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2022 DAOU Pessimist Wine – Review

Forget everything you think a “Pessimist” might be. This isn’t a wimpy wine content to sit in the corner. The 2022 DAOU Pessimist Wine is a bold Californian blend that bursts onto the scene with a bang. Let’s dive in and see if this wine lives up to its intriguing name (spoiler alert: it does, but in a surprisingly delightful way).

Exact Wine Name: 2022 DAOU Pessimist
Producer: DAOU Vineyards
Country/Region of Origin: Paso Robles, California
Grape Varietal(s): Primarily Petite Sirah (75%), with Syrah (10%), Zinfandel (11%), Lagrein (2%), and Malbec (2%)
Type: Red Blend
Style: Full-bodied, Bold
Vintage Year: 2022
ABV: 14.9% (typical for Paso Robles reds)
Price Range: $20-$30 per bottle
Aroma Profile Details: Black fruit (blueberry, boysenberry, plum), floral (lavender, violet), spice (cocoa, cardamom), savory (eucalyptus, leather, tobacco)
Flavor Profile Details: Dark fruit (black cherry, cassis), sweet fruit (blueberry), savory (damp earth, black olive), spice (anise)
Peak Drinking Window: 2025-2030 (can be enjoyed now, but may improve with bottle aging)

Testing Notes

Popped open a bottle of the 2022 DAOU Pessimist last night, and wow, this California blend is no wallflower. It poured a deep, almost inky purple color, hinting at the bold flavors to come. The first whiff was a heady mix of blackberries and plums, followed by surprising hints of violets and something savory, like smoked paprika.

Taking a sip, the richness of the wine was undeniable. Blackberry and cassis flavors dominated, with a touch of peppery spice on the back end. It wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet, but there was a hint of dark chocolate lingering in the finish. The tannins were noticeable, but not harsh, giving the wine a nice structure.

This is definitely a full-bodied red wine, perfect for a chilly night or a hearty meal. I could see it pairing beautifully with grilled ribeye or a plate of aged cheddar cheese. While some might find it a bit much on its own, for those who enjoy big, bold reds, the DAOU Pessimist is a winner.

4.5Very Good
Overall, the 2022 DAOU Pessimist is a full-bodied red wine with a rich and bold flavor profile. It's a good value for money and can age well. However, it's not the most food-versatile wine and may be too bold for some palates.


  • Rich and bold flavor profile
  • Good value for money
  • Can age well


  • High alcohol content (may not be suitable for everyone)
  • Not as food-versatile as some other wines


  • Drinkability 4.5/5
  • Food Pairing 4.0/5
  • Value for Money 4.7/5
  • Personal Preference 4.7/5

Bonus tip: If you do decide to uncork this bottle, consider decanting it for about 30 minutes beforehand. This can help soften the tannins and allow the flavors to open up further.

2021 DAOU Pessimist Wine

Perfect Pairings for the Pessimist: A Celebration of Bold Flavors

The 2022 DAOU Pessimist isn’t your average glass of red. This California blend boasts a full-bodied personality that demands equally bold companions on the dinner table. Here’s how to unlock the Pessimist’s full potential with perfect food pairings:

Embrace the Power of Meat:

Grilled Red Meat: Picture a perfectly seared ribeye, its juicy tenderness a perfect counterpoint to the Pessimist’s robust tannins.

Braised Short Ribs: The slow-cooked richness of braised short ribs finds a beautiful echo in the Pessimist’s deep fruit flavors.

Hearty Stews: Don’t shy away from a flavorful stew. The Pessimist’s bold character will stand up to the complex layers of herbs and spices.

Cheese: A Match Made in Flavor Heaven

Aged Cheeses: The sharp bite of aged cheddar or gouda cuts through the richness of the Pessimist, creating a delightful dance on the palate.

Blue Cheese: For the adventurous cheese lover, blue cheese can be a fantastic pairing. The contrasting flavors create a truly unique and exciting experience.

When to Pop the Cork: Special Occasions Deserve a Special Wine

The DAOU Pessimist isn’t an everyday wine. Save it for those moments that deserve a little bit extra:

Special Occasions: Celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or any momentous event with a bottle of Pessimist.

Luxurious Dinner Party: Impress your guests with a culinary experience that centers around this bold and flavorful wine.

A Night of Indulgence: Sometimes, you just deserve a treat. Pop open a bottle of Pessimist and savor the rich flavors and luxurious experience.

Remember, the key is to embrace the Pessimist’s boldness. Choose dishes that can stand up to its full-bodied character and create a truly memorable food and wine pairing.

DAOU Pessimist Wine: FAQs Uncorked!

The intriguing name “Pessimist” might have you wondering what kind of wine experience awaits. Here’s a breakdown of some frequently asked questions to help you decide if this Californian blend is for you:

Is Pessimist a good wine?

Absolutely! The 2022 DAOU Pessimist has garnered positive reviews, with critics praising its rich flavor profile, bold character, and good value for money. If you enjoy full-bodied red wines with notes of dark fruit, spice, and earth, then the Pessimist is likely to be a good choice.

What grapes are in The Pessimist?

The Pessimist is a unique blend, showcasing the diversity of Paso Robles grapes. It’s primarily made up of Petite Sirah (75%), known for its bold tannins and dark fruit flavors. Other grapes in the blend include Syrah (10%), adding peppery spice, Zinfandel (11%) for juicy fruit notes, and smaller amounts of Lagrein (2%) and Malbec (2%) for added complexity.

How much is DAOU Vineyards worth?

Unfortunately, the exact worth of DAOU Vineyards is not publicly available information. Wineries are often private businesses, and their financial details are not always disclosed.

How long will a bottle of Pessimist last once opened?

The Pessimist can be enjoyed for a few days after opening, but it’s best consumed within 2-3 days for optimal freshness. Consider decanting the wine for 30 minutes before serving to soften the tannins and allow the flavors to open up further.

Is Pessimist a good wine for beginners?

The Pessimist’s bold character might be a bit overwhelming for those new to red wines. If you’re a beginner, you might prefer a lighter-bodied red like Pinot Noir or Merlot.