Thursday, 21 July 2011

Big Wines, Small Price: Bargain Wines to drink today

Do you love wine? I do, but it can be a very expensive indulgence. To help you find a good wine for a great  price I spoke to Natalie Maclean, author of the bestseller Red, White and Drunk All Over. Natalie was named the World’s Best Wine Writer at the World Food Media Awards for the wine picks and pairings she offers on one of the largest wine sites and mobile smartphone apps at www.nataliemaclean.com

Here are her best bargain wine picks, all under 20 bucks!


2009 San Raffaele Pinot Grigio Monte Tabor, I.G.T., Delle Venezie, Veneto, Italy: VC
Price for 750 mL $14.95
 This organic wine has free sulphur of only 6 mg/L. Producing wines since 1925, the family began to explore organic farming practices in 1980 and all their vineyards have been fully organic since 1984. Their 2009 Pinot Grigio offers aromas of candied citrus. Dry, with a light body and good acidity, it is fresh and toasty with tones of soft ripe orchard and citrus fruit, and a medium-long finish. A very nice Pinot Grigio. Enjoy as a refreshing sipper. My note: A simple and mild Pinot Grigio with subtle notes of white melon. Pair with: summer salads. Drink: 2009-2013.  204768  12.50%  Score: 86/100. Pinot Grigio

2009 Ironstone Chardonnay, California, United States: VC
Price for 750 mL  $15.95
The Kautz family was the first to plant Chardonnay in the Lodi region, and they now grow Chardonnay in many of Lodi’s sub-appellations as well as the Calaveras County area of the Sierra Foothills. Crafted in a crisp style with plenty of juicy, tropical fruit and ripe apple flavours balanced by medium acidity and just a hint of oak, this Chardonnay represents excellent value. Enjoy tonight. My note: Classically made Chardonnay with balance and finesse but also reveals lip-smacking delicious flavours of green apple and butterscotch. Yum! Pair with: linguine and shrimp in a creamy pesto sauce. Drink: 2011-2015.  355776  13.50%  D    Score: 89/100.  Chardonnay,

2008 Fetzer Vineyards Merlot, California, United States 
Price for 750 mL  $14.95 
Supple and easy-drinking with aromas of plush plums and dark berries. Lovely mocha-infused finish with some black cherry. Yum. Pair with: pork, grilled chicken. Drink: 2009-2013.  341131  13.50%  XD   Score: 87/100. Merlot,

2010 Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina: VC
750 mL  $13.95  
Catena Zapata is one of Argentina’s leading producers and its Alamos range consistently offers outstanding value. Expect blackberry flavours aplenty with notes of toasty oak, cocoa and coffee on a long, lingering finish. My note: Year after year, a solid producer of delicious, full-bodied reds at incredible prices. Pair with: gourmet sausages, grilled steak. Drink: 2011-2014.  467944  14%  XD  Score: 88/100. Cabernet Sauvignon,

2009 Anakena Pinot Noir Single Vineyard, Leyda Valley, Chile
750 mL  $13.95 
Sweet cherry-berry flavour, even though this is a dry wine. Medium-bodied and satin smooth at a staggeringly great price. Pinot noir just doesn’t come at this price, usually. Drink: 2011-2014.  208439  13.50%  XD  Score: 89/100. Pinot Noir


Natalie MacLean, author of the bestseller Red, White and Drunk All Over, will publish her second wine book this fall entitled Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines. Natalie was named the World’s Best Wine Writer at the World Food Media Awards for the wine picks and pairings she offers on one of the largest wine sites and mobile smartphone apps at www.nataliemaclean.com

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