Posted 13 March 2005 - 04:56 PM
We're on a budget, but even if we weren't, I don't know that I'd feel the need to pay more than $10 for a decent bottle of wine. As much as I've read about wine (I've even completed the "Total Beverage 101" wine-tasting class, and I have the certificate to prove it! Bow in awe, earthlings!), I've never been compelled to shell out the big bucks to satisfy my demands for the great grape.
Here, then, is a list of our purchased wines, which totaled $128 and should last us 8 months to a year, depending on consumption. Some are highly rated by the various wine magazines, or by Consumer Reports, while others are tried-and-true Hamaker favorites:
Rosemont, Australia, Grenasche/Shiraz, 2003
Oak Grove, California, Pinot Grigio Reserve, 2003
Cotes de Castillon, France, Bordeaux, 2001
Falesco Vitiano, Italy, 2003
Luc Pirlet, France, Pinot Noir, 2003
Washington Hills, Washington, Riesling, 2003
Yellow Tail, Australia, Shiraz, 2004
Chateau Morrisette, Virginia, Red Mountain Laurel (dessert wine)
Chateau La Gordonne Les Gravieres, France, 2003
Sauvion Rose D'Anjou, France, 2003
Villa Maria, New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc 2003
Hardys Whiskers Blake Tawny Port Australia
--Anyone want to congratulate me on my fine decision-making? Anyone want to pick a fight? Rich Kennedy (coffee snob!)? Anyone?
Posted 13 March 2005 - 05:15 PM
You want to keep it cheap and good? Three words: Spanish Sparkling Wines.
Posted 13 March 2005 - 06:19 PM
We rarely have a sweet wine, such as Riesling or Gewurztraminer (finding a dry version is usually a cause for celebration - which means we drink it.)
My personal favorite varieties are: Sangiovese (the stuff they use to make Chianti), Zinfandel, occasionally a good strong Petite Sirah (not to be confused with Syrah), Pinot Noir (depending on style).
Favorite inexpensive wines include Louis Martini Merlots and Cabs. A very good sangiovese that we got for $11 is Vitae (Italian, Puglia)
Whites: Pinot Grigio is usually a good choice, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay (depending on style), occasionally a nice Viogner.
Posted 13 March 2005 - 11:17 PM
I'm an absolute wine novice who tends to drift indiscriminately toward $8 Merlots, so please keep the suggestions flowing.
Posted 14 March 2005 - 01:27 AM
AHA! Is there a Trader Joe near you? They have really offbeat wines. They have an Italian red that is a variation on a Barolo (real good ones fetch $25-$45). Apparantly, only a certain small portion of the harvest each year is set aside for that region's Barolo. What to do with the rest of the harvest? They make this great, robust "Bastardo" is what they do. $7.99. Never seen it anywhere else.
Posted 14 March 2005 - 10:02 AM
Posted 14 March 2005 - 03:52 PM
Posted 14 March 2005 - 07:04 PM
Posted 14 March 2005 - 07:10 PM
I'm not a big fan either, as evinced by my list.
Posted 15 March 2005 - 09:46 AM
Posted 15 March 2005 - 09:56 AM
Now I feel a heavy sense of ... responsibility.
I hope you enjoy the wines. The Falesco Vitiano was recommended by a co-worker, and when I arrived at the wine store, they had an open bottle for tasting. It was to my liking, so I grabbed bottle. Wish I'd grabbed two.
Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:54 PM
Posted 28 March 2005 - 10:11 PM
Adding to this, let me tell you about Sat. night dinner. we had folks over, so we had more than one bottle ready. My wife bought some more Trinchero at Ralph's (s. Calif. version of Kroger). She didn't note that she got 2001 and 2002 vintages. Those both had the %age of grapes by county listed on label (2003 may have as well, but I didn't note them.)
2001: 20% Napa, 14% Santa Barbara, 53% Monterrey, 13% Lake
2002: 37% Napa, 26% Santa Barbara, 17% Monterrey, 20% Lake
These were two very different wines. The 2002 was difinitely more of a toasty chardonnay with more wood than the 2001. Both were certainly servicible, but not interchangable.
If you can find these $7 bottles around in different vintages, it will give you a shot at doing a little self-education via vertical tasting.
Edited by Darrel Manson, 28 March 2005 - 10:13 PM.
Posted 17 April 2005 - 09:12 AM
Today is my wife's and my anniversary, so last night (more convenient than tonight) we did a nice dinner at a higher price steak place. Took a bottle from cellar and paid the corkage. Took a 1992 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir. (Farrell is one of the reaaly good winemakers in Sonoma County - works or has worked at various other wineries in addition to his own label.) This is from the Russian River Valley, which I think is the place for PN. There were some cork problems (slight shrinkage and leakage made it hard to open and it had to be decanted (which isn't every a bad idea with wine to get the esters moving around.) In spite of the cork, the wine was still good, nice fruit, very pleasant.
Then this morning, my wife showed me her anniversary present to us, a bottle of Hope and Grace Cabernet. (A higher priced cab that we'll no doubt lay down for at least 5 more years) Basically she bought it for the name, since I'm always hopeful and she's always graceful. [/sarcasm]
A much nicer present than my contribution - a new lawn mower. (The old one managed to die yesterday.) But mine cost more!
Posted 17 April 2005 - 09:31 AM
We consumed our bottle of Falesco Vitiano last week. It was pleasant, although not as complex as I thought when I sampled it earlier. Still, hard to beat for a bottle under $10.
We've also finished the Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (refreshing), and I'm about halfway through my Hardys Tawny Port, which, consumed post-dinner, always leads to crazy dreams.
Meanwhile, The Secrets of Wine, a library DVD from a label called Millenium Interactive, awaits me. The packaging is a bit dated, as is the approach to the summary on the back of the sleeve ("Just pop-in the DVD anbd let us show you how to 'BECOME A CORK MASTER!'"), so I was surprised to find that the copyright is 2004. It probably won't tell me much that I don't already know, but I could use a refresher.
As I write this, I'm home with a sick baby, while my wife and older daughter are at church, so maybe I'll go pop in the DVD ... right .... now.
Edited by Christian, 17 April 2005 - 09:40 AM.
Posted 17 April 2005 - 04:24 PM
I agree that this thread should occasionally be revived (as should the dinner thread). Shaking off the horrid things I've been reading for so long about California Chardonnays, I finally broke down and bought a Bogle Chard ('03) that I have to serve strategically (night before a mutual day off). Bogle has consistently been rated rather high and always "best value" by the couple I follow in "Weekend Journal".
Speaking of PN's, a vendor gave me a sample bottle of a Napa Ridge ('02) to try the other day. It'll be our first Pinot.
Posted 22 April 2005 - 09:47 AM
Personally, I usually drink a cabernet or merlot, although I try to experiment with other wines once in awhile.
Posted 19 May 2005 - 06:19 PM