red wine

Beaujolais Nouveau 2015

  Beaujolais Nouveau is a fresh, fruity, and inexpensive red wine released each year on the third Thursday of November. Made from handpicked Gamay grapes from the Beaujolais province of France, these wines were originally produced to celebrate then end of the harvest season. The day, and the wine, are widely celebrated in France with festivals, parades, and races and at midnight fireworks are launched to mark the release of the new wines. For decades, Beaujolais Nouveau had been released in France on the 15th of November and a race was created where the first bottles of the new vintage were carried to Paris for their release. Beaujolais Nouveau day has attracted international… Read more »

Réserve Grand Veneur Côtes du Rhône

  Let’s start off by saying that not all boxed wines are created equally! This Côtes du Rhône from Alain Juame & Fils is a great example of a boxed wine that can surely hold it’s own in comparison to it’s bottled brethren. Made up of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah this is a classic example of a Rhône Valley red wine. Right of the bat, this everyday red hits you up front with jammy fruits, very typical of the Grenache varietal. Allow the wine to open up and it will show the spiciness and darker fruits of the Syrah. Strong cracked black pepper notes are also prevalent through the finish,… Read more »

Boom Boom Syrah

A tremendous value out of what some consider to be one of the best new growing regions in the country! This Columbia Valley Syrah if from playful winemaker Charles Smith. The nose begins with aromas of pickled herbs and pine leading to a spicy cherry palate with hints of sweet tobacco. The finish is packed with cherry and slightly floral with hints of lavender coming through. Warm up next to the fire (or space heater) with this one while it’s chilly outside! Pairs nicely with a crock pot meal featuring pork tenderloin or any rich, meat-based stews. Found on our “Under $25 Wall.”

Inti Bonarda

Inti Bonarda, so named for the sun god that blessed the crops and lives of the ancient Inca people, is a shining example of high quality yet inexpensive and totally accessible New World red. Often, mysterious grapes and descriptors like “licorice,” “plum,” and “cigar box” can be off putting if not totally intimidating. Don’t be scared! At one time, Chardonnay was just as confusing to the everyday wine sipper as Bonarda might seem right now, but I urge you to give this wine a shot. It is so good. Bonarda, which started its life as Douce Noir in France and is called Charbono in California, is the darker, earthier, sun-warmed cousin of… Read more »

Domaine la Bastide Syrah

I’ll be the first to admit I can have a pretty expensive palate. With so much good wine to drink, I’ll make concessions for the price point if I really love it. That said, this is absolutely one of my favorite wines from a region that can really climb in cost, and it’s amazingly inexpensive for the quality. It over-delivers in the best way and it’s one of my best kept secrets for impressing on a budget. As a Syrah from southern France, it’s already going to be dense, lush and fruity, but this particular producer leaves this wine unfiltered so it offers yet another layer of silky texture and… Read more »

Viña Sastre Tempranillo

An old customer of mine used to have a simple rule for buying wine. Never buy a bottle with a fancy label. His philosophy was that if a winery was going to spend a lot of money on the label then they must be trying to compensate for the less-than-perfect wine in the bottle. Although this concept can clearly be debated, I must admit that I have found quite a few gems with plain-jane looking labels in my day (and the opposite has unfortunately happened equally as often!) One wine that does in fact confirm my old customers’  belief system is the Viña Sastre Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain…. Read more »