Thursday, July 24, 2014

My vacation wines deals under $20 from around the world

I hope you enjoyed my first wine event I went too while aboard my cruise in Alaska. That tasting had higher end fine wines. Don't we all wish that we could drink those every day?! The second one that I tasted was more of your every day affordable wines, which we all love to look for and enjoy. 
Ketchikan Alaska with Princess Cruises
This tasting consisted of 5 wines from Italy, Washington, California and Chile. You may be familiar with some yourself. This tasting consisted of:

  • 2012 Danzante Pinot Grigio
  • 2012 Hogue Riesling
  • 2012 Woodbridge Merlot
  • 2012 Estancia Pinot Noir
  • Errazuriz Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc

Personally what I enjoyed the most, besides the dessert wine which who wouldn't, was the Danzante Pinot Grigio. That's not just because I love Italian wines ; ) As you know by now I'm not overly critical about wines. Every one has different tastes and I won't tell you what to drink and what not to drink, but I won't share a wine with you that I don't find enjoyable. It's all about the journey for the grape and the winemaker and I appreciate the different characteristics that shine through the glass.

Danzante Pinot Grigio

This grape was introduced to Italy in the 1800's. This particular wine comes from the Veneto region including Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto Adige and the Veneto. Straw in color, this wine was aromatic on the nose along with tropical fruit and citrus. It was crisp, refreshing, with some lemon-lime. On the finish I picked up some apple and pear. It was lighter in body, but for this time of year I enjoy that. Danzante has some recipes with pinot grigio on their site to try it with including risotto with truffles, frutti di mare or lemon and black pepper grilled chicken legs. Yum! Enjoy this wine young while it's fresh. You can probably find it for about $8-10.

This wine comes out of the Columbia Valley in Washington state. There is a lot of value coming out of this state when it comes to wine. At about $10 this is an affordable, enjoyable wine. Especially for those that don't like the dry style. Also straw in color with a tinge of yellow, this cool climate grape had a very aromatic nose of honey, petrol, apricot, peach and some orange. It had light to medium body with flavors of ripe fruit combined with some citrus and acidity. Rieslings are always a nice pairing with chinese food or thai.

I'll start off by saying who doesn't know Robert Mondavi or whom hasn't tried at least one of his wines, so this may already be a well known red by many. None the less, it was on our tasting list so I wanted to share it. It's made of 80% merlot, 15% petit syrah and 5% syrah. It was aged 20 days in stainless steel and 10 months in french oak, which was present through the flavors of vanilla, especially on the finish. The nose was ripe of plums and berries. Lighter ruby in color it had a medium body and was drier in style with ripe berries. I would pair this with a nice Italian dish that includes sauce. You might be able to scoop this wine up for about $7-8.

Personally if I drink red wines in the summer I like to keep them on the lighter side and that is usually something like a pinot noir. This wine is made of 100% pinot noir from the Central Coast of CA. The color of this pinot was a see through ruby color and had nice fragrance of vanilla and raspberry on the nose. There was some spice, vanilla and cherry on the palate. It's aged 10 months in 25% new french oak and this is where the vanilla nuances came through. I would pair this with a pork tenderloin or salmon.  I can say for sure there was no shortage of salmon on my vacation!  Delicious!  You can find this wine for about $15 give or take.

Estancia Pinot Noir from Central Valley

As they always say, save the best for last and I always eat my meal so I get dessert! This wine is primarily sauvignon blanc with some gewurztraminer and viognier from the Casablanca Valley in Chile. Another place on my travel list! Late harvest is when the grapes stay longer on the vines to ripen more and become more concentrated. This dessert wine had a thicker consistency than your typical sauvignon blanc wine. It spends 11 months in barrel. There is lots of honey and apricots on both the nose and palate. It's very smooth and if you have a sweet tooth you must top your meal off with this. You can probably score this wine for about $18-20.

Chilean grapes

Lots of deals here to experiment with and for the prices you won't be disappointed. Have a great weekend everyone!

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