As everyone’s in lockdown and perhaps starting to tighten belts, here are this month’s monthly value recommendations so you’re saving money but not flavor. I’m sharing a mix of specific bottles you might be able to find, more general regions and grapes that should be at your local shop (hopefully it’s open or will be soon), and a healthy dose of smaller wineries that need our support.
- Pine Ridge Chenin Viognier: Hadn’t had this for a while, but its white peach and white florals make it an easy drinker that you can generally find. ($12)
- Yealands Sauvignon Blanc: Packed with grapefruit, you can find many New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs easily often for under $15.
- Pazo de Lusco Albariño: Crisp and refreshing, excellent with garlic shrimp, and shellfish in general. ($21)
- Enate Tempranillo: Spanish wines are often great values. Flavorful and spicy with decent heft to them while also being rather easy to drink. Just like this one, which was great with tacos. ($13)
- Tres Picos Garnacha: Packed with cherry flavor. No wonder a wine store owner on Instagram was saying it was one of their best sellers. ($17)
- Sella and Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna: Grippy tannins, blackberry and cocoa. ($17.99)
Now, on to splurges.
“That fancy wine won’t put this fire out.”
Been listening to Fiona Apple’s new Fetch the Bolt Cutters album, and she said the song Under the Table was “inspired by a particular dinner where there was lots of expensive wine and lots of bragging about things I wouldn’t brag about.” While great grapes might not calm her down, they clearly work for grapefriend.
During your SIP, take at least one day a week to celebrate life with excellent wine. My splurges were all-American this month, not sure why. I’ll expand it next month, especially since the only way I’ll get to travel these days is through my glass.
- Tor Chardonnay: Durell Vineyard was planted in 1979 and I’ve loved the wines I’ve had from it – it’s concentrated and complex without being saturated. This Tor Durrell Vineyard, Cuvée Mimi Chardonnay was really delicious – amazingly acidic lemon curd on yellow apples. Everyone loved it. ($80)
- This month I had an Anderson Valley Pinot Noir (try it for this month’s #grapefriendchallenge), and it also happens to be Anderson Valley Pinot Month. Anderson Valley planted their first Pinot in 1971. The one I had was a very silky, earthy 2011 from Breggo (which is now FEL after it was bought by Cliff Lede) that was perfect with our soy-honey-mustard glazed salmon.
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