You all know by know, that I am the queen of bargain wine. Lord knows I am not made of money, so I try to enjoy wine, but limit myself to less than $10 a bottle. Every once in a while though, it is nice to spend a little more on something extra good. Lucky me, one of my birthday gifts was a gift certificate to my local wine shop. Ah, the perfect opportunity to try something new. Here are two of my new found favorites…
This is a complex Italian red called Valpolicella. But it’s not your typical Valpolicella. This is called a Ripasso, which basically means that some of the dried grapes that are used in Amarone, are added to the wine at the end, making it deeper, thicker and sweeter. I think this is an elegant wine, with a smooth finish. It is a 2004 and retails for $14.99
This next one is a Cote du Rhone, a French red. Hmm, I think you are beginning to see a pattern here. Yeah, I prefer reds. I have had many a Cote du Rhone, but none of this quality and complexity. It is a blend of Grenache, Mouverdre, Syrah and Carignan. I drank a 2005, but the 2004 scored 89 points from Wine Spectator…not bad , eh? I really liked the earthiness of this one. You could taste berries, herbs and a hint of spice. It was definitely worth the $15.99 I paid.
**On a side note, there is something that I have been dying to try here, but could never afford. It is a Châteauneuf du Pape. Most of the best are priced at about $30, and up. I was going to splurge on a bottle with my gift certificate, but then I remembered…hey, wait…you are going to France in a few short weeks. Why not try to search for the best Châteauneuf du Pape right in the motherland? And it will be so much more affordable in the motherland. So that is my mission. I will try to search for the most delicious bottle (I can afford) of Châteauneuf du Pape in Paris! I will take good notes and report back on my findings!**
What are some of your favorite wines to splurge on? Have you ever tried Châteauneuf du Pape?