Are you a wino like me? Or are you wanting to get into wine? I am no expert, but I do love a good glass of wine! And these days I am having to balance budget-friendly with palate-pleasers. Check out some of my most recent favorites:
Red wines are definitely my favorite these days.
1. 19 Crimes Red Blend
This wine comes from Australia, and is one of my newest favs. It is a medium-bodied rich red wine, riddled with blackberry and vanilla. It’s bold, but is not overpowered by strong tannins. The finish is soft and fresh. It is so well balanced, and under $10 most places.
2. Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a strong red wine, but a great introduction to Cabernet Sauvignon. Carnivor’s Cabernet merges fruity, dark cherry and blackberry flavors with hints of coffee, caramel and oak.
3. Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Bourbon Barrel
This California wine is as complex as it is intense. Robert Mondavi’s site describes this wine to
leap from the glass with aromas of blackberry cobbler, graham cracker, brown sugar, milk, chocolate, coffee and smoke. Palate of blueberry pie, praline, sweet vanilla custard, caramel and mocha is framed by soft chewy tannins and a hint of toasted oak”
Personally, I don’t get all those baked goods and sweet flavors from this one. It is like the Carnivor Cab in my mind, but with an added oak & smoke element from the barrels. Still, a great glass!
4. Halos de Jupiter Cotes du Rhone
This wine is on the higher end of the price spectrum, but still generally less than $20.
Halos de Jupiter is full-bodied but very smooth, and much less rich than the before mentioned Cabs. It’s a refreshing red wine, with plum and currant notes. The words that came to mind when I had this one for the first time were “heaven on earth” – I urge you to try it.
5. Acronym Ruby Red Blend
Acronym is an affordable brand, but not sold everywhere. Their Ruby Red Blend is the only one I’ve tried, but it’s quickly become one of my favorites. I continue to buy it because it is refreshing and has a wonderful balance.
Acronym’s Ruby Red Blend is a perfect example of what a “red blend” should be. It is a mellow balance of the usual red fruity notes (cherry, blackberry, etc.) and a creamy, rich sweetness (reminiscent of vanilla and caramel). Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a sweet red, but it is a much lighter, brighter red than the Cabernet Sauvignons I also love.
6. Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc-Viognier
I am not sure how I came home with this wine in the first place, I had no idea what “Chenin Blanc-Viognier” was. But, it was impressive. This is a crisp white wine, with a pure, tropical nose. It’s full of tart peach, pear and mango flavors, accented with hints of jasmine blossom and spice. If you like light or sweeter wines – this is the one for you.
7. Da Vinci Pinot Grigio
When I am in a white wine mood, Pinot Grigio is where I tend to focus my attention. Although many of them tend to disappoint me, as they’re either too sweet, too tart, or don’t have a clean finish. (Of course, this is all up to personal preference)
Da Vinci Pinot Grigio is a pretty perfect balance which I enjoy time and time again.
Interesting tidbit: Da Vinci winemakers actually blended in a small amount of Chardonnay grapes (about 10%) to this Pinot Grigio. The addition of Chardonnay completely transforms it and creates a much softer mouthfeel.
Flavors in this wine are a relaxing blend of apple, citrus and tropical fruit mixed with floral aromas. This wine finishes with a delightful, bright mineral note.
8. Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Spumante
If you’re a true wine snob, then I will lose all credibility in your eyes with this one. But I’m completely unashamed to say…
This is my “everyday go to” sparkling wine.
My favorite way to enjoy it is in weekend mimosas. I mix it with a lower calorie fresh orange juice, and this mama is good to go for a delightful weekend day!
Be warned, this wine is very sweet, but to me that is perfect for pairing with tart orange juice. So many inexpensive sparkling wines add a less-than-fresh note to a mimosa. So when I found this one I didn’t look back; it is perfect!
You really ought to try some of these! I am always accepting recommendations too, what are some of your favorites?