Is Your Wine Chill Activated?

Mommessin Beaujolais Grande Reserve Red 2006

Mommessin Beaujolais Grande Reserve Red 2006

I Paid: $10.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle (prices may vary by region)

Taste: stars

Marketing: 4 stars

Some advice, based on the experience of buying and sampling a bottle of Mommessin's Beaujolais Grande Reserve Red 2006: Don't buy any wine that comes packaged in an aluminum bottle sporting a trendy-looking twentysomething woman in high heels. Moreover: Head for the hills (or another wine shop) when the wine's packaging lets you know that it's "ready to drink when our cooldot turns blue."

Chill-activated graphics were first popularized by Coors Light: Mountains on the beer's label turn blue when the brew is cold. In this case, the wine's bottle has a little white dot reading "chill me" that turns blue when it reaches a temperature that's sufficiently cold to render the stuff drinkable.

I was expecting the wine, which is from France, to be fruity, overly sweet, but basically harmless. Picnic wine. In fact, it suggests picnics by virtue of the fact that it comes in a shatterproof aluminum bottle, which protects the wine from UV rays and "chills it approximately 20 percent faster than glass." Plus, the stuff is priced around $10—and you can certainly expect drinkable wine once you stride into the world of double digits.

But no. The instructions should read: "Chill in refrigerator until cooldot turns blue, then pour directly into kitchen sink."

After an initial sweet odor of berry fruits, a bottle of Mommessin Beaujolais Grande Reserve 2006 tastes tannic, hollow, bitter, metallic, like chewing an aspirin, like Hi-C that they forgot to add the sugar to. There's no depth, just pain. I wouldn't serve it to Bernie Madoff as I was kicking him off a plane without a parachute. "Bernie," I'd say, "even you don't deserve to drink this stuff. Have a nice trip!" [Robust kicking sound effect, followed by "AAAAAAAAAaaaaaaa" trailing-off scream.]

Those who buy a wine because it emulates the Coors Light Cold Activated Bottle truly get what they deserve with this one.

Now, if you'll excuse me, my wine has a date with the kitchen sink.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.