Cons:Too sweet, little depth to the wine base
The Bottom Line: A surprisingly drinkable albeit clumsy sangria, this may be handy when throwing a party and expecting a crowd. I can't see buying it otherwise; even the cheapest homemade is better.
Considering my distaste for aromatized wines and Boone's Farm's reputation as the sorority-house special, I thought I was in for punishment, albeit merely two dollars' worth from Wal-Mart that I wouldn't feel guilty using to water the mesquite tree out front. At the same time, that a "sangria" was being marketed under the same brand as "Strawberry Hill" and "Melon Ball" had my interest. How bad would it be?
Recommend this product?
Not very; it's drinkable, even without ice cubes. Too sweet for my taste, a little exaggerated in its citrus and and a little flimsy in its base, but drinkable. It's certainly not as good as Cruz Garcia Real Sangria, and doesn't quite rise to the level of (the slightly drier) Carlo Rossi jug sangria, but it somehow doesn't manage to be offensive. The closest comparison is Sangria Senorial, a Mexican nonalcoholic sangria-flavored pop becoming increasingly common around here.
Strange for a Boone's Farm product, this sangria has a grape, not apple or malt base. It's devoid of character and just about tannin-free, too, but grape nonetheless, and that makes a difference. It's too sweet, but not quite syrupy. A few tiny bubbles, not unlike in vinho verde pop up from time to time in the glass, but this is clearly (unlike the Real or the Rossi) force carbonated and it tastes of it. Natural citrus flavor--orange, mostly--gives it the characteristic sangria taste. A little too much of it, in my opinion, but nonetheless this tastes of sangria, not Sangria Kool-Aid.
Would I buy it again? Probably not. Although it's under a third the price of Sangria Real, making it quite suitable for casual summer cookouts, I can make a better homemade sangria, more cheaply, from Rossi Paisano or Masson "Burgundy" (about the only purpose I can envision for those wines!), a tablespoon of sugar, half an orange, a shot of brandy, and a bit of seltzer water.
Of course, even a $5 Merlot or Syrah would make for a better product still, but by by then we're at over twice the price of the Boone's.
Winery Name: Boone's Farm
Wine Rating Scale: Drinkable