Review: Jellybean Wines
This new brand is attempting to muscle its way into the mass-market wine space (Yellow Tail, Cupcake, Barefoot, you know the ones), choosing to head to the ever-popular “desserts” branding strategy for its identity. Jellybean wines come from just about everywhere. We reviewed two of the company’s offerings, with predictable results.
2011 Jellybean Berry Smooth Red Wine Blend – A Spanish red blend. Deep blueberry notes, as candied as they get. Impossibly sweet and, I guess, smooth in a way, but more in the way that Kool-Aid is smooth. Incredibly simple. D+
2010 Jellybean Candy-Apple Red Cabernet Sauvignon California – Another wine that lives up to its name, with flavors reminiscent of a cinnamon red hot (and no apple to speak of). Marginally better, but cloyingly sweet. C-
When you’re obviously not the intended drinker, why even bother reviewing a wine that you know is not going to appeal to your more sophisticated palate? The beauty of wine is that taste is subjective and there’s a wine for everyone…why even waste time picking up a bottle that gives off obvious cues that it’s not for you? There’s a plethora of other brands that are better suited to your taste, and it’s ok that there’s also a sleuth of brands out there made to bring a smile to the face of a different wine drinker, who’s just beginning to appreciate this new-found pleasure. Instead of wasting time trying to pick holes, simply acknowledge it’s not for you and don’t even bother trying to ‘critique it’. And coming from someone who enjoys a sweeter style of wine, Jellybean is far superior in quality versus the other cheaper blends trying to hide behind a pretty label. I personally think the wine is really good!
Joanne – That’s one approach, and in fact we often take a pass on writing about products when we don’t like them. That said, our overarching goal is simply to be honest about our opinions, good or bad, and I disagree that someone can’t have an opinion about a wine simply because it wasn’t designed for a “more sophisticated palate.” We get all kinds of products for review, and in general (as our tagline suggests) we aim for higher-end products. But in the end we have a fairly open door policy toward submissions, and anything that crosses our doorstep is fair game for coverage. In this case, the public needs to know what it’s getting into.
I don’t have 80.00 to spend on wine. Even 30.00 is a splurge. I bought Jellybean Blueberry Pie Merlot and it was smooth and it really did remind me of blue berries. My favorite wine is Cabernet but this was a nice lighter wine and the label was attractive and cute. It was 12.99 but went on sale for 9.99. No it can’t compare to an expensive wine, but for someone wants a smooth pleasant tasting merlot at the end of the day and is on a budget, it’s a good buy. it did hit the blueberry note.
Their pineapple chardonnay was tangy and almost bubbly and tasted like pineapple but not too sweet. I usually don’t like whites near as much but I enjoyed the Jellybean chardonnay.
You could have someone review the lesser expensive wines.. a 30.00 that goes on sale for 15.00 or a 12.00 that goes on sale for 10.00. Ihope to improve my financial status but this is where I am now.
I thought Eco Domani was a nice Pinot Grigio. If there are more distinguished budget wines, isn’t there a sliding scale also? Just because they’re less costly to make, do they earn the lower grade, or could they be rated against other budget wines to determine which has done best at the lower price point.
Jellybean is a great wine, the Merlot 2010 , not going to say what I paid, becuase I am going back to get a case or more of this wine. This is easily a $7.00 wine/bottle, maybe (9.00 a bottle. Smooth taste, great sweetness.
Just picked up a case of Jellybean. I might go back for at least one more case. Do not want to say what I got a bottle for, way under market price. Purchased at a store that is a discounted grocery store, in Sacramento, my sales slip showed I saved over $130.00, the wine was 80 percent of the total sale, you math majors have at it? What was the purchase price?
I just opened s bottle of Jelly Bean merlot ! Holy Molly it is great !!i wish I bought a case. . I live in South Carolina! Bought at piggly wiggly !!price below $5.00
Another good wine is Columbia Crest Cabernet. It rated a 90 for flavor, but it sells for 7.50 at some club stores vs 10 something at grocery stores. Has a taste of berry and some chocolate with a smokiness, nice if you like dry reds, and a good aroma too when you open the bottle. Has a little tannin but very smooth to drink. Tastes more expensive than the pricetag.
For the cake/dessert theme for a little more at $13, I really enjoyed Layer Cake’s Cabernet. It was fragrant when I opened bottle, and reminded me of chocolate covered cherry in the flavor, tangy. It was a little sweeter than I typically choose but in a fruit forward way with nice depth and enough substance that I remember what it tastes like and what I liked about it.
I like to find wines that are pleasant to have more frequently without breaking the bank.