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We tried the Barefoot-Oreo wine and it's 'weird, weird, weird'

It's not a great wine. It's not even good. But it is hilarious. It's audacious. And, most importantly, it comes with Oreos.
Oreo Wine
We tried the Barefoot-Oreo wine and, if nothing else, it's audacious.Courtesy Barefoot/Oreo

Life is full of odd serendipities, if you're paying attention. About seven years ago, I posted this to my Facebook account:

I am not only a dietitian but also a soothsayer.Courtesy Heather Martin

And then, apparently, the dilithium crystals overloaded, time folded in on itself, and I fell through a wormhole face-first into this box, freshly arrived at my doorstep.

The wine came in a box with this warning — one I did not take lightly.Courtesy Heather Martin

When I heard about this new offering from Barefoot Wine and Oreos, I happened to be in a drugstore, and I snort-laughed so loudly I alarmed several fellow shoppers.

It's available only through the Barefoot website, starting Dec. 9. The sample box shown has one bottle, but the retail version has two full 750-millileters bottles plus a package of Oreo Thins, and will sell for $24.99 as long as it lasts. It's a small-batch offering, and to judge by how quickly similar mashups are selling out, I'll bet it doesn't last long. Barefoot and Oreo describe this as a nighttime treat for adults, like a grown-up cookies and milk. Better hand the sleigh keys to Rudolph this year, Santa!

On the one hand, this product was obviously made for consumers exactly like me. I like red wine in moderation, and I feel smug about its antioxidant capacity. I love Oreos, too, and the thins work well for me, although I also often just have a couple of the original ones. On the face of it, this should be my ideal wine, right? Two birds, one stone! What’s not to like?

On the other hand, gross! What fiendish devilry inspired this cursed, two-headed beverage monster? Why, whyyyyyyyy would you do this? I think it has to be for the love of the game. Can we one-up Thanksgiving Pringles? Can we dunk on Kraft’s pink candy mac and cheese? I have to respect that kind of competitive spirit — I love the game, too.

I also love the label. What a bold choice. Take in the design of the name "Thins" with the cookie as the "I". I am the cookie and it is me. Together, we constitute the universe. Look upon our works, ye mighty, and despair!

Points for the bold choice of label.Courtesy Heather Martin

And the color choice, my goodness. They could have pulled the punch, gone with the traditional earth tones found on every single other label for red wine, but instead they just went for it — a cold-as-ice palette to match the nerves of steel it took to pitch this concept to upper management. Look at it with this cloudless winter sky! They're made for each other, just like Oreos and red wine, I guess.

Well, regrettably, we can't drink the label, so let's crack the metal cap. (Corks are for losers!) I've gone back and forth about the serving details. Usually, red is served room temp, but you gotta dip the Oreos, right? You can't dip in room temp! It's unseasonably warm, so I popped it in the fridge just for a bit, aiming for fashionably cool.

The glass shape is important too, especially if you're interested in really examining the bouquet. I want rounded, but a little bit of a taller glass to let the aroma really develop. Alas, our glasses are packed away due to a pandemic remodeling project. As luck would have it, I still have my commemorative Hidden Valley RanchNog glasses out — perfect in shape and style, wide top for dipping, appropriate branding gravitas to handle what's sure to be a titan in shock beverage lore.

A swirl, a sniff … yikes. I certainly do get the Oreo, waaaaay more than I am comfortable with in wine form. Well, this isn't the first time my regret has smelled strongly of Oreos. I catch cocoa and cream, but curiously, not much wine. It's missing the browned batter smell of a cookie, too. After a few seconds, I place the sense memory: This is the Toasted Marshmallow Bud Light Hard Seltzer of wine, at least in terms of smell. Let's see how it tastes.

Look, I'm not proud: I'm fine with Two-Buck Chuck for a casual dinner. There's a reason why Barefoot is the No. 1 seller of wine in the U.S., and I think wines like it and Charles Shaw are unfairly maligned sometimes. Wines like this are not vintage — they contain grapes from more than one year so they're lacking in the specific character and interesting variations that vintage wines have — but that also makes them economical, accessible and easier to pair with a variety of meals … usually. This one is a different animal — specifically, a platypus. It has parts from several branches of the evolutionary tree smushed together in an uncanny cornucopia. It's unlikely bedfellows with itself. The cocoa cream smell falls away as soon as the wine hits your tongue. It's just red wine, prominently cherry-berry sweet up high and a bit of oaky tannin low. Just red wine. It's fine. And then the Oreo comes back, bookending the Barefoot, wrestling its way through the ferment to plant a bizarre marshmallow-y flag on the territory of your tongue. They may arrive together in the bottle, but they're not on speaking terms.

The best thing about the wine is the Oreos it comes with.Courtesy Heather Martin

So, let's try dunking the cookie in the wine. I love Oreo Thins. I feel like they are slightly extra crispy compared to the original, ideal for dipping. They do soak up a little bit of wine, and I prefer this manner of consumption. It's mostly about the Oreos, but the Barefoot adds some interest, a little depth to the chocolate, and the tannin isn't too clashy-clashy. Or perhaps I've just had too much wine.

One of the keys to finishing a glass is to not breathe in or out of your mouth whilst sipping. You'll aerate your palate, and trust me, we do not want that. It really makes the "creme" pop in the low notes, and it's weird, weird, weird. The platypus has grown a second bill, and it's just Not Right.

Barefoot Oreo Thins Red Blend is unfit for pairing with any conceivable meal. There is no universe in which it makes sense. It's not a great wine. It's not even good. But it is hilarious. It's audacious. And, most importantly, it comes with Oreos.

I could say more, so much more. But, I need to get cracking on that time machine so I can go back and warn 2014 me to stay away from wormholes.