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

Cupcake Red Velvet WineAccording 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 California Wine Club, which I joined.  Includes price, Pros and Cons and pictures of what I received.

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  1. says

    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!

  2. Iri says

    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.

  3. Sarah says

    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.

  4. says

    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.

  5. Dan Goff says

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

  6. jill says

    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.

  7. Donna says

    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!

  8. Ruth says

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

  9. 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.

  10. Sarah G says

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!!!

  13. Rienne says

    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.

  14. says

    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

  15. 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.

  16. Christy says

    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.

  17. Sans Allergens Gal says

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


  18. says

    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!

  19. Jill C says

    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!

  20. says

    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.

  21. Alison says

    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.

  22. Fayth says

    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.

  23. says

    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!

  24. Esmy says

    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! ;)

  25. 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.

  26. Sean says

    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!

  27. vivian says

    This was a lovely surprise of goodness. I only bought it because it was on sale and the name was cute and I needed another bottle to complete the six pack for the 10 percent Safeway discount.
    Tomorrow I am sending my husband back to get a six pack of Red Velvet while it is still on sale.

  28. Anonymous says

    i don’t love this wine it made me very very sick, just had it last night and i had a feeling by the name it must be sweet that it would make me sick and i was right wish i would of listened to my gut instincts, now i am struggling to feel better.

  29. Shelly says

    I love the red velvet…smooth, slightly sweet. I also taste the coconut finish. I have tried other Cupcake wines and haven’t loved them but this is a good one. I will definitely buy it again.

  30. Missy says

    Tried this wine last week with sushi and wasn’t impressed… Hubby couldn’t even finish it.. Now sitting on patio and giving it another shot, paired with some chocolate and YUM!!! I was in heaven!! After reading these comments about the acetone taste, I can now taste it but couldn’t before. I can’t say I would buy it again, but I am surprised by the complexity of the flavors and how they hit the tongue at different times.

  31. Melinda says

    First time trying this wine and i’m absolutely enjoying every sip!!! store didn’t have my regular go to so i thought to just try it since it was super affordable. the bouquets is wonderful with plums and blackberries. then the smooth feel and med acidity just won me over. dark chocolate hits me right off the bat then the dark cherries and definitely the hint of coconut. LOVE, love, love it!

  32. Tori says

    Do you happen to know if this wine, or any of the other reds by Cupcake, have strawberries in them? I’ve checked all over the place, including their FAQs, but can’t find anything that really says either way. I love their moscato, and I’m really interested in trying this one, but I’m very allergic to strawberries. I know it would probably be a good idea to contact them directly, but I figured since I was already on this page, why not ask?

    Thanks for the help! :)

  33. Missy says


  34. says

    If I were in your shoes I wouldn’t take a chance. Definitely, ask them directly. For example, what if they happen to grow wild strawberries nearby and they accidentily make it to the presses? Unlikely, but better safe than sorry.

  35. mickey martin says

    Someone needs to tell “Sans Allergen” that all wine is virtually gluten free. If you’re allergic, it’s one thing. But if it’s just dietary- you’ll never notice any gluten it’s so miniscule.

    Now for the wine- I don’t like it at all, but I sell the heck out of it at my stores as a “Menage” or “Apothic” style smooth red. I haven’t tasted it often enough to comment on vintage or bad bottles out there. My customers seem to love it though.

  36. lauren says

    This wine says it’s good with bacon cheeseburgers but it also goes great with popcorn. Love it

  37. Jessie W says

    I wasn’t a real wine drinker until I tried this at a wine tasting during a vacation trip a year ago. I went from buying it by the bottle to by the case. I Love It. Now for those people who found it not to their taste I suggest pouring a glass and let it breathe for two or three minutes. The tongue kiss and aroma goes delightly smooth.

  38. Stephanie says

    Is this best served room temperature? I refrigerate my Cabernet but leave all other reds room temp. Not sure with this blend; it has Merlot so I would think room temp?

  39. says

    Hi Stephanie, I would serve this at either room temperature or slightly chilled. Have you tried Cabernet at room temperature? I’ve found chilling Cabernet mutes the flavors quite a bit. But that’s just me!

    Cheers… Jon

  40. Steve says

    I wonder if people just have different tastes in regards to this wine- maybe it is polarizing, or maybe the wine batches are inconsistent. I could not finish a glass (a first) and agree with the comments that say it tasted like an odd, synthetic, chemical taste- so had to look it up to see if others had the same reaction. Undrinkable.

  41. jan says

    Rubber. Even after rinsing with water and brushing my teeth, I can’t get it to go away. And it is the Red Velvet. $12 a bottle isn’t a lot, but there are much cheaper and too many good equivalently priced wines that are far, far better. Won’t buy again.


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