New Pioneer’s Original Zin private-lable wine

I’m not a picky wine drinker. I shop the bottom shelf for $7.99 bottles. I usually choose bottles based on the label. I like a good bargain.

New Pioneer‘s private-label wines have been good values in the past. So when my mother (whom, I should note in the interest of full disclosure, works for the co-op) told me the store had gotten its act together and put out another one, I had to pick some up. It didn’t hurt that she suggested quantities were somewhat limited. (It’s the former record-collecting nerd manifesting itself.)

The official description:

All blueberry, spice, and chocolate. Heady, full and rich in the mouth with just the right amount of oak to work as a framing device for the lush fruit — not to overwhelm. Dry Creek is synonymous with Zinfandel in California and one sip of this elixir will tell you why.

That’s a lot to live up to. And, at $17.99 a bottle, it’s double my usual ceiling.

It’s not that I expect an AMAZING bottle of wine (or, in the vernacular of a certain New Pi wine buyer, one that “makes your balls sweat”) for less than 20 bucks, but I was, um, disappointed. Certainly drinkable, but I might suggest it was a little thin.

I have another bottle, but I’m not going to rush out to grab a case. But what do I know? I’m no snooty wine person.