07 December, 2007

Religion Spectator Magazine Special Column

Vineyard: Lakewood Vineyards
Type: Charlatan

Year: 2002

Overall Score: 50

They say in this business "Don't let the label fool you," and that has certainly proved to be true in this case.

Lakewood's Charlatan was recommended to me by a friend several years ago. I was always a little reluctant to try it, but I finally gave it a go, and I must say, I was very disappointed.

To be fair, Lakewood puts together a beautiful presentation, bottled and labeled all quite elegantly. From the beginning the taster is presented with a product that builds anticipation. One can quickly assume that he or she is dealing with a high quality item here. But unfortunately, the packaging is all that is desirable about Lakewood.

The minute I uncorked Lakewood's Charlatan I immediately noticed that what was inside did not match what was on the outside. I was expecting a deep dark and rich red color, which seemed only logical since the packaging was a deep dark red also. Instead what came out was clear, with a slightly foul odor.

I let it "breathe" for a minute or two before finally taking a taste. To give it the benefit of a doubt, I thought that perhaps my sense of smell might be off a bit, or perhaps the foul odor I smelled was coming from another source. And despite the clear color, I thought that there still might be something pleasing once I finally gave it a taste. So after several minutes I picked it up, swirled it around a bit, gave it another sniff (the odor was still there) and gave it a taste. It was worse than I thought. It was lukewarm, bland, and completely unsatisfying. There was no substance at all.

So my rating for Lakewood Charlatan is 50. "Why" one might ask, "would you still give even a score of 50?" Well, to be fair, I still thought it was well packaged and nicely presented. Also, whatever was in that stuff has made my teeth really sparkle. I suppose that counts for something.


Anonymous said...

"Your Best Palate Now"!

Anonymous said...

I guess you would call this stuff a white whine?

I'll bet this would go well with a couple of rancid fish. (Alewives come to mind.) That and some moldy "Hivite" bread - perhaps 5 loaves of it?

Shep Shepherd said...

"Clear" color? It needs to become a better hue!

It's amazing they can't do a grape job at making wine, yet are still raisin profits!

Anonymous said...

"I let it "breathe" for a minute or two before finally taking a taste."

"Gasp", maybe?