Down Under Shiraz, plus a California Chardonnay

Down Under Shiraz, plus a California Chardonnay

Happy Friday!!!  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.

I picked up a couple of Australia’s best last week. Here they are:

Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz, 2008  Barossa Region, Australia   Alcohol, 13.8% by volume. Regularly $14.99 at Vons, on sale for $10.49

On the front Label: “South Australia’s Barossa region is famous for producing outstanding Shiraz wines. Our Reserve Barossa Shiraz is no exception with its full body, dark berry and rich chocolate characters.”

On the back Label: “For this wine, we reserved selected parcels of grapes grown int he Barossa region in South Australia, a region famous for producing high quality Shiraz wines. Here the warm days and cool  nights allow for optimal development of intense flvor and complexity.

“2008 Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz exhibits typical regional characteristics with fruitcake and plum aromas with a hint of spice and oak.  The palate has complex flavors of mulberry, plum, chocolate and spice with excellent fruit length.

“Excellent drinking now and will continue to improve over the next five to ten years.”

My Take: What a lovely wine. Juicy and with that spice kick, it made a perfect accompaniment to our steak dinner. I’ve had Jacob’s Creek in restaurants before, and was delighted to find it in my local grocery store and at a reasonable price as well. I will definitely be buying more Jacob’s Creek Shiraz (on sale, of course).

My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~

Anthropology Shiraz 2009  Pure Estate, Central Ranges, Australia  Alcohol, 13.9% by Volume Regularly $14.99 at Vons, on sale for $8.99

On the Label: “Anthropology, by definition, is the study of culture and traditions. Remarkably, one of the oldest social customs on record is the enjoyment of a great glass of wine. With this in mind, we use sustainable vineyard practices to craft a rich, elegant Shiraz which is perfect for all occasions.

“Anthropology Shiraz shows rich berry and plum flavors layered with a hint of mocha and spice.”

My Take: I was pleasantly surprised by this wine, too, and have come to believe that Australia makes terrific Shiraz. It was a tad lighter in weight from the Jacob’s Creek, but that also suited the meal – I believe that night was a melange of leftovers (chicken tikka masala and rice, salad, pasta, peas and corn plus a good Italian bread), so this wine paired really well.

My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ Especially if you like a bold wine but with a lighter touch. Plus the price – Nice!

Benziger Family Winery 2009 Chardonnay Carneros, California  Alcohol 13.9% by Volume On Sale at Vons for $8.99

On the Label: Chardonnay, Carneros  For more than 25 years, our family has sought to capture the distinctiveness of Carneros by handcrafting wines of authentic varietal character. We use a sustainable grape-growing program with certified standards to cultivate intensely flavorful grapes. Our methods enhance soil vitality, increase biodiversity and create healthy vineyards. The result is an exceptional Chardonnay, rich and with ripe peach and pear flavors, and soft notes of vanilla oak from barrel aging. Learn more on our website at, or better yet, come visit our Sonoma Mountain estate.

My Take: Three for three. I really enjoyed this Chardonnay. Last week, when the sky was impossibly blue here and the sun warm on our backs, after we did some gardening we rewarded ourselves with a glass of Chardonnay. A lively, lovely wine terrific for sipping or to go with a meal of bacon seared scallops (that’s how we finished the bottle, lol). This is a good bottle to keep on hand for you Chard drinkers.

My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ I’ve put this on my summer to-buy list!

Well, there you have it, this week’s wine roundup. My hubby is happy because I can now recycle the empties!

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! ~

Demon Soul is available for the Kindle and the Nook! Have you read it yet?

My rating system: Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!