Home Wine Regions Californian Wine Barefoot Shiraz

One of the challenges with picking wines to review on this site is finding a balance between mass-produced wines that are easy for readers to find and hidden gems that may be a little harder to track down but often offer unique and interesting nuances.

Another challenge is putting aside personal bias when doing reviews.  To be candid, my preference for personal consumption tends to be smaller producers.  Why?  Because I tend to find those wines more interesting.  My stereotype of big producers is that they tailor the wine to “focus groups” and sterilize the character out of the wine.  I don’t know that they really do focus groups on the taste of the wine, but that’s the perception that I’ve concocted in my head.  I also grew up on an apple orchard and have a soft spot for giving my business to independent producers.

Despite my personal preference, I know many readers come here just looking for a deal.  You want to find a good wine that won’t cost you an arm and a leg… and you don’t want to hunt all over for it.  You don’t need a 90-pointer, just something that is cheap and decent.  Well this may be a pick for you.

The technology for wine has come so far that there is no reason a wine producer shouldn’t be able to create a decent wine, yet some of the wine from big producers that I’ve had has been undrinkable.  That wasn’t the case with this one.  I was apprehensive before I tasted this wine, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Now the last time I reviewed a Barefoot wine and had some positive things to say I found some passionate haters out there anxious to slam it.  Feel free to disagree with me, but I did not find this wine at all objectionable.  It’s lacking a bit of viscosity and complexity, but there are no real flaws.  I wouldn’t call this an exceptional wine, but quality is very good for the price.

My biggest gripe is that there is no vintage on Barefoot wines.  In a way it’s understandable, because when you’re creating wine in the quantity that they do I don’t know how you can have consistency.  So, I worry about bottle consistency.  Nonetheless, the one I had I liked.

Barefoot Shiraz

The nose is a little bit one dimensional: black cherry.  If you work at it you can pick up some perfumey / black pepper aromas and a hint of leather, but those are subtle.  The palate is a little thin on mouth feel, but big on juicy fruit flavors.  This wine is brimming with ripe black cherry, plum and blackberry flavors.  And it’s approachable—not overly jammy.  There is a little spice on the finish, which is fairly short.  It’s not an elegant or refined wine, but it’s quite tasty.

Wine: Barefoot
Variety: Shiraz
Vintage: N/A
Alcohol: 13%
Rating: 83
Price: $7.99

13 replies to this post
  1. I agree with your take on Barefoot. In a blind tasting of Cab S, a Barefoot was my favorite, though the wines were all $15 or less. It was just about the only wine that wasn’t too alcoholic, jammy or oaky. No flaws, nothing obnoxious. You could do much worse for the money.

    I recall on another occasion that a different Barefoot, a Merlot maybe, was pretty awful. So bottle to bottle things may not be too consistent.

  2. About 3yrs ago someone brought a NV Barefoot Zin over my house for a party…. It is still sitting here and I’m afraid to open it now… I doubt the NV’s are meant to go the distance

  3. Often I find Barefoot priced at $4.99. Their Zinfandel is pretty decent, well balanced and nice flavors. I’d like to try their Shiraz, especially since it is described as not jammy. On the downside, the NV status could mean a much different tasting experience.

  4. I prefer the sweet spot of $10-$20, finding many really quite remarkable wines in that range. But Barefoot Cellars, to my thinking anyway, consistently produce perfectly enjoyable table wine at a very attractive price, often $6 around me, $5 by the 1.5 bottles. I can’t think of anyone else that does quite as well at that price point.

  5. […] We also enjoyed some leftover wine from the night before. On our quest to find the best cheap wine, we came across Barefoot Shiraz, which apparently earned a “gold medal” – so why not try it? The wine glass below was actually from Saturday and the stemless wine glass above is from Sunday. It definitely tasted its best when we first opened the bottle, but overall it wasn’t bad. A good, cheap choice! […]

  6. I had the bf shiraz with an orange label – no vintage. It was unobjectionable and thus very satisfactory at its price point. A good amount of fruit – plums and cherry and a faint trace of smoke. Little complexity and only a hint of tannin on the tongue. But for US$7 at the Pennsylvania monopoly known as wine & spirits, this is a high value find. Might help postpone my usual run to the delaware border total wine shop.

  7. I agree with this review. This is one is fine as a good flavorful table wine. Nice fruit and not bitter, not too sweet. I’ve had some $20 – $30 bottles I’ve enjoyed much less, and I can pick this one up at the corner store for around $6. This one is a favorite for gallery and music performance receptions.

  8. Couldn’t agree more… I’ve definitely had $30 bottles I’ve liked less. If I was stuck on a desert island with nothing but Barefoot Shiraz, I’d have no complaints :o)

  9. So glad I don’t know much about wines… couldn’t describe the notes on one if you paid me. But I do know what my tastebuds like and dislike and that is what I buy. When it comes to Shiraz I like Barefoot and Alice White. Both are inexpensive but I use an aerator so perhaps that improves the taste. Enjoyed your review.

  10. Remove the pretension factor and you can find some really good reasonably priced wines. Barefoot, in many varieties, has become one of my favorite wines. What matters most to me is flavor, not bragging rights over how much I spent on the bottle. Cheers!

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