I’m in this for you. Yes, someone has to do it, guess it has to be me…..I will taste and drink many wines on my journey to help find something just right for you. Here are my thoughts on some inexpensive wines I am tasting tonight. Everyone can like an expensive wine, but it takes some sleuthing to find drinkable and affordable everyday wines. Give one of these a try this weekend and report back tout de suite!
Thought 1-These 2 whites may help you survive this lingering summer heat……
2010 Goats in Villages Chenin Blanc Viognier South Africa
Good if you like a light and fruity white wine. This wine has aromas of tropical fruit and a slight hint of oak. When tasting, there are some nuances of pineapple and banana. The alcohol is a little harsh on the nose, but not bad for less than $10 at Trader Joes. Try it with Asian food or I don’t know, maybe poptarts.
2010 Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc (aka Sauvignon Blanc) Sonoma County
This is a reliably bright, clean and crisp example of the varietal. I like the typical sauvignon characteristics of grapefruit and grass in this wine. I find this wine has a reliably smooth feel in the mouth and it is very drinkable and pleasant with or without food. Runs about $13 at Trader Joes but you can find it in a lot of places. I buy a few of these during the year for when I need to have a white around.
Thought 2-Eventhough it’s still so hot in Sacramento, get a jump start on the fall with these interesting bottles…
2008 Goats in Villages Shiraz Pinotage South Africa
My guess is there is a good chance many of you haven’t tried a wine from South Africa. If that is the case, this is a good one to try because South Africa is the birthplace of pinotage. In the 1920’s it was developed as a cross between the pinot noir and cinsault grapes. Because of its distinct and relatively harsh paint-like flavor, pinotage is often popped into a blend. The shiraz really helps out here. When I smell this wine it reminds me of science experiments demonstrating chemical change in burnt wood…it smells just like the residue left in the test tube or maybe it’s like the liquid smoke you use in bbq sauce. Tannins are very noticeable in this bottle, and if you like a bold and interesting wine, this may to your liking. Even my friend, and fellow wine enthusiast, Faith was surprised she liked this one! Found this at TJ’s as well (under $10). I’m thinking a big juicy burger is the perfect accompaniment. If you are feeling really adventurous, try finding parent company Goats do Roam Pinotage straight varietal. I’ve seen it at Corti Bros and Bev mo in the past. It’s an interesting change of pace.
2007 Santa Ema 60/40 Chile Maipo Valley
They say Chile is the next wine frontier, so try something Chilean this weekend. This 60% cabernet sauvignon 40% merlot is a pretty good and drinkable red. The tannins are hefty in this wine with raspberry and pepper notes. The alcohol feels a bit high, but I find you can cut that hot sensation a bit if you use an aerator. I really have found my Vinturi aerator to make a difference in lower priced wines….difference isn’t as noticeable as I have crept up in price. Wine Spectator magazine rated the 2006 vintage of this same wine a 2009 TOP VALUE at $14/bottle. I found mine at Cost Plus.
2009 Bogle Petit Sirah Clarksburg
Ah yes, the local and reliable Bogle Petit Sirah. If you have not tried this red from the Delta ….you should. I think it is a perfect example of a <$10 weeknight bottle of wine. In its own way, the Bogle is a fruit bomb. It has strong blackberry and cassis notes on the nose and it tastes like raisins, those same blackberries, and a bit like Welch’s grape juice! It is sweetish, yet peppery, and it is so darn easy to drink, a little too easy for a Thursday! Petit Sirah grows very well in the Delta, and in my opinion, it continues to be Bogle’s best effort. It is typically available at a grocery store near you. If you get down to the winery, pick up a bottle of their Petit Sirah Port….a real treat!