Wine Talk

Snooth User: Really Big Al

Ever-Changing Value Wines - Now Considering Under $30 USD Washington State wine...

Original post by Really Big Al, May 16, 2017.

Sometimes we get used to paying upwards of $100 for a nice bottle of wine from the wine shop.  Those are the 'good days' that we want to remember, but soon you notice your bank account is dropping faster than Trumps approval rating, so you start looking for more value-oriented wines that are tasty in their own right.

This topic is all about value wines, and we'll look at several varietals after the initial 'just post some value wines' push.  Below is our current focus:

When you find a nice Washington state that is below $30 retail, please post a picture here and give us an idea of why it's worthy of you wanting to buy another bottle or two.  Washington state has become known for their red blends; Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot too.  Have you found a bottle worthy of mention?

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Reply by dmcker, May 30, 2017.

The Marques de Riscal bottle is a comforting sight in many countries I've found myself. Always cheap but good, and fairly widely distributed. Restaurant or bar markups when ordering bottles usually don't hurt much, either. Won't have epiphanies but will be comforted by its reliability. Better than Heineken for beer in that regard, and much better than McDonalds, which are other travel standards. Another good thing is that the producers have never seen fit to jack their prices up in the face of rising demand. Not quite the behavior of Napa or Sonoma winemakers.

Even when staying for long periods in Spain at houses with groups of people ended up buying cases of the stuff. The better bottles were for the people who cared about wine. This wine was for those who just wanted to quaff, or for the cognoscenti in a pinch when we were out of the good stuff. Quite decent compared to what other houses were quaffing it would seem, so didn't hurt our house's rep at all. Lots of people in and out of it every day, and LOTS of alcohol consumed over time, whether the villa was in Ibiza, Mallorca, Costa Brava, Andalusia or other parts of Spain.

My brother-in-law is Basque, born near Bilbao, and has built management systems for ports around the world. For awhile, now, he's lived in Oakland, CA, when not traveling to those ports. He's very particular about his food and drink; as one simple example he'll never touch an olive that has spent any time in a can. But this is the wine you'll always find in his house.  ;-)

Reply by Really Big Al, May 30, 2017.

Interesting thoughts about your past DM.  Wine has a way of drawing out the true feelings we all hold deep inside. 

Reply by Really Big Al, May 30, 2017.

Ok, here's another under $20 bottle that is quite tasty.  It's Spanish and we all know that Spanish wines can be a good value.  I'm drinking some of this 2014 wine while eating charcuterie during the afternoon of my Cat Tuesday activities.  The blend is Tempranillio, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  I like it.

Reply by Beawinebosscom, Jun 1, 2017.

I love under $20  RED bottles, they are cheap and most of them has a nice taste to them.

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jun 1, 2017.

Post some pictures of what you like 

Its great to share experiences on Snooth

Reply by duncan 906, Jun 1, 2017.

I paid £20 for three bottles of Chateau de Francs 2009 [ ] and I started the first bottle last night. This is a first class example of what a right bank claret should be like,full-bodied,plenty of fruit,and soft tannins although it is a 'petit chateau' in a less fashionable appellation.This was certainly good value for money.

Reply by Really Big Al, Jun 3, 2017.

So this 2009 Bordeaux wine is a good right-bank Claret then?  I'll have to try a similar one someday.

Reply by MJET, Jun 3, 2017.

This is always a party/crowd pleaser around the $14-16 range: Chateau Ste Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend. Some vanilla/oak (Washington) but very tasty and easy to drink.

Reply by jackwerickson, Jun 4, 2017.

Long Shadows Nine Hats average price $21-22 it is a Bordeaux blend. As I understand it is what is left over in the barrels after each of the winemakers finish their wine, then they all get together to blend 9 Hats

Reply by Really Big Al, Jun 6, 2017.

Here is a wine from Texas of all places, the 2015 EVS Cellars Windblown.  It's worth much more to some wine shops, but my local wine shop has it for $16.99; I wouldn't pay more than $25 however as there are better tasting wines out there.  This is kind of different, being a red blend of Carignan, Mourvedre, Petite Syrah, Syrah and Grenache.  My wife Sandra had a few sips and said it was flat.  She gave me the rest of the wine in her glass.  I would not pour it out though.  I will finish the bottle and be stronger for it.

Almost forgot to post a picture from my on-going Cat Tuesday activities.  This white and gray kitty is called Dotty, and she is a Norwegian Forest Cat mix.  The tan and white boy in the cage is called Terry and he is a Red Maine Coon mix.  The other tan and white cat in the play pen is Loverboy. Very sweet kitten cats.

Reply by EMark, Jun 6, 2017.

The reason I should never read labels before tasting a wine is because I become very biased by what I read.

In the above example, I see a blend of Carignan, Petite Sirah and some other stuff. My prejudice has already kicked in.  There is no reason to read more than Carignan and PS.  I want it.

But when I read "Texas," all the positive vibe I had is just flushed away.

Keep up the good work, Al.  In my house the rest of that bottle would have been ignored until I needed something for a marinade.

Reply by jackwerickson, Jun 6, 2017.

Don't blame, I wouldn't use it for marinade. Went to a tasting at a winery in the hill country, down by Austin, they had four to taste and one was a California wine,when I asked why a California wine they didn't have a good answer. The Texas legislators are trying to get a bill that in order to qualify as a Texas wine it must be grown in Texas, today they import juice from California. I forget the amount Texas juice they have to use, believe it was in the 80% range, the wineries are raising hell about it. The big problem with Texas wine,aside from the fact it is not good, but they want the same price you can buy a good wine from great areas.

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jun 6, 2017.

Sounds like Texans being......well.......Texans!!!

Reply by dmcker, Jun 7, 2017.

Terry's looking a bit sad, Al. How many of these cats find new homes? And what happens if they don't?

Reply by Really Big Al, Jun 7, 2017.

"The big problem with Texas wine,aside from the fact it is not good, but they want the same price you can buy a good wine from great areas."

I just now read this, and of all things, I am finishing that bottle of Texas wine.  I can't wipe the smile off my face it's so funny!  Surely they make something decent.  Does anyone know of a good wine made in Texas?  

"Terry's looking a bit sad, Al. How many of these cats find new homes? And what happens if they don't?"

Terry has been at this adoption center (in a PetCo pet store) for just under a week.  It was the first time I met him.  I believe that's a natural look for this guy, or it could have been my camera angle.  But I'll tell you this - all the cats that come into the cat rescue organizations I volunteer with (4 Paws for Terry and Dotty, Fancy Cats for most of the other cats I feed and care for) will either find a permanent forever home or will be placed in foster homes until that forever home comes up.  They won't put a cat down like the shelters do unless it's for a medical reason that cannot be addressed.  If a cat gets adopted and then it doesn't work out at the new home, they want the cat back so they can find another home for that cat.  You cannot ask for a better way to address the homeless cat problem.  Since I always had an open heart towards cats from my toddler years, I knew this was to be my thing in retirement.  It really brings out the best in me to help these animals and bring a small amount of love into their lives.  

That being said, I should probably finish my glass and get on with the day's activities.  Our daughter, who just got married on Memorial Day Weekend, is almost moved out.  One more trip for her tomorrow to Philadelphia might finish it.  They will be about 2.5 hours away from us up there.  

This guy below is Fred.  He arrived yesterday at the PetSmart pet store in Springfield, VA.  He was scared when I entered the cat room, but see how he opened up to love and attention?  I bet he gets adopted within a month!

Reply by jackwerickson, Jun 7, 2017.

I have never tasted a good Texas wine, have tried several and decided why punish myself, I drink wine for enjoyment , few restaurants even have it.

Reply by vin0vin0, Jun 7, 2017.

Can't say I've ever tasted a Texas wine and after reading these posts I'm in no hurry.  Although I've read that wine is produced in every state, might be an interesting adventure to taste at least one from each, could be fodder for a new thread.

Reply by EMark, Jun 7, 2017.

< $10 at Costco


and definitely not worth much more.

This one has very sour fruit and a bit of dustiness that gives is a bit of a pucker factor.  Not nearly as good as the Riscal on which I reported last week.  Of course, what do you expect for less than ten dollars?

On the other hand, life is still pretty good here on the left coast.

Reply by Coleney, Jun 18, 2017.

Kolonist Red Wine (Ukraine) - 15EUR

Reply by rckr1951, Jun 18, 2017.

COLENEY - You've tried this and how was it? Never had a wine from Ukraine.

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