The Frugal Wine Gal: Pendulum Red Wine


Just as Oregon is known as for its Pinot Noir, Washington is known for its big reds. When my local Safeway had a sale on all Washington wines, I decided to stock up. The 2013 Pendulum Red Wine is one that I’d been dying to try and I am so glad I picked up a bottle! I love a good blend and this one really stood out. The next time you are looking for a quality red blend at an incredible price, look no further than this blend.


Pendulum is a wine produced by Precept Wine. They own many vineyards and operate a wide variety of wineries. Labels like Canoe Ridge Vineyard, House Wine, and Chocolate Shop are just a few. This is a company that is after my own heart though, as they primarily produce wines specifically out of the Pacific Northwest. They aim for only high quality wines with lots of character, and those that truly representative of the location where the grapes were grown.

The grapes used to produce this wine were grown in quite a few vineyards in Washington, but they all have one thing in common: hot temperatures. Hot climates grow bigger varietals, which is what makes this wine a big bodied treat. One of the vineyards used, Alder Ridge, has an average of only 4 inches of rain per year and is literally bone dry! To put it in perspective, depending on where you are in the Willamette Valley, the average rainfall is 40 to 80 inches per year. Now those are some dry conditions! Obviously irrigation is essential in places like these, but the heat units can create some fabulous warm climate grapes.

Alder Ridge
I just love this view at Alder Ridge Vineyards – simply stunning (Photo Credit: Precept Wine)

Winemaker John Freeman has a background in winemaking with these kind of grapes. He relocated to Walla Walla, Washington in 2002 from California and has been loving it ever since. He also is a winemaker for  Waterbrook Winery, which specializes in grapes like Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc. Just from drinking his Pendulum blend, I can tell he not only loves making wine but is great at it!

The 2013 Pendulum Red Wine was just recently bottled and it had the perfect amount of age. This is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 11% Syrah, and 7% Malbec. A total of four vineyards were used in this blend. Overall, I loved how balanced this wine was. The color was very dark. Even before I knew what the blend was exactly I could tell that the grapes used were bigger bodied, simply because of the deep color in the glass. On the nose I got hints of black currants and toast. This wine was aged partially in oak and the aromas truly reflect that. Flavors of big, bold, and dark berries were on my palette right away. Along with chocolate and hints of warm vanilla. Not only was this blend delicious, but the mouthfeel was perfection. Smooth and velvety tannins were the perfect balance to this complex, yet fruit forward wine. This is exactly what I want in a red blend, from start to finish!


The best part about this wine is not only how delicious it is, and the price point! This wine retails for right around $15 (depending on where you find it). If you love red blends, this wine was created for you. The smooth velvety tannins will draw you in and have you hooked instantly. I would highly recommend pairing this wine with anything chocolate. The rich cocoa notes in this wine will really pair well with a little bit of sweetness. Cheers to Washington wine at it’s finest!


Wine lover and student. I love finding great wines at fantastic prices that are affordable for anyone and everyone. Both Oregon and Washington have some amazing options and I look forward to sharing them with everyone. Cheers!

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