When news first broke of James Harden’s wine business venture, I was immediately intrigued. How couldn’t I have been? One of the NBA’s biggest known off-court party personalities was launching his own branded drink.
The launch date coinciding with James Harden’s birthday on August 26 rolled around and I found myself on the site scrambling for a coupon code at checkout for his wine. I’ve gotten to try it, and now I’ll do my best to describe it — so you can hopefully decide for yourself if you should purchase it.
Before I go on, I feel the need to say this disclaimer: I do NOT consider myself a ‘wine guy’. I also wouldn’t say I hate wine, either. Like most people, my personal experience with wine ranges throughout my college tenure. Ironically, the majority of the wine I have tried probably fell into this $20 or less range — so you could argue that I fall right into the target market for this wine.
Without further ado, let’s dive into it:
Shipping & Packaging
The shipment process was seamless. I ordered it on noon Friday and received it within 24 hours. I’m unsure if this will be the case for all orders, but my bottle came from New York — meaning that you’ll probably get yours within a business day or two max if you live in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Shipping is free on orders of six or more bottles. I’m not a religious wine drinker, so I only bought one. Shipping was about $15 and you can even get it shipped with ice for an additional $11. I’m #cheap, so I opted not to do this.
The bottle came in great shape. It was very well protected and I have zero complaints about the shipment process.
I must say that James, and his wine design team, did an excellent job designing this bottle. It is far from plain in design. It’s flashy with a bunch of colors that work well together. It is far from childish or too much though. The back even features a small paragraph or two on the target market he’s aiming for, along with some taste info. Overall, it’s a clean design and I’m a huge fan of it. Whoever designed this bottle should be put in charge of the Sixers’ jersey designs.
Like most wine bottles, this one was corked, and had a very satisfying pop when I opened it. The wine came in a very deep red color, with a satisfying but far from overpowering scent along with it.
I’m not a professional wine taster, but I’ll do my best to describe the flavor and the rest. It had a very smooth and consistent flavor of a typical red wine. There’s a smooth base taste behind it with the occasional jammy flavor that pops as it sits in your mouth. It is a very dry wine, which can be a plus or minus depending on you and your preferences.
I found that the after-taste was my favorite part. It leaves a very pleasant taste in the back of your mouth that isn’t overpowering but present. Ideally, it’s probably best suited alongside some food. They say (at least I think they do) that red wine goes perfect with beef, and I could definitely see some Philly fans pairing this with a cheesesteak of their choice.
Is it worth it?
Should you buy the Beard’s wine? If you consider yourself a (dry) wine person, I’d lean towards yes. I’d argue that the taste alone justifies its price point. I’ve had far worse wines in the $20 range. This feels like you’re getting your money’s worth, which is all I could really ask.
On the other hand, I’d lean towards no if you are not a fan of dry or red wines — this is probably a 8 or 9 at minimum on the one-to-dry scale. I’m unsure if Harden’s wine business is in the process of developing a white wine, but they should be if they haven’t done so already. I think this is a very solid launch product that they could build on.
Overall, I’m pleased with my purchase. It’s not my first choice of beverage by any means, but if you find yourself picking amongst $20 wines I’d argue that this is one of the better selections you could make. If you’re above the age of 21 and consider yourself a James Harden stan, Sixer fan, or a red wine person — I’d say go for it.