One of our readers mentioned having seen Jarhead Red at his local Kroger’s. Hmm…we skip the wine department these days (she said sadly), but there must be lots of oenology enthusiasts out there willing to buy a bottle in support of solidarity with the Marines. Just to test the waters, so to speak.
A riffling of the rolodex (yes, I still have one) led to Apollon Zamp. His return email didn’t bring back just a “will do” but rather a “mission accomplished”.
But before we get to Captain Zamp’s assessment, a bit about the winemakers. Here is their mission statement:
“The Marine Corps gave us both a remarkable opportunity to serve our country. Along the way, we learned invaluable skills and forged friendships that will last a lifetime.
With Jarhead Red, we aim to give back while honoring the men and women who defend our nation. Each bottle of Jarhead Red supports the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, which provides educational assistance to children of U.S. Marines, with special consideration given to families of fallen Marines.
While Jarhead Red is made by Marines, for Marines, it will appeal to anyone who enjoys a robust red wine crafted in an approachable style. Semper fi.”
And for those of you so inclined, here is Jarhead Red’s Facebook page. You'll find other assessments there.
But here is Captain Zamp’s After Action Report, compiled especially for Gates of Vienna readers (the American ones, anyway). Somehow, looking at the bottle one doubts it sells well in, say, Berkeley or Vermont:
Report on 2008 Jarhead Red (Mourvedre, Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache)
Appearance: Surprisingly clear--not opaque. Very attractive garnet color. Reminiscent of some plum wines. (9/10)
Aroma: Spicy! Peppery , with hints of raspberry and plum. Earthy, but not exceptionally so. Very forward. (13/15)
Palate: Gamey without being too heavy or full-bodied. Strawberry and other red berries. Supple tannin. Firm without being grippy or harsh. (13/15)
Finish: A bit weak, but not unpleasant. No lingering aftertaste to speak of. Some slight earth/game character. No residual tannin. Somewhat disappointing when compared to the buildup of the aroma and mouthfeel. (4/10)
Score (added to a base of 50 points): 89
Overall rating: This wine is well-made and captures the essence of the region(s) it is emulating (obviously the Rhone and Southwest of France), and will pair well with a variety of appropriate cheeses, sausage, red sauces, etc. The finish, as noted, is slightly off-putting, but by no means a dealbreaker. An above-average and enjoyable wine.
As I recall, the reader who recommended looking into Jarhead Red said it was about ten or eleven dollars. But a portion of every sale goes to the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund. Sheesh, a wine page where you can actually enlist. How gung ho can you get?
When you enlist in the Jarhead Wine Club, you will receive our new releases conveniently shipped to your home or business once per year. You will also enjoy an exclusive 15 percent savings on all other Jarhead wine purchases.So…do your duty. Enlist today. Or re-up, for the bonus discount. And when it arrives lift a glass or three to Gates of Vienna!
Membership is complimentary. There’s no better way to treat yourself—or your favorite Marine—to a steady supply of Jarhead wines. Proceeds from the Jarhead Wine Club benefit the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
You will receive your annual shipment in early November, just in time for the birthday of the Marine Corps on November 10.
Heck, impress the postman and just knock off the top of a bottle and drink it straight. A few glass shards never stopped a jarhead.