October 20, 2010

{Wine Wednesday} Some Tips on Finding Affordable Red Wines

My wife and I love enjoying a glass of red wine with our dinner.  Unfortunately, we cannot afford bottles of 2004 Sassicaia ($200+ wine which Jay-Z includes in his rider).  Instead, we seek out affordable Loire reds (Cabernet Franc) from areas like Chinon and Bourgueil.  These wines can be a great value and we love the taste - earthy, tobacco, acidity, and a light tannin structure to match with both red meat and poultry (like turkey for Thanksgiving!) Some finesse wines we like are the 2006 Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon 'Les Chiens-Chiens' ($18 from Wine Library in NJ, pictured above left) and wines from Catherine Breton.


Good value Pinot Noir is hard to find; however, from the stellar 2007 vintage in California, there were a lot of great wines made even on the lower-end.  We picked up a bunch of appellation-designated bottles from Roessler Cellars, which makes a variety of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at several price points.  The 2007 Sonoma County Red Label ($26 from Zachys, pictured above right) was bright and superb.  Most retailers have discounted many Sonoma wines from the 2008 vintage, so if you come across some Roessler reds, try them out, especially the La Brisa bottling.

Since the start of the recession, a lot of discount (volume) or "flash" sale retailers have become popular.  We've purchased electronics off of woot!, so it didn't seem odd to us to buy wine through wine.woot!.  Our first purchase was the 2006 Kent Rasmussen Pinot Noir (about $25) from the Carneros region south of Napa.  The 2006 vintage produced a sweet black cherry, medium-bodied (but very dry) wine balanced by some dark earth and faint oak with no apparent heat at only 13% ABV.  Although their wines are not for long-term aging, I wish I still had a couple of bottles left.

To find value wine buys, try looking for sales on sites such as wine.woot!, Cinderella Wine or volume retailers like Wine Library, Zachys and K&L Wine Merchants.

What are your tips on finding affordable red wines?

Reminder:  Our $55 CSN Stores Giveaway contest is currently underway! Check out this post to enter!  Contest ends Oct 31st, 11:59 PM EST.
Also, for those of you wanting to get your own Ravi Instant Wine Chiller (that we love using to temperature-right our reds!), now's the time to get it on sale!  Use code HIGHLOW30PCT at checkout for 30% off the Ravi Instant Wine Chiller (only $28 before shipping and taxes!)  Offer ends Oct 31st.

1 comment:

  1. This is an amazing wine flash sale site:

    http://www.invino.com/signup/?invite=959a26a62c12fe244ca7b211480cbdfee0ea3261

    They have bottles in every price range, offer discounted shipping on large orders, sometimes sell cases that are discounted AND come with free shipping... etc.
    They'll even say things in the emails like "sub $10 winner" "lots of sub $20s" "pinot steals" so you know when you'll want to make sure to check their inventory.

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