• Today I will write about wine, just wine, no minions or woolly mammoths. I won’t bend your ear with a chapter on Interpersonal Relationships, or how I got up at the butt crack of dawn to run for five hours.

    In fact, I am only going to talk about wines that are less than $10. So here it goes…

    There was a giant ogre that lived beside a hill.

    Hah! Just kidding

    It has come to my attention that people want affordable wine that doesn’t disappoint.   <—- duh

    So, I’ll start off with this Sauvignon Blanc…

    2012 Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc “La Gloria” Reserva Casablanca Valley




    Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate:

    “…the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc Reserva (which comes from 47 vineyard plots) has more character with touches of fresh apricot and peach. The palate is fresh on the entry with tropical fruit and orange zest… Drink now.”


    Another fabulous white wine that graces the shelves between $8-10.

    Mouton-Cadet Blanc 2011 White Bordeaux


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    Winemaker’s Notes:

    Brilliant straw yellow. A complex and elegant nose, on which boxwood aromas mingle with tropical fruit and citrus notes, especially grapefruit. A harmonious wine with a full, fruit-driven attack, displaying a range of citrus and white blossom flavors and a nicely mineral touch on the finish. A good balance between roundness and freshness. A highly elegant wine that leaves lingering fruit flavors in the mouth.

    I found a few at Trader Joe’s that were dynamite for the price (hopefully you have a Trader Joe’s near you).

    Two were frizzante (lightly bubbly or “fizzy”) wines.

    Seccola Frizzante white wine from Italy is an easy drinking, afternoon relaxing, tasty wine for only $5.




    Trader Joe’s notes:

    Seccola Frizzante is an Italian sparkling wine that’s made in the same style as Prosecco, but at a fraction of the price of most Proseccos. A blend of two Italian grapes – Malvasia & Garganega – this is a light-golden-colored wine with the aroma and flavor of exotic fruits. Its fresh, medium spritz makes it an exuberant addition to both big summertime celebrations and quiet, relaxing evenings at home. Our price of $4.99*, actually, makes any day a celebration!

    If you want something with a little more character this rosé is a bit more lively on the palate with hints of strawberry, raspberry, and tart red plum.


    Incanto Rosé Frizzante

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    Trader Joe’s notes:

    Using Raboso grapes from the northeast of Italy, Incanto Rosé is crafted by a well-respected Italian wine producer (whose name we can’t reveal). Raboso is a red grape known for its high level of acidity — unusual for reds. It’s ideal for sparkling wine, adding to the tingling effect on the palate, while still highlighting the red berry flavors on the finish. If you’re unsure about “pink” wines, we think this one might change your mind. Enjoy it cold, on a warm, slightly breezy evening, and imagine yourself lounging in an Italian vineyard. You’ll be convinced that pink wines can be serious. And our price of $5.99* a bottle will convince you we’re serious about value.


    2012 Trader Joe’s Sauvignon Blanc Viñas Chilenas Reserva

    This wine comes in at $2.99, and is a pretty solid Sauvignon Blanc. If you are not a lover of Sauvignon Blanc do not buy this. It is a very intense version of a classic SB. The aromatics include, but are not limited to cut grass, gooseberry (ever try to smell a gooseberry?), and lemon. The first sip is a bit like a slap to the face with its blaring acidity, but with repeated sips the acid creeps back a bit. It’s bold, fruit forward and keeps you alert.


    2011 Tribunal Cellars “Tribunal Red”

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    Some places sell this wine for $20 and up, but at Trader Joe’s it’s only $9.99. It tastes like the $20 price tag though (not dry and pithy like a paper tag… I meant it has a $20 value). With red and black plum, currant, boysenberry and blueberry on the palate, this red wine blend surprised me with its complexity. The bold fruit was balanced nicely with just the right amount of acidity, body, and tannin to give it a nice mouthfeel. I kept looking at the glass saying, “This is pretty damn good for 10 bucks!”


    2012 La Granja Tempranillo-Garnacha Cariñena, Spain


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    This $4.99 bottle is lean with a bit of the ‘ol tannin popsicle stick. It’s equal parts Tempranillo and Garnacha which gives some character. The La Granja Tempranillo they also make is lacking in depth and fruit, so the addition of Garnacha gives it more body. The wine would be perfect with spaghetti and meatballs.


    Do yourself a solid and buy tasty wine for less.