In these days of high unemployment and global financial crisis, it’s nice to relax with a bottle of wine that doesn’t break your pocketbook. I’m here to sort out the memorable from the truly awful, and each bottle is under $10 unless noted otherwise.
So, I’m about to write this post on red wines for Thanksgiving, and my dear brother calls me to ask about which wines he should bring to the meal on Thursday. I tell him no worries, I’ll be bringing wine – and he says, um, would that include a nice Riesling, by any chance? And of course I said, what does your plus one drink? And he replied with Riesling. So I’ll be bringing Riesling, along with one of the following, to my nephew’s house on Thursday. Betcha can’t guess which wine…
I dug into my archives, since I didn’t have time to drink several red wines. Here are my favorites. I personally like red wine with turkey. Pinot Noir is nice, flavorful but not too big and the Adobe Red is, well, hella tasty. At the very end of this post, I put the only white wine that I’ve ever given Slut status to – and which I’d forgotten all about. Enjoy!
Buena Vista Carneros Pinot Noir 2008 Alcohol 13.5% by volume Under $10 at Trader Joes
On the Label: “Cooled by the wind and fog off the San Pablo Bay, fruit ripens slowly in our Carneros vineyards, developing concentrated, layered flavors and excellent structure. Pinot Noir unveils its elusive character here: rich cherry and blackberry, earthy spice, and supple, velvety texture. Pair this captivating wine with slow-roasted pork loin or grilled salmon.
“We bottle our wines with a screw cap closure to ensure each glass delivers the true taste of Carneros. Enjoy. Visit Buena Vista Carnerosfor more information.”
My Take: I have always enjoyed Buena Vista wines, and this one was no exception. It is what I expect in a Pinot Noir – plus it passes the Smoking Loon test (is this wine better than Smoking Loon Pinot Noir?). It’s got some nice juiciness, just a hint of spice, and a nice, lingering aftertaste.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ especially for the price!
Clayhouse Wines Adobe Red, 2009 Central Coast Alcohol 13.5% by Volume; at BevMo! on their 5cent sale, $17.04 for two.
On the Label: “The Adobe Red is a blend created for that rebellious, hedonistic red wine lover inside of you, rustic like the adobe but refined with sensuous dark fruit flavors. 52% Zinfandel, 25% Petite Sirah, 15% Malbec, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, 9% Petit Verdot.”
My Take: We bought this on the advice from the guy who works the wine tastings at BevMo. He can be pretty cheerless, but he led us to this wine so I forgive him, lol. Because, Hell Yes. I am a hedonistic, rebellious red wine lover and I’ve never tried to hide it. We just bought this wine during the latest 5cent sale. This wine is big but not too big; soft, but not too soft. It’s got the Zin I prefer (with a nice dash of pepper). It’s what I’ll be opening to go with dinner tonight (sorry, honey! I owe you a bottle).
My Rating: ~ Very, Very Drinkable ~ I can tell you right now, I’ll be going out and stocking up. At $8.50 a bottle, it’s hard to beat.
Flock by Smoking Loon 2008 Monterey Pinot Noir Alcohol 13.5% by volume $18.99 at Vons
On the Label: “Of all the world’s greatest appellations to grow Pinot Noir, Monterey approaches perfection; it has the right balance of sun and cool marine influence, great weather during harvest, and diverse soils to coax out the delicate flavors that Pinot Noir lovers crave.
Usually he’d work alone, but sometimes the Smoking Loon would bring colleagues – his Flock.” Jake continued, pushing the ashtray across the table. “The Flock, now they were somethin’ else. They’d descend all at once, with this sound, like a thousan’ birds just flew in yer windo’, and carry out their mission in perfect formation, with a class an’ style that you just don’t see now a days.”
My Take: I resisted purchasing this wine. I resisted hard. Almost two, maybe even three years. But I finally weakened and gave in (hey, I’m a working woman, yay!). We happened to have a bit of the regular Smoking Loon Pinot Noir open, so we were able to taste test the two together.
Flock is like the Smoking Loon, only deeper. Richer. More. It’s everything I love about the Loon and oh, so much more. This is definitely my new go-to special Pinot Noir; its under $20 and I know I’ll LOVE the wine. For me, it’s a can’t miss (and if you’re up to it, there’s always Valentine’s Day…) and if you like red wine at all, I do urge you to try this.
My Rating: ~ Stay away. This is MY wine, you slut! ~ Need I say more?
Cline Viognier North Coast 2010 Sonoma, California $14.99 a bottle but on special for $9.99 at Vons. Alcohol 14% by volume. (This was in 2011.)
On the Label: “Family owned and operated since 1982. Viognier is most famous for producing the rich and exotically perfumed white wines of the northern Rhone’s Condrieu and Chateau-Grillet appellations. A variety characterized by low yields and small planted acreage, Viognier is one of the world’s most rare and treasured wines.
Cline’s Viognier is loaded with pineapple, peach and apricot flavors accented by floral and citrus notes. Perfect as an aperitif with Gruyere or Camembert, this wine also pairs exceptionally well with curried shrimp or Asian fusion cuisine. Serve lightly chilled.”
This was almost the perfect summer wine. Fragrant, with just a hint of sweetness, it paired with the salmon sausages and roasted veggies beautifully. It’s a terrific sipping wine, too and does go well with cheese (I had to taste test, you know!).
The meal itself would have been fun to serve at a dinner party, the sausages so delightfully different and the wine an awesome pick. A blood orange sorbet was the perfect ending to the meal.
My Rating: ~Stay Away! This is my wine, you slut!~ To add to this review, I would have to say this is the perfect white wine for Turkey. But then, it’s the only Slut White Wine in my review stash that I’m aware of!
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.
May your Thanksgiving Feast be a special one for all the right reasons, and may those reasons have nothing to do with the food or the wine. Sending blessings!
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
Demon Soul, Blood Dreams and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?
My Rating System: Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!
Deeper and Richer than Smoking Loon? Bring it on!
When you said slut wines I thought you might be mentioning Menage A Trois. A little sweet for me but what a great name! And there’s a New Mexico wine, Voluptuous, Too sweet but GREAT label. i found a dry Riesling…really! at the grocery store of all places. Chateau Ste Michelle. Liked it and in my price range which is lower than yours! Also a sparkling Pinot Grigio at Trader Joe’s, Contadina. For whites, not bad. But yeah, bring on those reds.
Mona, I’ll pick up the Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling for my brother’s plus one – thanks for the recommendation! And yeah, you’re gonna love Flock…
Well, Flock me. I guess I know what I’ll be taking down to the OC for Thanksgiving! Thanks Christine, for putting your palet on the line for us.
Sam, you’re such a sweetie! I’m happy to make the sacrifice, and taste all these wines. It’s a tough job but someone needs to do it! Happy Thanksgiving, hon!
Oh, this might just make the holidays worthwhile and which would you pair with a smoked turkey?
Smoked turkey – I’d go big and bold. Either the Adobe Red, or a Kendall-Jackson Zinfandel. Smoked turkey isn’t as “light” in taste as unsmoked, which is why I’d go heavier – but the Flock would work well, too, as it’s more robust than your typical Pinot Noir.
Adobe Red was great! Thanks for the tip.
Oh, yay! I’m so glad you liked it!
Ah, I’m filling in time here. Have to wait until tomorrow for my feast. But now I know what to take to the dinner. Flock. Love Sam’s comment. : )
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your household.
Roben, do let me know how you like the Flock. I couldn’t get any this year as I waited until the day before Thanksgiving to buy wine – and I went to an unfamiliar grocery store that DIDN’T carry Flock! But I think a Flock purchase is in my future. Maybe for Christmas dinner…Happy Thanksgiving back to you and yours!
Two Slut wines in one post? I’m going shopping! (Tomorrow, since I’ve had about a third of a bottle of Seven Deadly Zins and will NOT be driving. Or writing. Or doing much of anything useful.)