MissWineOH spent a few weeks in North Carolina on family business, and didn’t have much time for hunting down and enjoying the usual wine experiences – we did do a fabulous wine pairing experience at City Beverage – and we’ve got more scheduled for Greensboro and Winston-Salem (and maybe Raleigh) after the first of the year – so Triad and Triangle friends, never fear, we will be back!
I did set aside a bit of time to sample a few inexpensive or “budget friendly” wines. I managed 3 before I decided to enjoy the easily available beer and Crown Royal cocktails after my long days of post-surgery recovery care (not mine) and getting the honey do list completed.
The Silly Goose Shiraz was sitting quietly on an endcap and caught my eye because… it wasn’t on sale, and had a price tag of $4.99. This is a South Eastern Australia wine and is a pretty standard young shiraz. Its got some bite, and needs to be paired with a strong cheese or a creamy alfredo perhaps to calm down that spice and pepper in the shiraz. Its got a dark berry and pepper palate – so I’d use it as a 2nd bottle at a casual dinner. I’m not sure it would be come a staple in the house, as adding a few dollars to the budget gets some more complex wines that I really enjoy – but if I’m very budget conscious – I’ll bring this one home again.
The Kiwi Cuvee is a French pinot noir made by New Zealand winemaker Rhyan Wardmann. Its bottled by Lacheteau in the Loire Valley and produced under the Vin de Pays classification. Apparently this wine is causing a bit of a brouhaha because of the name, as one might think this was a New Zealand wine at first glance, and the French have been so protective over their appellation naming. Despite a moment of confusion – easily remedied by actually READING the label – this light bodied pinot noir is cherry, with a bit of sweetness. I picked it up for $7.99, making it a contender for an every day budget friendly wine.
I’m a huge fan of the blends, and there are so many available in the $10 to $15 range. The 2009 Liberty School Cuvee, a blend of 85% Syrah, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petite Sirah, 3% Grenache, 2% Viognier is one I snagged at the local grocery store for $10.99. Syrah gives this wine some great jamminess. the other grapes blend in seamlessly to provide structure, softness and some floral on the nose. One thing blends can always manage is to be very food friendly. and this one is no exception. Put it into the rotation for your dinner wines – it will pair well with mexican, thai or a pork tenderloin. I could see gamier dishes with this one as well.
One thing you should remember when venturing into the “really” budget friendly wine world is that you are not going to find mind bending juice on a regular basis. However, you will find some easy drinkers which will pair well with everyday meals. So, is it worth it? Finding drinkable wine at great prices is always worth it – but don’t get discouraged when you run into a few bottles you can’t stand. The good news is you won’t feel bad about wasting it when you pour it out. ~grin~
Do you have a favorite budget conscious wine? Any budget wines you wouldn’t touch with someone else’s palate? Share the good, the bad and the ugly in the comments.