I’d planned on saving my bottle of Naked Rebel red wine for a special occasion. But, well, that special occasion turned out to be a friend and me running out of this ridiculously tasty Captain Morgan punch and deciding that the wine with the mustache label looked like a fun follow-up.
Ordinarily I wouldn’t admit that I drank a bottle of wine after running out of booze, but for some reason, I think the guys at Naked Rebel would approve. I suspect that might be the very reason they started making wine in the first place. The 20-somethings who created Naked Rebel aren’t concerned with the usual wine snobbery; they boast on their website that, “Our Napa blend tastes just as good out of a Mason jar as it does out of fine crystal.” That’s a good thing, because I don’t have any fine crystal.
The website is laden with the kind of laughing-at-ourselves machismo that makes it attractive, not arrogant. They proudly claim that, “This is a wine that can stand with all the big boys of Napa, but chooses to sneak under the table and make out with the bridesmaids instead.” Yeah, they’re THOSE guys… and you can’t help but love them for it.
One of the big selling points for the wine is its label that glows in the dark. So you don’t have to turn on the lights to pour another glass. Hmmmm, maybe that’s where these rebels found inspiration for the “naked” part of their name.
So my friend and I decided to test the glowing label and rushed to the bathroom and turned off the lights. Sure enough, a faint glowing mustache appeared next to the sink. Damn if that isn’t clever!
In fact, just about everything with this winery is clever, but perhaps the most clever trick they’ve pulled is that they’re actually making really good wine. It’s not all gimmick. These are the college party boys who actually aced their finals. This is the anti-wine winery that actually makes fantastic wine.
Despite my Captain Morgan and red wine haze, I actually did remember to make some notes on the wine. The blend of California Cab and Syrah creates a wonderfully hearty and spicy cherry flavor. I was impressed with the light touch of tobacco and leather – not too heavy and perfectly balanced with black cherry. The wine is a deep red and certainly meaty, but it’s not too thick. You don’t feel like you’re chewing your wine, just enjoying a smooth Naked Rebel.
This wine retails for about $19.99, making it a respectable price point to impress your girlfriend or wife, but not a budget-breaker. It was part of a sample that sent to me by the winery, but as always, I don’t write about wines just because they’re sent to me. If I don’t like it, I don’t write about it, and if I do like it, I tell the world.