Ménage à Trois Wines

Menage a Trois wineDespite its kitchy, catchy branding, the Ménage à Trois line of wine is worth checking out. This has been a standard at book club here since some smart ass brought the first bottle for a laugh.

The premise is that for each of the four styles of wine, there is a blend of three varietals, hence the wink at the naughty threesome concept. Folie à Deux has several vineyards in Napa Valley, and has been producing wine for a few decades. You can tell from their branding and website that they invested a chunk of change into marketing, but it was a sound investment to support a decent wine offering.

Our usual at book club is the California Red, a blend of zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot. It is a young wine with a great, wet mouth feel and lots of berry flavor notes. It’s lovely for those non-wine people who like a glass once in a while but don’t know more than “red, white, pink, or bubbles” when it comes to choosing wine. We like to have a bottle of this in the rack at home as a standard.

I’m just not even going to talk about the California Rosé because I’ve not knowingly had rosé wine before, and don’t know if I plan on changing that ever. I just can’t get out of my head that it’s the zenith of girly-girl sugar syrup, and I would feel too self-conscious holding a glass of that in public. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not very butch. I love pink. I ONLY own high heels. I have a Hello Kitty toaster (and I use it!). But pink wine? Hm.

The California White blend is high on my list of options in the summer when I’m looking for something to chill down and drink outside. Especially if I’m going to a friend’s event and need to bring a bottle with a lot of curb appeal. Because really, how fun is it to bring something with a naughty label to a party? Chilled down, this blend still has a sweetness that can get tiring if you don’t like white wine. On the other hand, it’s still that kind of wine that will satisfy wine novices without offending people who know a little bit about wine. The low papaya flavor supports the high lime notes, and the crisp mouth feel is tasty on a hot day. It’s a blend of chardonnay, chenin blanc, and moscato, so the sassy bite saves it from the sweetness.

The Chardonnay blends grapes from three counties in the region, each offering their own characteristics to this balanced bottle. It has a mild flavor curve from start to finish, with just a leaning towards the middle citrus notes. The mouth feel hints at the classic buttery, round sensations, but it is saved by the light floral fragrance and clean finish. I’m picky about my chards, having fallen head over heels for some fun wine on our trip the NY Finger Lakes region. Ménage à Trois’ Chardonnay is nice to have on hand and bring to events because it’s affordable and quite drinkable though. I favor it over their White blend if I’m faced with a friend who doesn’t do red wine. (*cough*Freak!*cough*)

Folie à Deux does offer a selection aside from these four blends, but these are the easiest to get and can be found at reasonable prices. I’d be interested to try some of their single varietal bottles someday since I’ve not actively explored the Napa wines yet.

The Ménage à Trois blends can usually be found for $8 to $10 each, and they come in mixed cases so you’re bound to find all four wherever you see one. We usually have the 2007 and 2008 bottles, but I’ve just seen a 2009 on the shelf recently. Might have to pick up one.

We book club ladies have (mostly) stopped making threesome jokes whenever someone brings a bottle. But it’s fun to bring it out and serve it to someone who hasn’t had it yet. It’s amazing the variety of jokes that pop out of even the most conservative mouth.

Ménage à Trois
by Folie à Deux
California Blends
About $8-10 bottle
• California Red
• California White
• Chardonnay
• Rosé

[Girl21]