So many people whose palates have begun to develop suddenly shy away from the wines in the lower price ranges. But there are lots of bargains to be found, wines that will not disappoint, at a fraction of the price. This can be applied to many situations - keeping an open mind is best. It would be unfortunate to miss out on some great wines by being fooled by the price tag.
Dr. Loosen “Dr. L” Mosel Riesling has become a household favorite after a bottle accompanied my sister and me to a spicy Thai dinner. The wine is very light in color, and displays a floral bouquet with gentle notes of fruit. On the palate, sweeter characteristics of peach first appear, reflecting the sweet aroma, laced with just a hint of spice, but the wine soon snaps to attention, becoming crisp and leaving the palate clean and ready for more. I’ve tried this wine with the Thai dinner, with sauteed pork chops, and turkey, but Dr. L is also a nice way to unwind after dinner, with its sweet beginning and clean finish. At approximately $13, it’s an elegant, multifaceted wine and a great find.
|2008 Dr. Loosen "Dr. L" Mosel Riesling|
For a white wine that’s fun and easy to enjoy, the Rock Rabbit Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc is a great value wine at only about $14. The wine is approximately 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Gewurztraminer, pale in color with citrus notes of lemon and lime, very crisp, fresh, and upbeat and finishing cleanly. This is a perfect summer wine, pairing nicely with fresh goat cheese, and lighter dishes of chicken and seafood. My favorite place to enjoy this wine is out on the porch in warm weather.
|2009 Rock Rabbit Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc|
Mirassou Pinot Noir is a versatile red that pairs up nicely with an elegant dinner or puts that touch of class into a rustic dish. The grapes come from vineyards in Sonoma and Monterey. A lighter red in color, Mirassou shows characteristics of cherry, berry, and ripe red fruits, a soft texture, and a respectable finish. This wine is not intended for aging, and should be enjoyed fairly young, to best appreciate the bright red fruitiness. My favorite pairings for this wine are roast chicken, and a soup of butternut squash, apple, and sage. This is a very good Pinot for around $14 and is very easy to find in wine shops.
|2008 Mirassou Pinot Noir|
An Italian red that is very easy to pair or enjoy on its own is the Corvo Nero d’Avola Sicilia, a Sicilian red of mostly Nero d’Avola, the most recognizable grape in Sicily, blended with Nerello Mascalese and Pignatello. A fairly deep red in color with a lighter rim, the wine smells and tastes a bit darker than it looks, with characteristics of plum, dark berry, and cherry. Corvo is dry, uncomplicated, and smooth, with a fairly long finish. It pairs nicely with Italian cheeses and antipasto, and Southern Italian cuisine including pasta with a simple marinara sauce, and Italian meats. The most I’ve enjoyed Corvo was with a traditional Sicilian dinner of pasta with a sauce made with sardines and fennel. A wine this versatile is a must-have, at only approximately $10.
|2008 Corvo Nero d'Avola Sicilia|
Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles is a good yet inexpensive Cabernet for around $14. Deep in color and character, the aroma is reminiscent of dark fruit and blackberry, oak, and a bit of spicy clove, and the flavor accurately reflects the big, bold aroma. The Cabernet is a bit on the acidic side, with firm tannins, lots of texture, and a long finish - however, after allowing the wine to breathe for perhaps half an hour, it was not nearly as intense. I tasted this wine on its own, but would like to try it with steak.
|2008 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon|
So keep searching for those wine bargains, and don’t be too quick to avoid wines with lower prices, or you might just miss out on a great deal and a new favorite value wine.