What’s all in? It takes a gambler to really know what that means. Sure, almost anyone can tell you the mechanics for each game and the bets that signify the meaning of “all in.” Despite all the variations of poker, roulette, craps, pai gow or specific hands of blackjack, the phrase has many other meanings.

Sometimes in any game of chance when a fellow player declares all in, you know it is not for the value of the hand but more for the desperation of the bet. You never know. I have been there with a blackjack hand and a poker hand or two myself. The ultimate “All-In” bet is Russian roulette, but that’s a whole different subject for another story.

Literally and metaphorically this red blend lives up to the moniker with a little bit of style not often seen in blends with pedigrees that reflect the terroir of the region where the grapes are grown. Juicy fruit and soft tannins make this wine a crowd pleaser right off the bat.

It’s big enough and nice enough without being showy and “…doggone it, people are going to like it” to paraphrase a Stuart Smalley quote. Ripe red fruit and a plum nose start the ride to fulfillmentville consisting of 42% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Petit Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc. It is true Claret.

Murphy Goode winery familyDavid Ready Jr., Murphy Goode’s rock star winemaker

This is an express ride to Flavortown with no stops in between, so commit and enjoy the full flavors and the ride. “All In” Claret is an oasis of flavor in a sea of blended wines from the 2011 vintage that have struggled for some identity. This Claret signifies good wines from the 2011 vintage, which reflect a level of quality consumers can depend on.

Deal another hand Murphy-Goode, I’m buying in.

Rating: Very Good (88) | $24 | 13.5% ABV

Murphy Goode Alexander Valley Claret