It’s Friday, YAY! Once again I’m filling you in on wines that are under $10 at your local grocery stores. Okay, to be honest, they’re MY local grocery stores – but I’m pretty sure they’re generic enough that you’ll be able to find the wines wherever you may be (at least, if you’re in the U.S.) Today I step outside of the West Coast of the United States, however, and venture abroad. But first…
To Swirl, or Not to Swirl? Lettie Teague fills you in on the art of the swirl – she’s got a video and everything! Go here for more info. Now…on to the wine!
Gabbiano Chianti Classico, 2008 Product of Italy Alcohol, 13.%% by Volume. Under $10 (according to my husband)
On the Label: “In 1124, Castello di Gabbiano was extablished in the heart of the renowned Chianti Classico region. During the Middle Ages, a courageous Italian knight, Il Cavaliere, dedicated himself to protecting our castle and vineyards. His code of honor came to embody our philosophy that the finest things in life deserve our fiercest commitment – estate vineyards, Old World traditions, and the enjoyment of robust wines. Our Gabbiano Chianti Classico has rich flavors of berry and pepper. Salute.”
My Take: I’m pretty sure I’ve reviewed Gabbiano before, but that I guess doesn’t matter. This is a lovely wine, and as advertised is rich with berry and that peppery taste I adore. We had it with parmesan mustard chicken, and it was a delightful accompaniment. It won’t rock anyone’s world, but it’s a solid player in the red wine department.
My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~
Picton Bay Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011 Product of New Zealand Alcohol 13.0% by volume; $7.99 at Trader Joe’s. (This was a screwtop bottle.)
On the Label: This wine is made from grapes grown in Marlborough and Nelson. Picton Bay Pinot Noir is fresh with delicious red fruit flavours, enticing spicy aromas and a smooth, fine texture. Drink now or cellar until 2015.
My Take: I was thrilled to find a red from New Zealand, and surprised to see it was a 2011. All the latest reds in the States have been 2010s, so I was a bit worried about drinking this obviously very young wine. As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about. The wine was smooth – young, yes, but eminently drinkable right now. I may have to put a couple bottles aside and see how they taste a year from now…except, you know. I’ll never manage to hang onto them that long!
My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~ especially at this price!
Goats in Villages Shiraz Pinotage 2008 The Goats Do Roam Wine Company, South Africa Alcohol 14% by Volume $7.99 at Trader Joe’s. (Yes, that’s a screwtop.)
On the Label: “Africa has a way of bringing out the best in people. With its magnitude and raw beauty, and the intensity of day to day living, Africa draws on one’s deepest spiritual resources. Rebecca and Gary Mink moved from the United States to the wilds of the Caprivi in Northern Namibia, where they founded the Children of Zion Village to care for children orphaned by AIDS. Their immense courage and spirit however, could not fully offset their limited financial resources, and they were soon overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem. An urgent appeal was sent for goats – and immediately a group of young does and bucks from our Goats do Roam herd volunteered, rushing north to supply our nutritious milk and gentle company. Our caprine colleagues who stayed behind in the Western Cape have carefully selected the finest grapes from which to make this complex wine. Rich, spicy Shiraz and ripe, robust Pinotage are carefully blended to emphasize the fruit, whilst judicious oaking adds elegance and structure, befitting the noble gesture made by the Goats who roam in African Villages. Enjoy this wine with barbecued meats and full flavored dishes.”
My Take: Wow, what a story! We had it with our corned beef on St. Patty’s day; and the wine was surprisingly superb. When my hubby tasted it (without knowing its name or where it had been made), he said there was something unusual – earthy, maybe – about the wine, and he quite liked it. I did, too – and am planning on going back and getting more.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ I mean, come on. When was the last time you consumed anything from South Africa?!!
As usual, this is just my honest opinion and depend upon my mood, the weather, and what cycle the moon is in. Your taste buds will differ.
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
My award-winning novel, Demon Soul, is available for the Kindle and the Nook! Have you read it yet? If you’ve read it, have you reviewed it on Amazon?
My Rating System: Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!
So…since I’m not a wine drinker, but my grown daughters are, I’m curious about the screw top bottles. I bought a white for them a few months back when they were visiting. It had a screw top – which they were skeptical about, but pronounced the wine pretty darn good anyway. Once, the screw top was a sign of a cheap (as in not good) wine. Is that changing now?
Roz – Australia and New Zealand are pioneers in the screw tops. They are quite accepted over there. There’s a lot to be said for them; but many French and California winemakers want the cork prestige (as far as I can figure out). Cork isn’t a quickly renewable resource; it’s not a fail-safe against spoilage; but it’s been used since forever.
There are a lot of good wines out there with screwtops. Don’t let the top keep you (or, rather, your daughters) from trying the wine!
I love your picks, Christine. You haven’t steered me wrong, yet. I’ve tried the Gabbiani Chianti and liked it very much. I’ll definitely add the other two to my “try” list. Thanks for the tips.
Aw, PJ…thanks hon! I’m glad I’ve been able to help.
Great story on the S. African wine. I may have to try this one!
The Goats in Villages Shiraz sounds delicious.
We tend to get quite a few South African wines here in NZ, although I haven’t tried that many. I try to buy NZ wines.
As a note – 99% Australian and New Zealand winemakers use the screwcap bottles, and we have done for at least five years. It makes them easy to open, saves on spoilage and we never have to worry about forgetting the corkscrew! I had an editor who wanted to know why I had my hero and heroine buy a cheap bottle of wine, and I had to change my screwtop lid. Believe me, the expensive stuff comes with screwcaps down here.
Look for a red from the Otago region. They’re well known for their reds. Sorry, I don’t have any recs. Lately, I’ve been buying Clearskin wines. You don’t know what you’re getting, apart from the grape type, but it’s mostly export wines where they’ve had an overrun or canceled export order. They’re good and cheap 🙂