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Monthly Archives: September 2012

  1. Great Wines for Under $10: Shania 2011 Monastrell

    This week we have a new wine that is very affordable and a delightful surprise. The Shania 2011 Monastrell from Spain is a deep, inky, opaque colored wine that has dark fruit and spice aromas. It tastes of blueberry and blackberry, but it also has a significant plummy quality with a distinct peppery finish. The firm but soft tannins make it an easy drinking wine that pairs well with a variety of foods including BBQ ribs, Tex-Mex dishes, and pizza. It even held up to my leftover Tortellini and meat sauce.

    I said this wine was a delightful surprise and it is, but not just for being a very tasty and affordable wine, it is also a box wine. That’s right folks. This is a box wine that costs $16.99. That works out to $4.25 a bottle! How can you pass that up?

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  2. Great Wines for Under $10: Boxhead 2011 Chardonnay

    In another week or so, summer will officially be over (as if we needed to be reminded by the cooler forecast) and our thoughts turn to Autumn and wines geared towards shorter days and chilly nights. The 2011 Boxhead Chardonnay may be the ideal seasonal transition white wine.

    This is a medium-bodied Chardonnay from Australia and is oak free. Don’t be fooled into thinking it is thin and unimaginative like a good number of un-oaked Chardonnays because there is plenty of attractive fruit smell and taste. The first whiff of lemon is immediately followed by spiced apple and subtle peach which will put you in the Fall frame of mind. This wine tastes of baked apple with lemon zest and a lingering flavor of baking spice.

    The 2011 Boxhead Chardonnay is a very good value at $9.99. Try it with your favorite shellfish, perhaps even a chowder if you are ready for that. After all it is just about Fall.

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  3. Great Wine for Under $10: Les Bastions Blanc 2010

    Burgers and hot dogs and beer, oh my! Burgers and hot dogs and beer, oh my! Are you feeling the Labor Day picnic overkill? Are you ready for a glass of something light, crisp, and citrusy to go with a like-wise lunch? If so, this 2010 Les Bastions Blanc is just the ticket.

    Made from three grapes that are admittedly not very familiar to many people, (Arrufiac, Petit Courbu, and Gros Manseng) but combined make a terrific wine that will please those who favor crisp, dry, wines ranging from French Chablis to New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

    Les Bastions Blanc is a complex wine without being overwrought with fruit. The grapefruit- citrus aroma is clear, as is the light floral bouquet. The grapefruit is still very evident on the tongue with an herbal tint on the finish.

    Enjoy this wine with a simple salad made from red onion, mandarin oranges, mesclun, or arugula with a citrus – olive oil dressing. This wine would also work well with broiled white fish as well. Skip

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  4. Great Wines for Under $10: Chateau Marjolet Cotes du Rhone 2010

    Labor Day weekend is here. Although summer isn’t technically over for another three weeks or so, we all know that this weekend is the last hurrah. Kids will be back in school and the days will get shorter. It’s time to think about Autumn and wines that work in the seasonal transition. Cotes du Rhone is an appealing choice because of its fruit and spice properties that somehow gently welcome in Fall without a shock to the system.

    Case in point is the 2010 Chateau Marjolet which is from a vineyard near Avignon. This regal purple colored wine is comprised of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah. The nose was light with the subtle aroma of cedar and Bing cherry. The taste is predominately cherry and spice with a hint of raspberry. The finish is very dry with firm yet soft tannins. Try this wine with beef based comfort foods like pot roast with plenty of onions or meatloaf and gravy.

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