Friday, October 7, 2016

Barrel Ax Red (California)

Our bottle of Barrel Ax was a 2013 vintage (was that a good year for wine?).  This bottle was recommended by a super friendly and informative TJ’s employee at the Clarendon, VA store.  We asked if Emma Pearl wine (Emma Pearl Pinot Noir Review here) might be coming back (sadly, he thinks it is not, as it was a limited supply, sigh).  But since he knew we like Emma Pearl, he suggested we try this Barrel Ax (it is in the “super cheap wine” category, as was dear ol’ Emma).  It is only $3.99 a bottle, so we grabbed one.  I mean, how horrible can it be, it is not a huge investment, right?
Simple, cool label

It is a pretty good substitute for Emma Pearl (which we hoarded a case of, but the case is almost gone).  Barrel Ax has a nice, balanced taste.  It is not too strong.  We drank it with a beef dinner (and had a second glass with brownies!).  It is a California wine, and the label says it has flavors of raspberry and strawberry and is aged in oak up to 5 months.  It also says that this is the perfect wine to enjoy with BBQ or PIZZA!  This is perfect, because David just scored us FREE PIZZA FOR A YEAR from a new local pizza place!!!!  I know, right???   (Story about the big pizza win here:  Pizza Kindness )

Whaaaat??  Free pizza for a YEAR?  
Barrel Ax is a good table wine.  It is simple, seems like it would pair well with about anything. 

David says, “I like it.  it is very deep and earthy and red table wine-y.  But not table wine-y in the sense that it tastes cheap and nasty, but rather that it is RICH and full bodied.  It goes well with a hearty meal, a beef or something.  It has a lot of tannin going on.”

David being tough with a bottle of wine
Susan:  Funnily enough, I think this wine tastes neither rich nor full bodied, the descriptions David gave it.  I don’t think it would over-power any meal.  It holds its own but it is not “rich” to me.

I think I might stock up on a case of this stuff!  Heck, we can just put it in the case that the Emma Pearl was in.  

Price:  $3.99

Rating:  4.25


  1. Just bought a case, but will sit on at least 4 bottles for the future to see how it ages. Sadly, only have one bottle of the Emma Pearl left. What i like most about some of the deals at TJs is that you can still get a darn good drinking bottle for around (often under) $5. Some of them should sell for a lot more, but don't tell them that.

  2. I know - we are almost out of Emma Pearl, too. Sigh. I loved that stuff. Wish we had grabbed even more of it.

  3. I'm buying inexpensive wines (red and white) for my son's wedding this summer. I was blown away with Battle Axe, the full bodied taste without any harshness. Might be my favorite Cab for less than $20/bottle. Other bottles I've liked in the running are a Kirkland/Costco wine named "Marlborough", a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that is a dead ringer for Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc (and, in fact, me be just that.) Lots more wine to try but so far, nothing else is a definite for the wedding.

  4. I was just at the Trader Joe's here in St. Petersburg, Fl were I live and I bought a case of wine for my dinner party last month. I usually drink RADIUS Merlot, Washington red wine.....However, I bought a few 2 buck Chucks wines and I purchased a bottle of "Barrel Axe".....Ohhhhhhh my goodness. I really enjoyed this wines bouquet aroma and I will say that I will be back on Sunday to buy me case.

  5. I bought a bottle from the .99 cent store due to the axes on the label. I am not a wine drinker, but I enjoyed it very well. Was only $4.99 a bottle. Would buy it again.