap as it gets around these parts; I’ve heard great things about some of the other varieties in the line (my grandparents always seem to have some around, and even made a ridiculously cute ornament out of a Winking Owl wine cork) but have never tried them myself, and so I was eager to dig in.

One thing that pleased me right off the bat is that this wine has an ABV of 8%.  While that’s not really high, I’ve seen other sweet wines even lower than that, so there’s a decent bit of alcohol in the bottle, especially for under $5.  The packaging for all the wines in the Winking Owl series have been redone, and look more contemporary and modern, without sacrificing the cuteness of the titular animal doing the titular action.  I’m not a graphic artist by any stretch of the imagination, but I have to say that the color schemes and label design actually make it more enticing.

Another thing I love about Aldi wines are the information-packed labels.  As I’ve said a million times before, my tastes skewer heavily toward the sweet.  I hate dry wines, and won’t go near them, unless I’m looking to get a buzz at any cost, and something dry is all that's around.  The labels on most of Aldi’s wines rate the wine based on “style” (from light to full-bodied), “flavor” (from dry to sweet) and also mentions foods that it pairs the best with.  I usually like to separate my alcohol from food, but it’s still relevant information to have.  I immediately got excited when this wine was as “light” as possible, and also filled up the “sweet” meter…it was as down my alley as it gets!

Once we got it uncorked, just taking a brief sniff hinted that it was going to be super-sweet, and that got my mouth watering.  Sure enough, this wine is, maybe even moreso than most Moscato’s I’ve had.  It’s very fruity, with a slight carbonation if you let it settle on your tongue (according to my wife; I was too busy drinking it to play around with it like that).  In short, I absolutely loved it, and will be keeping a bottle of this on hand, as long as the supply will allow it.  As much as I enjoy liquors, sometimes all I want is to relax with my wife and a glass of wine, and for $4, this is excellent stuff, without the headaches caused by other cheap wines.



Overall: 9/10.  It’s super-sweet, but this is my kind of Moscato!  It’s very light and very fruity, making it the perfect wine to wind down over after a long day at work, or to just chill and drink on weekends, or to…hell, who am I kidding, I’ll be drinking this stuff all the time!  And for $3.99 a bottle (in OH; less most everywhere else) it tastes like a splurge without having the price tag of one.  This stuff will have a constant presence in our home, assuming our local Aldi can keep them in stock.  Excellent wine for the price, though the sweetness, which is even more blatant than other Moscato’s I’ve had, will no doubt turn some people off.  Very glad that Winking Owl has finally added Moscato to their ever-growing list of wine varieties!

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