Posts Tagged ‘value wines’

I’m not just Cheap, I’m also Easy

January 17, 2011 11:33 am - Posted by Jody in Drink

We love wine that is both cheap and easy drinking. Here’s the first of an on-going series on value wines that we love; low cost, great tasting bottles that are worthy of your attention.

At the Wine Portfolio studios we drink wine like water. In fact our water cooler is filled with Château Lafite Rothschild. I know what you’re thinking, typical spoiled media-types, but just to assure you the Lafite in our cooler is 1985 vintage or newer so we’re really not being that extravagant.

But on the rare occasion when we want to slum it like the rest of you (I mean be fiscally responsible) we too like inexpensive, high value wines. I mean who doesn’t like a bargain and as I always say, wine doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Granted our Cristal flush toilets are getting a bit pricey to operate but the interns like them so much who could take those away?

In all honesty we are big supporters and big purchasers of low cost, high value wine. There are great bottles coming out of New Zealand and Chile, Greece and even Spain that are valued-priced and great tasting. So I thought I’d start a semi-regular series detailing the inexpensive wines we like. It’s easy to rave about Screaming Eagle from California but what about Eagle Wines of India? Ok we haven’t tried those either but the website is funny.

Seriously though here is our first of many lists of low cost, high value wines we like. And as with any wine we talk about, no one has paid us for the mention, these just happen to be some of our current favs.

First up is Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz, a wonderfully complex, delightfully fun and deceptively drinkable wine from the Paarl region of South Africa. Despite its’ name Jam Jar is a semi-sweet wine even though it is in fact very jammy. We first discovered this wine in New York and have loved it ever since. The winemaker’s name is Bruwer Raats so needless to say he couldn’t price the brand too high. Check for sales but it is typically under $10. I just bought a bottle for under $8.

On the opposite end of the taste spectrum is Raw Power an unmanipulated and real Aussie Shiraz from ex-Punk Rock Singer Rawley Power. This wine is unpretentious, full bodied and really great with a steak or even Thai food. It isn’t too harsh but certainly isn’t wimpy. Think of it as The Ramones of wine; big, powerful but still very melodic and smooth. Typically Raw Power sells for about $10 bucks and it is worth every penny.

Finally to round out our selection of three hot wines is the aptly named Ménage à Trois Red which is a sultry Californian blend of Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is the most refined of the three and is a really wonderful wine to share with friends (perhaps in an intimate setting with two others, if you catch my drift). At about $9 to $10 it will be the cheapest part of your evening and you definitely won’t regret this decision. The others, well that’s up to you and your spouses’ lawyer.

We’re not saying this is an exhaustive list by any stretch. There are many, many more. Australia’s Stump Jump Shiraz at under $8 and Argentina’s Fuzion also should get honorable mentions but since the Canadians have pretty much taken up all of the supply of Fuzion I thought I shouldn’t mention it. I don’t want to start a war. Likewise if I profiled two Australian wines my Kiwi friends would disown me.

What this proves is that great wine doesn’t have to cost great sums. It is all about learning what you like. So I’ve shared and now it is your turn.  What are your favorite inexpensive wines?