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.
Finally, in my neck of the woods it is chilly in the mornings, pleasant during the day, and chilly again at night. Here are a couple of red wines to get you in the mood for cold nights and hearty meals.
Discoveries Vineyards, 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Alcohol 13.5% by Volume; under $10 at Pavilions. Vinted and bottled by Firestone Vineyard, Sonoma, California
On The Label: “It’s not always the journey that changes our lives. It’s often the discoveries we make along the way. Our first discovery is a strategically placed chair and two reclining surf boards at Pierpont Beach in Ventura. Our second discovery is this Cabernet Sauvignon. Both are calm and peaceful. Only one has black currants and cassis in the finish. Front Label: Red Chair Lookin’ South by California artist Steve Cook.”
My Take: This was an easy-going wine, which was a surprise for a Cabernet Sauvignon. I like BIG cabs – this wasn’t. As the label said, it’s a calm and peaceful cab, good for sipping (which is rare) and goes well with food. Is it the first bottle of Cabernet I’d reach for if I had a hearty stew or steaks on the grill? No. But it’s a solid wine – the ’09, at any rate.
My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~ But nothing to write home about.
Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Meritage 2007 Red Wine Yountville, Napa Valley Alcohol 14.3% by Volume. $9.99 at Trader Joe’s
On The Label: (Not much!) “Cellared & bottled by Behind The Scene Wine Company, Napa, California.”
My Take: Some wines deserve the “Grand Reserve” label, and others don’t. In my opinion, this one didn’t, though it was a very tasty wine, indeed. I will say I LOVED the label and it’s total lack of pretension, lol. But then, that’s par for the course for Trader Joe’s. I’m glad they are putting their own wines out.
My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~ I’d have rated it higher, but that “Grand Reserve” title got to me.
Heartland Stickleback Red, 2009, South Australia Alcohol 14.5% by Volume – $22 in a restaurant.
On The Label: “Cabernet Sauvignon (45%) Shiraz (38%) Dolcetto (9%) LaGrein (8%) A dry, full-bodied red with wonderful depth of flavor, chocolate, sweet plums and blackcurrant on the palate are complemented by smooth, fine-grain tannina. Invite this fruit driven wine to your next barbecue and serve with char-grilled lamb or a juicy steak.”
My Take: Okay. Imagine this. Hubby and I are walking along in Carlsbad, headed to our favorite Italian restaurant even though neither one of us is in the mood for Italian. A cute young Aussie stops us, says they just opened their restaurant (The Australian Grill) two days earlier, and would we at least look at the menu?
We did, we sat, we ate. Hubby a lamb burger, and me a beef burger. Excellent food, excellent fries, and this wine which our waitress recommended as being “very Shirazzy”, lol.
The wine went very well with the food after it had some time to air. (Or maybe it was the second glass just tasted better, lol!) We sat on the patio, and true to our usual affect, we soon attracted other customers who didn’t know the place existed.
The restaurant was the dream of three women, all in their twenties. One was the chef, the other the Aussie hawker out front, and I’m not sure what the third did but she was bright and bubbly. I do hope they survive but I have my doubts! The next time we hit up Carlsbad, you can bet we’ll drop by and have another burger, if they’re still in business. (They also serve kangaroo burgers, but I just couldn’t take that leap of faith.)
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ Okay, so I’m as susceptible to atmosphere as anyone else. I’d love to find this wine locally and give it another try, to see if it is still “Shirazzy”, lol. If you try it, let me know what you think!
As usual, these are my honest opinions and will 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! ~
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My Rating System: Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!
Hmm, I love a good red in all its incarnations. I’ll have to look for these.
I’ve been drinking Yellowtail shiraz recently. Not a bad drop for the low, low price. So I don’t mind something “shirrazy” will see if I can find that when I’m back home in the land downunder next month. Although, knowing me I’ll end up drinking the local Hunter Valley wines and forget all about this. : 0
As you know, I’m not a wine drinker, Christine. But I love reading your posts. You always make me want to try at least one. 🙂
Wine under $10.00. My kind of wine. Thanks for the tips.
I enjoy wine but don’t really have an education in it. Your comments are witty and insightful and leave me with the desire to learn more about wine in general.
Thanks for the tips,
Since I don’t drink wine this comes in handy if I want to buy some as a gift. Thanks
I wish I had a glass of something right now. You’ve given me a craving.