Dragon Juice
Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen with House Of The Dragon wines

An Honest Review Of The Official House Of The Dragon Wines

Three wines, but only one winner could be crowned.

Ollie Upton/HBO; House of The Dragon Wine

In Elite Daily’s I Tried series, we put products, recipes, and routines to the test to show you what living like your fave stars and characters is really like. In this piece, the official House of the Dragon wines bring the fire to the table.

Game of Thrones was a cultural phenomenon for an entire decade, spawning more fan merch each season than most shows do in their entire series run. Now, GOT’s prequel series, House of the Dragon, may not have stuffed direwolves or Tyrion Lannister-inspired tees, but the show’s cultural cache is on the rise with the same kinds of tie-ins, from Targaryen action figures to dragon pendants.

During Game of Thrones’ time, fans were big into show-inspired beer. The tavern drink of the people was the way fans could show their love of the series at watch parties and get-togethers. House of the Dragon brings a more royal sensibility with wine. Seven Kingdoms Cellars, a division of Vintage Wine Estates, partnered with Warner Bros. and HBO to launch a selection of three American-produced red wines in celebration of the new series.

When a representative for the brand reached out to offer me some samples of the House of the Dragon wines, I was excited to get my hands on them to see which of the three were worth crowning.

The Wines

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Though my bottles were sent to me in the mail, finding the House of the Dragon wines locally is easy. Like the Game of Thrones beers, my local Total Wine carries these bottles. You can also order them online, although at the time of this writing, only one of the varieties is in stock on the official website.

There are three types of wine, each from a different year: a 2019 California cabernet sauvignon, a 2020 blended red from the Lodi appellation in California, and a 2021 Oregon pinot noir.

Once I was ready for the royal tasting, I grabbed three wine glasses from the cabinet and decided to try the wines with a bit of cheese, smoked salmon, and raspberries. Only the best for a queen.

The Tasting

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As I’ve learned throughout my wine-tasting journey, the best way to taste wines is to go from lightest to darkest. That’s why, when you order a wine flight, the white wines come before the roses, followed by the reds.

Here are my thoughts on each of them:

The Pinot Noir

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In this case, the lightest of the three wines was the pinot noir (the one with the blue-grey label), so I started there. Upon pouring and swirling, I was pleased to see that it had decent legs, aka droplets that slide down inside the glass. (The prominence of these droplets in a glass is believed to be proof of a rich texture and full body. It also often indicates a high alcohol content.) Also, there was a surprise on the cork: It had a dragon’s egg emblazoned on it.

The pinot was super smooth and not too sweet. It could prove dangerous for those who don’t like their wine to have too much of a bite, as the smooth tannins really made this one easy to drink. Of the three, it paired the best with the food I’d prepared for the tasting.

The Cabernet Sauvignon

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After a bit of sniffing, I determined the cabernet sauvignon (the red label), seemed lighter than the blend, so that was next up. Like the pinot, the delightfully dark cab’s “legs” slowly rolled down the inside of the glass after swirling. Unlike the pinot, which didn’t have a strong smell, the scent of this wine hit my nose before I’d tipped the glass to have a sip. Bonus: The cork had a dragon’s tail swirled around it.

The first sip was startlingly fruity and sweet for a cab. There was also a surprising lack of tannins. It wasn’t my favorite wine, although I may have enjoyed it more if I’d had something super savory to pair it with, like a steak or a roast duck.

The Blended Red

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All the missing tannins showed up in the final bottle, the blend with the green-gray label. However, its legs were the weakest of the three, semi-evaporating instead of running back down the glass. This one’s cork had the front half of the cab’s dragon, featuring a fearsome face.

This was a punchy wine, spicy with notes of cinnamon. It seemed like a wine designed to go with dessert, like chocolate bonbons or cake. It’s the perfect wine to sip in the tub with a romance novel, or sit around your husband’s chambers grumping about your ungrateful stepdaughter who thinks she gets to rule the Seven Kingdoms just because her father named her heir.

Final Thoughts

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Like the Game of Thrones beers, these wines are meant to appeal to fans, with the different colored labels and surprises on the corks. But also like the beers, these wines are the real deal. I especially liked the pinot noir — I would easily buy it as an everyday wine for my house and drink it while watching the Targaryens fight like Westerosi Dynasty every Sunday.

House of the Dragon Season 1 continues on HBO with new episodes on Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max.