Cupcake Red Velvet Wine


Cupcake Red Velvet wine was unexpectedly excellent!  From Livermore, CA the 2011 Cupcake Red Velvet is a blend of red varietals with a Zinfandel base.  Released winter of 2012, it was harvested Sept. – Oct. 2011 and has an alcohol content of 13.5%.

Special Update:  If you’ve tried this wine, I would love to hear your opinion in the Comments section below.  Many people have been commenting on this wine.  Some really love it and some are finding an issue with it.  How about you?

Cupcake Red Velvet Review

According to the winemaker, the wine has “fantastic structure, aroma, depth of flavor and a long creamy finish.  The grapes were harvested from some of the finest vineyards of California’s viticultural areas…”

Appearance:  In the glass, the wine showed a deep purple color and was very leggy in the glass.

The aroma characteristics were of red raspberries and a somewhat significant nose of alcohol was noticed.  Definitely a youthful aroma, though not a strong precursor to the wine’s taste.  Very aromatic, as well.

Tasting Cupcake Red Velvet revealed cocoa, blackberries and black cherry on the palate.  This was the unexpected pleasant surprise, given the nose.  This is a very smooth and easy drinking wine.  Not dry at all.

Well balanced tannins were noted mainly on the front of the tongue and the mouthfeel reminded me of 2% milk.  Creamy for a wine.

The finish was long and very enjoyable.  As advertised, hints of coconut were present in the lingering finish.  Additionally, there was no sting of alcohol on the breathe out which was another pleasant suprise from this wine.

Overall, I really enjoyed Cupcake Red Velvet.  It’s a great sipper on its own and the Zinfandel base makes for a super smooth easy drinking wine.  Pair with cheesecake.

Price for Cupcake Red Velvet about $11.99.  Highly recommend!  If you’re more of a Pinot Noir fan, please check out my review of Cupcake Pinot Noir.

Speaking of reviews, check out my review of the Wall Street Journal Wine Club, which I joined.  Includes price, Pros and Cons and Hi-Res pictures of what I received.

About Jon Rogers

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  1. Thanks! I like this.

  2. Raspberry, Cherry, Coconut … all these flavors sound amazing to me. I am not a big wine drinker, I love champagne topped with saint germain, but I enjoyed your review very much and will definitely try out your recommendation!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I love this wine!

  4. Just tried this wine & it was undrinkable. Tasted like chemicals and was absolutely disgusting! I did not taste subtle hints of mocha, coconut, raspberries or blackberries. The only thing I can compare it to is having subtle hints of nail polish remover. We spat it out immediately.

  5. Wow! If you’re tasting chemicals in the wine than something is seriously wrong. Sorry to hear about your bad experience.

  6. I had to triple check to make sure this was the same wine I’m drinking. It’s so acidic I can barely drink it. It burns going down and the breath out is down right painful. I see another reviewer commented that their bottle was also practically undrinkable, and I definitely catch the acetone reference. The flavor is not unlike a nine volt battery. I wonder if perhaps it’s hit and miss by bottle? It came highly recommended to me by several friends.

  7. Hi Sarah! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this wine. It’s interesting that two people now have noticed similar flavors they didn’t like. Like you said, it may be hit and miss by bottle. But still, not a great experience for you.

  8. We have been drinking the 2010 Red Velvet Cupcake all summer. Love it! Everything in your review Jon was right on – all good!

  9. Thanks Dan… cheers!

  10. Are you kidding? This wine was smooth and light and dessert like, just like it’s name. I didn’t personally find it sweet. It was dry enough to be pleasant but mild too. What a pleasant surprise. I prefer it to Zinfadel which is a touch too sweet and mild for me, but it was a little lighter bodied than a Merlot, though I liked it for a similar depth of flavor. Red Velvet.

  11. Like 2 of the other posters, I found this wine too acidic with a very strange chemical like aftertaste. I was surprised because my favorite blend is Apothic Red and they have the same blend of wines. I couldn’t even finish my glass and ended up pouring out the bottle. Maybe we did just get some bad bottles, but I won’t try it again to see if that was the case. Disappointed!

  12. I’ve been a fan of this wine for awhile and recently got a bad bottle that tasted bad and acidic as described above.

  13. Hi Donna… Thanks for sharing your honest opinion, much appreciated!

  14. Thanks for sharing, Ruth. Hope your next bottle is much better!

  15. I just bought my first bottle and loved it. Your review is spot on with my experience.

  16. Excellent! Thanks for the comment!

  17. Angela Mathews says:

    I just tasted this wine today, and I have to agree with the other negative reviews. The nose had a chemical air reminiscent of plastic or rubber. The wine was not sweet at all, but rather dry and acidic. It really tasted like some kind of solvent. I got it at Target, and I really want to take it back now, but I can’t find my receipt. I do not doubt that others have had a better experience, so clearly it must be unstable or the makers do not have a process that creates a consistently good wine. Just awful.

  18. Thanks for commenting Angela. I appreciate the candid review.

  19. I absolutely agree with your review. I love how smooth this wine is and it’s definitely my favorite! I don’t sense anything fake or chemical about this wine at all…and I have a very strong sense of smell. I’ve purchased a number of bottles and have never had a bad experience. I know this wine is specifically marketed to me as a 20-something female, so I kinda don’t like that I love it so much! Thank you for an honest review.

  20. You’re very welcome, Sarah. I say drink what you love!

  21. Kristie Strasen says:

    I am very shocked by the negative comments about this wine. I live in NYC an buy this wine at my local liquor store. I have never had a bad bottle and I have purchased many cases since I discovered it about 1 1/2 years ago. I serve it as my “house wine” and always receive very positive comments on it. If it is being sold at stores like Target – which surprises me – I wonder how it has been stored? The comments about a chemical smell and after taste make me think we cannot be describing the same wine. I love this wine – it is delicious and affordable.

  22. Thanks for jumping in and voicing your opinion, Kristie!

  23. Melissa Jones says:

    This was soooooo good. And for the price… I’m in LOVE. Smooth and flavorful!!!! Tried it before I read the reviews just on a whim! I totally agree with this review!!! YUM!!!

  24. Excellent! Thanks Melissa!

  25. I purchased a bottle a recently and was absolutely repulsed to the point that i poured the whole glass out. There was an unmistakable resemblance to raw hamburger meat. Rave reviews aside, this wine was disturbingly meaty, not fruity as claimed on the bottle. Nor did it have any resemblance to a blackberry chocolate cupcake. I claim false advertisement.

  26. I wonder if those who thought this Cupcake wine tasted like acetone were drinking other Cupcake wines and not the Red Velvet.

    I loved this wine so much I picked it up for a special friend and after raving about it’s cake-y flavour and gorgeous structure found a merely average wine. I had remembered it as really something special and I apologized to my friend.

    In the morning cleaning up I noticed the label was not the Red Velvet. I didn’t make that error again and it’s always spectacular.

    Lorette C. Luzajic

  27. I just tried this wine… its really nice. Loving it.

  28. Suzanne Krupski says:

    I had a bad bottle of 2011 cupcake red velvet recently and was shocked because I bought many 2011 bottles before and they were excellent. The cupcake red velvet is usually so good that I knew immediately there was something wrong with that bottle and brought it back for a refund. I am now only buying the 2012 vintage, which is delicious. I am finding out that all bottles of the same vintage are not always the same in many wines, not just the cupcake. That is really a letdown when that happens.

  29. Thanks for sharing your experience with everyone Suzanne. Let’s hope the 2012′s stay consistant.

  30. Enjoying a glass of this right now! Hubby brought a bottle home for me and I immediately came to your site to make sure I’d like it :) Mine’s a 2012 and it doesn’t disappoint. You’re right, it really is a creamy wine and I picked up on the cocoa right out of the gate. Had a hard time picking out the finish, but you’re absolutely right, it’s coconut. This is now on my permanent list of must haves.

  31. Awesome! Thank you Christy, you’re very kind.

  32. Sans Allergens Gal says:

    Hi is this wine gluten free? I’d love a list of your wines that are, thanks :)


  33. If you check out Cupcake’s FAQ’s section on their website, they say “We did not use wheat, barley or rye in the production of these wines.” Your best bet is to contact the winemakers directly, just to be safe. Cheers!

  34. Jon, I was wondering if there is a preference based on the underlying blends to try the Red Velvet chilled or room temp? I’m a little leary about some of the negative reviews and I am hoping for a positive experience!

  35. Hi Jill… Yes. Cupcake Red Velvet is a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. Generally, those variatels are served at room temparature. Now if the wine’s base was a Pinot Noir, slightly chilled would be more the norm.

  36. I think Cupcake wine taste nasty! no body and synthetic.

  37. Now one of my favorites!

  38. I also tried the wine and It was hands down the worst wine I’ve ever tried. It tasted like gasoline, very much like a chemical flavour. I could not even drink half a glass and poured the rest of the bottle out :(. I love trying new red wines (and I’m not too picky) but this was a huge disappointment.

  39. Similar to some of the other reviews I absolutely love red velvet, however recently I purchased a bottle that had a terrible taste of chemicals and plastic. I think there are some inconsistencies in the batches.

  40. Thanks for commenting Fayth! Love the spelling of your name too. So it sounds like you’ve experienced both good and bad bottles. Interesting…

    I have a review of Cupcake Pinot Noir coming up. I’ll be curious to hear people’s opinions on that one too. If it’s hit and miss like Red Velvet, that might indicate it’s a problem in how they process their wine and not the organic ingredients. The experiment continues!

  41. I just tried this lastnight with some friends and loved it. Its just very tasteful I really loved it now its my new favorite wine! ;)

  42. Great! Thanks for commenting!

  43. Publius says:

    Terrible. Initial smell = cheap wine. Initial taste = cheap wine. Finish = weak.
    Verdict – $5.00 wine. And I wouldn’t drink it at that price, either.

  44. I am surprised there is no mention of the smoky flavor.. tastes like I’m drinking a campfire! I am definitely not complaining, I love this wine!


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