Cupcake bakeries have popped up all over as the newest fad and they seem to be shamelessly pandering to women. And, I have walked past the "Cupcake" section of the wine shop on numerous occasions figuring that they, too, seem to be targeting the female clientele. So, am I to conclude that the 2010 Cupcake Malbec is a "chick" wine? I made my wife buy a bottle (just in case) to see if I am jumping to a conclusion.
You can find this week’s pick at your local wine store for the currently discounted price of $8.99.
We all know the old adage about what happens when you “assume” something to be a certain way. It is an easy trap to fall into and often, unavoidable. But, I am not willing to assume (different use of the word) all of the blame. Advertising plays a big part in it, particularly when it comes to the wine industry.
Take this week’s pick, for instance: the 2010 Cupcake Vineyards Malbec. Grabbing a bottle, I immediately assumed that I was purchasing a mass-market wine targeting newbie female wine drinkers. “Cupcake” is either someone’s cutesy nickname or the product of an advertising agency: I suspect the latter. And, atypically, the name also lacks any geographical reference so there is no immediate association with the origin of the varietals or vineyards. The label design, the same one used for the entire line, is “shabby chic”: stylized but not off-putting.
So, how was it? The ruby color, dark fruits and hint of chocolate were true to the Malbec heritage but it stopped there. I thought it lacked depth and had a short, undistinguished finish. While I applaud their efforts to introduce Malbec to the domestic market, I think that there are much better, and equally affordable options from (native) Argentinean winemakers.
What Others Thought
Women “love” the Cupcake brand and some even consider it to now be there “go to wine” when things get confusing. Few, however, knew what Malbec was or that Cupcake made one. Some said they’d “stick to what they like” while other more venturesome types thought it was “just okay”.
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Selected reviews from the Grapevine Community
Okay... "chick wine"??? Hmmm not so much so. My wife and I tried it by itself and it didn't seem to fit that moniker. My wife says a bottle's shape along with any semi-dry taste would make it a "chick wine." So, while it was a good wine (especially the second day when it opened up a bit more and we had it along with some good Italian food) neither she nor I would place it in that category. (I know I don't count be estrogen deprived.)
Rich and Leeanna Ryba, Lower Burrell, PA
about 2 years ago