Dark Horse Big Red Blend Review 2013 01aThis Dark Horse Big Red Blend review is part of our value wine series.  A series of wine reviews aimed at exposing great value, accessible wines.  We cover this wines tasting notes, calories, food pairings and grape varieties.  The Dark Horse Big Red Blend is currently available at Trader Joe’s for the price of $ 7.99 — a solid buy. 

Dark Horse Big Rend Blend 01A from Argentina, California and Australia.

Vintage: 2013

We’ve covered wines from Dark Horse before.  This brand crafts wines with big flavor, that are often accented by significant smoke and spice.  What I like about the Big Red Blend is that the grapes used to make it are sourced from around the world.  You’re getting a worldly, full-bodided wine with flavors from four grape varieties in the 2013 vintage — Malbec, Syrah, Tempranillo and Merlot.  I haven’t been able to trace which grapes are from what countries / appellations, but will update this review when I do.  It’s pretty safe to assume the Malbec likely came from Argentina, and the Merlot from California.  Syrah and Tempranillo are known to do well in many Australian climates.

The Big Red 01A maintains about 125 calories per 5 ounce glass, and has 13.5% ABV.

Related: You can currently purchase the unique Dark Horse Big Blend online for $ 8.99

Dark Horse Big Red Blend Review 2013 01ADark Horse Big Red Blend Tasting Notes

In the glass, the wine has a deep red garnet color to it with some translucency and strawberry-raspberry accents.  The nose is full of both black and red berry fruit.  On the opening palate, we get big hits of black cherry, toasted oak and cassis.  The mid-palate brings out more complexities, especially some caramel, vanilla and cola nuances.  Towards the close, the wine stays full, bright and fruit forward.  We get some hints of light minerals, dark chocolate and creamy raspberry jam over a smooth, tapered finish.

Food Pairing the Dark Horse Big Red Blend

Note that the Big Red Blend 01A tends to be more of a solo-sipping wine that a food pairer.  Yes, it can be paired with food, but because of the flavor complex I actually prefer it on its own.  That said, if you want to pair it with food, we like this big-bodied, red fruit forward and toasty wine with red meat.  Filet mignon over caramelized onions, Cuban style Lechon (crisp pork), hamburger with avocado and candied bacon, or barbecue chicken pizza will all be decent options to play around with.


All in all, the Dark Horse Big Red Blend is a great value wine that can be found exclusively at Trader Joe’s priced at $ 7.99 in most states.  You get all the big red fruit and young flavors of Californian red blends, but this wine is actually from 3 unique New World wine growing regions.  Definitely recommend picking this up and giving it a try, it’s an easy drinker that isn’t boring.

Our Score

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