A few weeks ago, the folks at Sledgehammer Wine invited me and Katie to an Adam Carolla show at the Uptown Theatre in Napa. We hung out, drank delicious reds, and laughed at Adam’s expense.

It’s been a while since Mr. Carolla’s been on my radar, but I’m glad I rediscovered him. He was hilarious. He has a newly-released book listed on Amazon, and his opening bit was all about the fact that there are ALREADY used copies making their rounds. Oh, and not to mention one “collectible” copy, which he had nothing to do with whatsoever.

No Sipping. No Swirling.

Have you heard of Sledgehammer Wine? They’re a relatively new brand that also happens to be the official wine of the Adam Carolla Show. Sledgehammer focuses on two reds: Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know much about wine. I know that I can’t tell the difference between a $10 bottle and a $95 bottle. I know that I like my wine red, bold, and dry. I know I enjoy Cab because to me, it’s the most intense. Other than that, I’m still experimenting and “developing my palette”, so to speak. Most of all, I know I like drinking the stuff.

If you’re like me, in that you barely know anything about wine but want to (or are curious enough to) learn more, you’d be in good company with Sledgehammer. Even if you don’t care to learn and you just want to drink, you’re still in good company. Their motto is simple: No Sipping. No Swirling. They’re not your typical foofy, wine-swirling, tannin-breathing bunch, which I love. You pour and you drink. BOOM. Makes me feel all manly inside, which is the opposite feeling I get when Katie makes me sip her rosé, aptly named “Pink Truck”.

An Exciting Announcement

You might be wondering why all this talk about Sledgehammer Wine. To be honest, I feel like their brand and approach to wine really resonates with me, and I feel like it will also resonate strongly with you guys, my readers.

Enjoying wine has always been kinda highbrow to me, like I’m trying to edge my way into this exclusive club of glass sniffers without really knowing what I’m getting myself into. Sometimes I just want to enjoy a damn glass of wine without having to sniff anything or let any tannins breathe, whatever the hell that means. Sledgehammer feels my pain, and they want to dispel the notion that enjoying wine has to be all… fancy. I dig that.

Katie and I have hooked up with the good folks at Sledgehammer, and we’re working on some really cool projects coming up for Fifth&Brannan, Katie’s premiere mens line launching this summer. I can’t give away too much detail yet, but it’s gonna be awesome, and we’re really excited to be working with these peeps. More news on this later.

Check out Sledgehammer’s site and take a look around… you might learn a thing or two: sledgehammerwine.com

Also, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle, or see if there’s a place nearby that carries it in stock. You won’t be spending $60 for some fancy shit, but you’re also not drinking Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s. A bottle of Sledgehammer is around $15, so you can’t go wrong.

What’s your take on wine?

Do you have a favorite brand? Variety? Are you like me, still learning and figuring out what you enjoy? Let’s hear it in the comments below.

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PUBLISHED March 3, 2011

Barron is a Lean Wardrobe Advocate and Founding Editor of Effortless Gent. He's from San Francisco but currently living in New York. Connect with him on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Tumblr.

  • This is a brilliant idea. I’ll have to try some.

    • Yeah definitely. I’ve tried both and they’re quite good.

  • Jetlau4

    Sorry, sounds ridiculous to me. Wine is a classy sophisticated drink and this bottle and marketing exudes the opposite. Men don’ t have to be burly and over macho to be men. Style and sophistication show confidence. I’ll pass. Stick with southern french syrahs and italian nebbiolos.

    • I think that’s the whole point. I have a feeling the majority of men are turned off by wine’s over-sophistication. Their overall message is basically that you can enjoy a good wine without having to do all the ritualistic shit most wine drinkers do (and I’m willing to bet 75% of people participating in these rituals are only doing so because they see everyone else doing it — like swirling, for example.)

      You just name dropped french syrah and italian nebbiolo, so most likely you’re not in this majority. Which is good, it just means you’re not their market 🙂

    • Apm


      Popular culture likes to portray drinking cheap beer as “macho”. Manly to me means choosing drinks that are complex and sophisticated. I’ve never tasted this bottle but their marketing is aiming towards the media portrayed “macho” man rather than encouraging men to experiment and actually learn a little about wine. Sipping is good, wine is not meant to be chugged.

      • I think if you dove a little deeper, you’d realize Sledgehammer is still all about educating the consumer about wine. It’s just in a more clear-cut way, saying hey, remove all the pretentiousness from the wine world, and just sit back and enjoy this. That’s something I can get behind.

        • Hammer

          I agree. People like jetlau4 are the reason some people refuse to even try wine. We are all very impressed you know wine names and where they grow it. Im sure I can google it too. If you enjoy something you are more likely to learn about it. Have to try it before you know if you like it. This is basically a gateway wine and I think they did a good job with it. I can see it now….Jetlau4 and some biker twirling their stem glasses together watching the sunset in France. 

          • Yeah, and I think that’s the most important thing. Taking inexperienced wine drinkers and introducing them to that whole world. It’s pretty intimidating when you’re outside looking in, but I think Sledge does a good job making curious dudes feel comfortable.

  • Michael T.

    I work at a Trader Joe’s and there are plenty of bottles in the $5-15 range that I consider to be very good bottles of wine and would easily give a $25-75 bottle a run for its money. And, like you, I definitely don’t know my ass from my tannins. I know I like a more bold and flavorful red. Some of my fav’s include: Red Diamond, Robert Hall, Castoro Cellars, and pretty much all of the Trader Joe’s Reserves. Unfortunately, we don’t carry the Sledgehammer and I will have to keep an eye out for it.

    • Hey Michael! Sorry I hope it didn’t sound like I was knocking TJ’s. I actually buy wine from there all the time, and you’re right, there are a bunch of great bottles in that $5-$15 range you mentioned. I like sticking to that range because it gives me the freedom to try a bunch of varieties of grapes and brands that I wouldn’t be so comfortable doing if I were paying say, $25 a bottle… especially since I’m still learning and can’t really tell the difference anyway.

      Thanks for the comment.

  • Glen

    I’m lucky enough to live near Paso Robles, so wine has been a hobby of mine and my wife’s for a couple years now. I haven’t had Sledgehammer wine, yet. I will definitely keep a look out.
    It’s quite a coincidence that you posted a wine like this today. The wife and I love Cabernet Sauvignon but wanted something to go better with the movie we were staying in to watch – “Red” starring Bruce Willis and company. We pulled out a blend called “Full Boar” from Eberle in Paso Robles. The first sip feels like the flavor just kicked you in the mouth. By the 4th sip, you’re thinking, “Damn, this shit is good.”

    Sounds like it’s in your ball park. We got it for $15 at the winery. If you need a break from sipping pink wines while watching “The Notebook”, pop in that old “Die Hard” VHS tape and break out a bottle of this stuff.

    • haha, dude. The Notebook is like my all-time favorite movie!

      In all seriousness though, thanks for the suggestion. I’m always open to great wines that don’t break the bank. Pairing wine with movies, now that’s something I need to do more often.

  • EatBigApple

    Would you happen to know how to get in touch with the folks from Sledgehammer? Couldn’t find info on the website except for twitter. Want to ask them about acquiring some wine overseas.