The Everyday Wine Snob

THE HOME OF GREAT AND DISTINCTIVE WINES UNDER $12
reviews and talk about the "best of the best-priced"
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Saturday, December 22
WINE FORUM...POST A MESSAGE...START A CHAT...LEAVE A RECOMMENDATION...LET'S TALK WINE...THE EVERYDAY WINE SNOB
What is everyone drinking over the holidays? What is that special wine you are going to pull out? Anything fantastic at a value price?

Post and see what everyone else is talking about!

Happy Holidays,

The Everyday Wine Snob
posted by VINORATER (aka VR) @ 11:20 AM   182 comments
Friday, December 22
Hawk Crest 2003 Merlot Paso Robles
Grocery store, about $10
fruity, plum, wildberries, smooth, and clean, super soft tannins
from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars...less expensive line
posted by VINORATER (aka VR) @ 11:36 AM   1 comments
NAPA Valley Vineyards Reserve Merlot Napa Valley 2002
I can't claim to have discovered this one myself, but I'm soooo glad a friend turned me on to this bottle. A merlot as merlot should be...soft, balanced tannins, fruity but without puckering. This certainly has the taste of something twice its price. Terrific value.
posted by VINORATER (aka VR) @ 11:31 AM   2 comments
Martin Weyrich Etrusco Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles 2001
Great bargain on this very big Cab. It does lack a solid finish however, which probably puts it in the bargain category. However, for the price, the fruity kick that comes with the first sip is really fantastic, almost like that of a good Petite Syrah...earthy, peppery, delicious!

Pair with a grilled filet mignon.

Around $6.

Available at Trader Joes.

Day 2 Rating: B (best to drink this one up quickly)

VR
posted by VINORATER (aka VR) @ 11:26 AM   59 comments
Thursday, June 1
Montevina Sierra Foothills Amador County Barbera, 2002

Verrrrry looong finish with hints of fig, after a big biting tannic start. Interesting....the bottle says its "like an old cowboy they know...a bit leathery on the outside, but once you get to know him he's open, honest, and completely down to earth. " Quite an apt description, and one that truely captures this interesting bottle.

Voted San Francisco Chronicle Top Bargain Wines of 2005. "The Italian varietal Barbera is perhaps the most underappreciated grape in the United States. It's widely grown but often ends up anonymously providing backbone for jug wines. When bottled on its own, it can be an outstanding dinner-table wine that combines two likable characteristics not found together often enough: a big body and palate-cleansing, food-friendly acidity.

Pair with Cheeseburger, or Tomato-based Italian dish

About $7

Day 2 Rating: A- (opens nicely...)

www.montevina.com

VR
posted by VINORATER (aka VR) @ 7:51 PM   94 comments
Wednesday, May 17
Elena 2004 Russian River Syrah

Simple, full taste, great price, rewarding bottle.

Russian River Valley, granted official appellation standing in 1983, is now one of the most recognized AVA names in America. The appellation is internationally renowned for challenging varieties like Pinot Noir, which excels in this cool-climate, yielding highly expressive wines.

Pair with a sausage tortellini with cream sauce...

Around $8

Day 2 Rating: A-

VR

posted by VINORATER (aka VR) @ 12:33 PM   4 comments
Thursday, April 27
Jekel Vineyards 2001 Monterey Syrah

This dry Monterey Syrah had nice deep flavors, a good tannin bite, and a a long finish. It really captures well the best of the Syrah grape - intensely fruity, big and bold, but without being overly ripe (or raisin-like) as is sometimes the case. And it's priced quite well...a real bargain.

A bit about the Monterey region (courtesy of http://www.appilationamerica.com): This massive AVA on the eastern side of Monterey County encompasses the entire Salinas Valley, as well as part of Carmel Valley. The Salinas Valley, affectionately known as ‘America’s salad bowl’, is one of the country’s most important agricultural assets, and hosts the majority of Monterey County’s large viticultural businesses. The valley is a funnel, with its mouth opening onto Monterey Bay. Here, fog rolls in between the Santa Lucia and Gabilan mountain ranges. The fog cools the valley early in the morning, while at midday a cool blast of wind sweeps through. Daytime temperatures rarely exceed 75 F., except for the southernmost reaches and in specific microclimates tucked into hillsides. With scant annual rainfall and predominately sandy soils, the valley would be arid if not for the irrigation from the Salinas River. One of the world’s longest growing seasons gives the Monterey AVA characterful wines with balanced acidity.

http://www.jekel.com/

Enjoy with a Spicy Chicken Taco Salad

Around $8 (price varies widely though, up to $14)

Ratings: mostly mid 80s

Day 2 Rating: B+

VR

posted by VINORATER (aka VR) @ 7:10 PM   37 comments
Friday, April 14
Ironstone Vineyard, 2003 California Cabernet Sauvignon



The 2003 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon was produced from fruit grown in the family vineyards located in Murphys and Lodi, California. The wine is young and needs some time to aerate upon opening...give it at least 30 minutes and you will be rewarded. It's also one reason why it gets and A for Day 2 - it really benefits from time. While not a very showy wine, its a SUPER value wine, delivering a strong fruit base with some tannic bite.

http://www.ironstonevineyards.com

Around $7

Serve at home with hard cheeses, grilled beef, rich food.

Ratings: few are far between, but mid 80s generally.

Day 2 Rating: A

VR

posted by VINORATER (aka VR) @ 11:50 AM   4 comments
Friday, March 31
The Stump Jump

d'Arenberg "The Stump Jump", 2004 Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre, South Austrialia

The bottle's spicy attitude matches the wine's spicy, grenache-driven southern Rhône style. Nice peppery flavor from the Grenache make this medium-bodied wine very drinkable and very delicious. Pairs with a wide range from grilled steak to olive oil and pasta. Oh, and the name: proudly named after an important South Australian invention - the stump jump plough. Many of McLaren Vale’s old vineyards were originally cleared using this invention. The plough saved many a vineyard owners' back and patience as the plough ‘jumped’ over the most stubborn roots, saving valuable time and resources.

Around $9-10.

Ratings: High 80s

Day 2 Rating: B+

http://www.darenberg.com.au/default2.php

VR


posted by VINORATER (aka VR) @ 10:22 AM   363 comments
Tuesday, March 14
2003 Casa Barranca Arts & Crafts Syrah/Grenache Blend
Robert Parker gave this organic a 93, and I couldn't agree more!


Deeply-colored, velvety-smooth blend of Syrah and Grenache made at their beautiful craftsman-style winery in Ojai California. Nice light peppery bite makes it truely interesting.

Gift it, take it to a party, share it with friends, or sip with family (great taste, cool winery, fantastic name/label) - this one stands up.

Is it because it's organic?...is it because there are no added sulfites?...whatever the reason it is special! Yum...

Warning, only 200 cases were made, so while I got lucky and had no trouble finding it, it may not be available outside of southern california...

http://www.organic-wine.com/

Pair with tangy ribs...

Around $12

Ratings: very high, some 90s...

Day 2 Rating: A

Vino Rater

posted by VINORATER (aka VR) @ 6:57 PM   1 comments
Saturday, March 11
Altos Las Hormigas, 2004 Malbec

Hailing from Mendoza Argentina, the Altos Las Hormigas Malbec is a medium bodied wine - lush, velvety, with fruity hints of berries and dark cherry. Simple, pleasing. The 2004 Malbec is limited to about 29,000 cases. http://www.altoslashormigas.com/indexN.htm

Pair with Pork Roast and arugala/walnut salad

About $10.99

Ratings: Generally upper 80's

VR


posted by VINORATER (aka VR) @ 6:55 PM   4 comments
Sunday, February 19
Leonard Kreusch Rheinhessen Spatlese 2003

Time for dessert!

The term Spatlese literally means, later harvest. The grapes were late-picked after reaching the prescribed level of ripeness. The wines are fuller-bodied and more concentrated than Kabinett wines and have a residual sugar level of 54 grams per liter. The Rheinhessen Spatlese offers a rich floral bouquet and good concentration. Hints of minerals intermingle with ftesh pear and cantaloupe flavors creating a deliciously versatile wine. It can be served as an aperitif or with a host of dishes, including barbeque chicken, broiled trout, or Szechuan Shrimp.

http://www.leonardkreuschwines.com/

Oh yeah, and a VERY cool blue bottle! Serve it VERY cold.

Around $9. Delicious!


VinoRater

posted by VINORATER (aka VR) @ 5:06 PM   2 comments


October 5th, 2006 Weekly Wine News Selections



How To Order Wine For A Business Dinner - Forbes.com: "The rules for handling wine at an important business dinner are pretty much commonsense and not very different from the rules for any kind of successful entertaining--be prepared, plan ahead and use the resources at your disposal"

A Vintner's Joy : "Harvest is a busy, crucial time as owners --and customers-- gather the crop "

CRITICS' PICKS: The Wine Country HARVEST BOON: "Grape expectations Now is the richest time to see -- and smell -- Wine Country in Napa and Sonoma. Harvest has begun. "

Web wine: A bountiful harvest for online shoppers: "Lately, thanks in part to a Supreme Court ruling, state law changes and Americans' growing comfort with the Web, the online wine business has been undergoing a sea change: There's a surge in the number and quality of sites devoted to educating consumers, highlighting unusual regions and, mostly, selling a lot of wine. "

The Pour: Decanting Robert Parker: "Thirty years of influence haven't curbed his thirst for wine, or a fight."

Study shows red wine cuts Alzheimer's risk : "Researchers have uncovered yet another reason to toast red wine: A glass a day could keep Alzheimer's disease at bay."
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ABOUT ME

Name: VINORATER (aka VR)
Home: California, United States
About Me: WHY THIS BLOG? Truth is, it's getting harder to find good wine at an everyday price (around $12 and under). So I've trolled respectable sources far and wide (Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Food & Wine, Robert Parker, Stephen Tanzer, New York Times, and other strong reviewers) for the "best of the best-priced", and tried every wine personally before recommending it. I also only include wines that are fairly easy to find. Plus, I've added useful info on wine pairings, wine terms, and wine news and other interesting wine info. Let's share, and please pass on any recommendations, thoughts and critics... Cheers! VinoRater
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