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#21 Darrel Manson

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 06:21 PM

For those of you on the look out for inexpensive drinkable wine, we've found some SE Australian wine called "The Little Penguin" at our local Vons (Safeway in most of the country). We've had the Shiraz and Merlot so far, both decent considering the $6-$7 price.

#22 Darrel Manson

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 09:11 PM

And tonight we had a Ravenswood Zin ('01) that was very acceptable for $6. Lots of black cherries, a bit of black pepper (typical of Zin), only light tannins.

#23 Darrel Manson

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 09:50 AM

major bargain! PKNT Chardonnay from Chile, $2 at Trader Joes. Much better than Two Buck Chuck. Not very complex, but quite drinkable. There are other verietals from this winery (which is supposed to be pronounced 'picante'), but the Chard is the only one we've tried. We'll be stocking up next time were at TJ's.

Edited by Darrel Manson, 28 May 2005 - 09:51 AM.


#24 Greg P

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 12:46 PM

I bought a bottle of 2001 Chateau Souverain (cab) this week.. Highly recommended, but a bit pricey ($22) as a go-to wine-- at least for us po folk anyway. Funny you mention the Ravenswood Darrel... I bought the 2001 Cab. a few weeks ago (about $9) and it was *yuck*. Very acidic and not pleasant.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Coppola wines yet. I was introduced to the black label Claret at a party last year and loved it-- it remains our favorite dinner wine for the price... Kotsco has it for $12.

#25 Darrel Manson

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 06:33 PM

Went to a tasting at a near by wine store today. The theme was California Reds Under $20 (that meant $15 - $19.99) Overall, they were all pretty good. Favorites were 2002 CL Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir which we gave an A and bought 2 at $15. And 2002 Luna Napa Sangiovese (Initial comment: this makes my taste buds happy!) we gave it an A and got one at $17.

#26 Christian

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 07:53 AM

QUOTE(Christian @ Mar 13 2005, 04:56 PM)
should last us 8 months to a year, depending on consumption


I guess consumption was heavy, because we're down to our last bottle. So these lasted ... let's see ... 3 months, not 8. Guess I underestimated.

The stem of our French rose disintegrated during opening Saturday night, so that spurred us to plan another visit. Only the Rosemont shiraz remains, so we would've been making a trip soon even if the second-to-last bottle hadn't been ruined during opening.

The Luc Pirlet pinot is the best I've ever tasted. Granted, I've never been a big fan of the varietal, so don't count me as too discerning. But I'll be certain to pick up at least one more bottle Luc Pirlet on our return trip.

Edited by Christian, 20 June 2005 - 07:55 AM.


#27 tctruffin

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 09:51 AM

In the odd category:

A friend of ours spent three weeks in Bucharest this past spring and rewarded our cat-sitting with two bottles of VAMPIRE Cabernet vinted from Transylvanian grapes (he also threw in some Romanian beer, but that's another thread). We drank one and set the other down for a while.

While it's not the most complex wine I've ever had, it is very drinkable--somewhat fruity with a tad less tannin than other cabs. As he bought it in Bucharest, the cost was very low; don't know what it would go for if you found it here in the states.

#28 Greg P

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 05:13 PM

Have been sampling a lot of sub-$10 red wines from our supermarket. Mostly so-so stuff... a few nearly undrinkable. Tried a bottle of Cavit Pinot Noir (2003, $9) last night. Fairly lite (12%) but fantastic with a big Cuban-style dinner-- really simple and soft on the pallette --- one of the best of the bunch

#29 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 05:26 PM

Spanish wine is hot and underpriced. Cavit is a good vintner, very reliable.

#30 Christian

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 08:22 PM

QUOTE(Christian @ Jun 20 2005, 07:53 AM)
The Luc Pirlet pinot is the best I've ever tasted. Granted, I've never been a big fan of the varietal, so don't count me as too discerning. But I'll be certain to pick up at least one more bottle Luc Pirlet on our return trip.

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I picked up two bottles of the French Pinot, as well as a third bottle from an American maker. With the two girls tagging along, I had to move quickly, barely pausing to think through my purchase, which totaled $100 for another 11 bottles. Don't have the list handy, but we're set for another few months.

#31 Darrel Manson

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 09:16 AM

Last week I had a non-vintage Firestone Latitude 34.5 Merlot (Santa Ynez Valley and Chile). Cost $7 at Trader Joes several months ago. Not bad for the price, typical Merlot. A little hot and I couldn't find the alcohol content on the label, which I found a bit strange.

#32 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 11:29 PM

My best budd at work hosted a wine party a few weeks ago comparing sauvignon blancs of various national origins in a blind tasting (a Sancerre, New Zealand, Chile, and Meridian's). My blind taste buds were way off, only identifying the Sancerre.

We were also to bring an example of our favorite summer wines. I brought two different Cavas, of which (I thought, as did others) the Cristalino was just about the best wine at the party! Great stuff and cheap too. The other best was a Stag's Leap Sauv Blanc that someone brought. I can't remember such floral and herbal notes in a sauvignon blanc as I had in that bottle. Wow.

#33 Darren H

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 12:14 PM

Tonight after work I'm going to stop by the liquor store to stock up for our Thanksgiving feast. I already have a big bottle of Merlot but want to balance it with a white. Any suggestions? I'm thinking in the <$20 range for a big bottle.

#34 Thom

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 12:23 PM

QUOTE(Rich Kennedy @ Jun 25 2005, 05:26 PM)
Spanish wine is hot and underpriced. Cavit is a good vintner, very reliable.

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I recently had some Spanish red wine that was highly recommended as one of Spain's best. I found to be lacking in flavor and body. It tasted like it was watered down but we opened the bottle ourselves so we knew it wasn't actually watered down.

Is this common with Spanish wines?

#35 Diane

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 12:30 PM

Darren, I'm not a wine expert by any means, but two whites that I really like (and they're both under $20 for a big bottle) are Yellow Tail's Chardonnay and Cavit's Pinot Grigio.

#36 Greg P

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 12:55 PM

QUOTE(Diane @ Nov 21 2005, 12:30 PM)
Darren, I'm not a wine expert by any means, but two whites that I really like (and they're both under $20 for a big bottle) are Yellow Tail's Chardonnay and Cavit's Pinot Grigio.

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Coming back to this thread--- I continue to buy Cavit's Pinot Noir, which has now become a staple dinner wine in our house. I havent found anything, for that price, thats as reliably satisfying. I'll have to try their white wine.


#37 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 01:09 PM

QUOTE(asher @ Nov 21 2005, 01:23 PM)
I recently had some Spanish red wine that was highly recommended as one of Spain's best. I found to be lacking in flavor and body. It tasted like it was watered down but we opened the bottle ourselves so we knew it wasn't actually watered down.

Is this common with Spanish wines?

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Actually no. I had a similar experience this summer experimenting with Spanish Rose's. Of the bunch I bought, one in particular tasted like an empty, mediocre Beaujolais. That happens. Folks like us who are still experimenting and learning feel more easily bruised by a lousy bottle. Over the long haul, it won't hurt as much after we get a feel for what we like.

I like the approach that the Wall Street Journal's Friday wine column takes. They analyse about fifty of a particular wine for a column to get a gauge of, say, the state of Australian Shiraz. They pick the five best for their "Dow Jones Wine Index", but get a feel for whether or not the stuff available to you and me who don't live in the NYC tri-state area will be any good. They swear by a golden age of Spanish wine.


#38 Darrel Manson

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 03:19 PM

Thanksgiving wines - often a tricky subject since trukey is a distinctive flavor, and the trimmings also have an impact.

I've heard various things recommended. The fun part is that since this is a matter of taste, we get to keep trying different approaches.

Reds:
Nuveaus (mostly Beaujolais) come out now and are a good match because they are so intensly fruity. They serve almost as another way of having cranberries. They are meant to be drunk young.
Pinot Noir - they vary in style. A fruitier style goes well with Thanksgiving.
My favorite: Zinfandel - a big peppery wine that has the chops to stand up to the turkey without overwhelming it as a Cab (and some Merlots) might.

Whites:
Chardonnay - again style matters. Go for a big, oaky one.
Gewurztraminer - a lighter wine than Chard, but its spiciness goes well with turkey. Look for one that says it is dry.

Another wine that I've heard is good with a Thanksgiving meal is sparkling wine (Champagne or American copies thereof). Not a big sparkling wine fan, I don't know that we've tried this, but it seems like it would be a fit.

Edited by Darrel Manson, 21 November 2005 - 04:01 PM.


#39 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 03:44 PM

Jihn and Dottie in the WSJ have always recommended a dry riesling and yet this year, they did a test of mid-priced ($18-$30) American Cabernets from '01 and '02 vintages to balance the competing T'giving flavors.

#40 Darrel Manson

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 07:37 PM

For those who look for decent, inexpensive wines: Tin Roof Chardonnay. It's screw top - not because it's bad, but because many wineries are switching at least part of their production to screw top bottles. Corks cost $$. Most wines now have some sort of composit or plastic cork. Tin Roof is working to take the stigma away from screw top. Aussie wines also often come with screw tops.

Anyway, Tin Roof chard costs about $9. Tropical fruit. Nicely balanced. Not a lot of oak, but still very pleasant.