Budget Wine Review: Barefoot Merlot

BAREFOOT-MERLOT-250x460Producer: Barefoot Cellars

Type: Merlot

Average Retail Price: $5

Taste (1 = lowest 10=highest): 8

Snobby Wine Words: A surprisingly complex tasting experience. Initial notes of cherries and blackberries, with a short, sweet yet tart finish.

Drink When: You’re home alone on a Saturday night because Hubby is out at a poker game, and the kids have been busting your chops all day, and your mother keeps calling to ask what your plans are for Thanksgiving 2027 because she needs to order her turkey NOW, and so you’re just going to pull on your old college sweatshirt, camp out on the couch, and watch some reruns of “Buffy” while attacking that tub of Nutella you hid at the back of the cabinet so no one else would find it – the BIG tub.

Barefoot Merlot is a gem of the wine world – a cheap merlot that actually tastes good. It won’t shove giant fruit down your gullet like so many other California merlots, but it’s not so spicy or dry that you can’t chug it down to make the pain go away. It’s just super mellow with a slightly sweet aftertaste, kind of like when your favorite Barry Manilow song comes on your iPod followed by your favorite Beyonce song.

I like to buy Barefoot Merlot by the magnum for times when my lawyer husband has a major project at work and will be staying late at the office for days, if not weeks, at a time. It’s my go-to comfort wine that way. Even without a fancy-shmancy vacuum seal for the bottle this wine keeps very well for several days after opening, making it perfect to have on hand for blizzards, hurricanes, and other events in which you have to hunker down at home without leaving for days.

The Barefoot brand in general is pretty reliable, but of all their reds I recommend their merlot the most because it’s the easiest to drink and the most versatile for nearly every wine palette. It won’t overwhelm your dinner or taste weird with chocolate, and it’s easy to drink by yourself itself. In the dark. After you’ve turned off your phone and sent the kids to bed.

Meredith Lopez is a stay-at-home writer and mother. In addition to reviewing budget wines for Moms Who Need Wine she drinks and complains over at her blog, Grey Skies, and has a historical urban fantasy novel-in-progress.
8 Responses to Budget Wine Review: Barefoot Merlot
  1. Jeremy

    Avg price $5? I recently tried the Barefoot Merlot and think it’s a great wine for the $7.99 price at my local stores. In fact I enjoyed it so much I decided to try Barefoot Sweet Red as well and I must say… it’s nasty…. tried filling the rest of my glass with Barefoot Merlot hoping to make my own mix but all it did is make my Merlot worse… I hate to waste wine but I’m pretty sure I’d rather throw this crap out than drink it… I must say this experience has made me reluctant to try other Barefoot wines but I am open to suggestions… I’m a new wine drinker and so far like Merlots the best…

  2. Phyllis S.

    Barefoot is one of my favorites, they have a flavor for all my moods and they are all great!

  3. Sherrie

    Oh dear sweet spot on wine reviewer, I can tell this is the start of a beautiful friendship. You get us. You really get us, moms who love wine. I suspect you’re one of us! I love Barefoot wines! I love the price, I love the name, I love that my generally non-wine-drinker family can enjoy a bottle with me! I was recently introduced to their Sweet Red which is also a delight. You are officially my go to wine gal, I promise to read all your reviews and drink accordingly.

  4. Michelle

    I found this to be one of my biggest dissappointments. Virtually tasteless! Looking for a budget wine with high quality taste? Try a box. I know it’s taboo but I have had some delicious boxed wines recently. Bota Box Merlot, Hardeys Shiraz and Merlot, and Mont Haven Cabernet are some of my favorites.

  5. Greg

    Our next-door neighbors have this wine on hand all the time, for when we go there to get beaten at tables games by their grandson.

  6. Kelley Scheiferstein

    Thank you for your review! The Barefoot wines are one of my favorite inexpensive wine choices. Also partial to their Chardonay. I will have to re-visit the Barefoot Merlot as I have been playing around with the Aussie wines under $10 for long enough now.

  7. Michelle Abbott McMichael

    I have also discovered this to be a wine to have on hand always. Smooth, not too dry or sweet and very affordable.

  8. Gina

    This is one of my favorites,smooth not too sweet !!

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