Robert Godfrey, part owner of the Handsome Cab, walks us through how to properly taste wine. Sean Heisey
Finding inexpensive wines of quality can be a challenge.
House wines in restaurants should be inexpensive wines of quality, not the cheapest wine in the biggest bottle.
I am sharing with you 10 wines under $10, which could be substituted at local restaurants instead of using Woodbridge, Foxhorn, Franzia, Barefoot, etc.
ANEW 2014 Pinot Grigio Yakima Valley Washington — $9.99
This wine is well balanced with pear being the predominant flavor. You will also note a hint of melon and tropical fruit. This is a dry wine that people who think they only like sweet will enjoy. It is bright and juicy.
Aime Boucher Le Bien Aime 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Vin De France — $9.99
I tasted apple and grapefruit with this wine. It smells of fruit and flowers. It is nice and crisp and not grassy like some Sauvignon Blanc. It is an excellent choice at a great price.
StoneCap Riesling 2014 Columbia Valley Washington — $9.99
When you smell this wine you will notice peach and apricot aromas. Upon tasting it I noted apple, honey and a lot of fruit. It would be great with oysters or some spicy Thai food. Wine Enthusiast gave this wine 87 points. It is a semi-sweet wine and has a bit of sugar, but not too much. Buy a bottle not for your Thanksgiving dinner.
Alexander Valley Vineyards Gewurztaminer 2015 Mendocino County — $9.99
This wine smells a bit tropical with flavors of apple, pear, grapefruit and a bit of spice. I enjoyed the finish which was rich.
Raimat Castell De Raimat Rose 2015 Costers Del Segre, Spain — $9.99
I thought I was done with Rose for the season and then we found this. You will taste a lot of strawberry and a touch of grapefruit.
H Luxury Collection by Havens Meritage North Coast of California 2012 — $8.99
Aromas of cherry are significant from the first smell. When you taste this wine you will notice plum, blackberry and some vanilla. It is a great deal for its price. While you can drink this wine on its own. I suggest it would be even better paired with a vodka sauce pasta dish.
Cora Montepulciano d’Abruzo 2014 — $9.99
This wine is very dry and has slight notes of cherry and spice. This wine defiantly needs food and would go well with a pizza, any grilled meat or chicken.
Bartenura Rosso Toscano 2014 — $8.99
The main grape is this wine is Sangiovese with slight tastes of cherry. This is lite dry red wine that needs food. It would go well with pizza or big bold flavored cheeses.
Falesco Tellus Merlot Umbria 2013 — $9.99
This wine has great value and quality for the price. It is a medium bodied red with tastes for red fruit, spice and grilled herb. The wine has a silky finish and I my absolute top favorite of the 10. The wine has wine 88 points from Wine Advocate.
El Miracle Old Vine Garnacha Tintorera 2013 — $7.99
The color of this wine is a deep red with the most complex smells that include red fruit and smoky notes. I tasted plum and berry. It is a dry wine that can be drank on its own or would go great with a steak. Wine Advocate gave this wine 90 point.
My personal favorites from this list are the Tellus Merlot, El Miracle Old Vine Garnacha, Raimat Rose, ANEW Pinot Grigio, and the Havens Meritage. This doesn’t mean the others aren’t good; I am not a big Sauvignon Blanc drinker so that automatically falls to the bottom of the list for me. The Cora Montepulciano, and the Bartenura Roscco Toasano must be paired with food, as the wines do not stand well alone — I'd suggest a pairing with spaghetti, pizza, or arrabiata sauce.
Here's to hoping that when I show up at a restaurant, some of these inexpensive wines of quality might appear on the listings — or I may just show up with a list for them!
Try some of these wines
What: Taste samples of Falesco Tellus Merlot Umbria 2013, El Miracle Old Vine Garnacha Tintorera 2013, Raimat Castell De Raimat Rose 2015 Costers Del Segre and Alexander Valley Vineyards Gewurztaminer 2015 Mendocino County
When: 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29
Where: Fine Wine & Good Spirits, 2547 E. Market St., Springettsbury Township
Details: Free to attend, must be 21 and older. Call 717-751-6884 for details.