WINESLACKER..the lazy drinker's guide. Another 'slacker yammering on about drinking.

April 4, 2010

New Finds…

Filed under: $10 wines,California,Cheep wine,rose,summer wine,Zinfandel — Dex Wineslacker @ 11:32 pm

Here are some value suggestions for the summer soon to come.

The Wineslacker trailed through several markets this week, including Bristol Farms, after quite a long absence.  Bristol Farms has had a fine wine department for many years (check out their “Grapevine Gazette”, see link) and has paid a lot of attention to the quality and marketing of wine.  Their price points are a bit higher than the ‘slacker generally looks for, but they carry a better variety of wines and generally a better quality of labels than most chain markets, more on a par with Gelson’s Markets. Still, with wine sales feeling the pinch of recession, even Bristol Farms has built a display of value wines, strategically placed at the entrance, at least at the Manhattan Beach store.  The ‘slacker picked two which looked promising from a well stocked display, all under $10 a bottle. The first, Mas de Lavail, Tradition, 2006, a Côte Du Roussillon Villages red blend, 40% Carignan, 40% Shiraz (yes! the bottle says, “Shiraz”) and 20% Black Grenache, priced at an astounding $8.99.  This is a keeper and a fine value.  As flavorful and big as you’d suspect with these grapes, the wine has some structure and richness and while lacking subtlety , it’s a barbecue wine with class.  The second was a Tempranillo from Castillo called La Cocina, 2008.  This is a more rustic wine with with some acidity and structure.  It’s still a fruit forward red wine with a little less alcohol than the Tradition, with 13% compared to the other with 14%.  The La Cocina, at $9.99 is also a great buy and would be a great match up with hearty meat dishes, sausages and grilled meats.

Back to Whole Foods, again, despite the affectionate razzing given W.F. by that overachieving L.A. culture critic, Sandra Tsing Loh.  The ‘slacker regularly slinks through W.F. at lunch hour, sniffing the air in the unparalleled prepared food section, giving in to the aroma of freshly roasted extra dark French Roast and rarely able to pass the wine section without getting SOMETHING pleasant and not tooo expensive.  The Wineslacker’s latest weakness from the Whole Foods wine department is their delicious choice for an inexpensive sparkling Brut Rosé (just in time for Spring, the season of rosé), Duc De Raybaud, an unprepossessing French sparkler without a vintage, without even a place of origin or a hint of what it’s made of.  But, at $9.99, it comes on like a $25 bottle of summer kisses.  It’s a light pink sparkling wine with the flavor of sweetened rose petals when you first open the bottle.  With a fine mousse it has a slightly rounder mouth feel than Champagne.  It’s beautiful, chilled, with sea food, with chicken, with cheeses and fruit…or all by it’s little lonesome on the patio at dusk.

And, the ‘slacker gives a nod to Vons once again; a huge chain store with a nice selection of wine, and if you get their plastic coupon card, quite a nice price point.  This weekend the Wineslacker roared through, the day before Easter, pausing long enough to snap up one of his long time favs, Ten Mile, The Broken Road, red blend, 2006, a field blend of different varietals from Oakville, California.  This is usually about $10, but with the Von’s plastic, the ‘slacker paid about $8. This is a tremendous wine for the price.  Also at Von’s we stocked up on De Loach Russian River Valley Zinfandel, 2008, regularly $16.49, on sale for a thrifty $10.99.  De Loach is a vintner the Wineslacker has a lot of respect for.  They don’t disappoint, they’re now certified organic, and any time you can get De Loach on sale, you gotta value.

Salud!

November 10, 2009

Don’t forget there’s other colors.

Filed under: classic Chablis,Costco wines,French Whites,good white wine,rose — Dex Wineslacker @ 4:13 pm
Three French beauties

Three French beauties

There are some great white and rosé wines out there that should not be overlooked.  Your fruit-bomb Shiraz from Oz may not be the one to match up with the jumbo scallops you just paid $18 a pound for.  Here are a few inexpensive bright spots on the market now.

Chateau de Fountgraves, 2007, Pic Saint Loup Rose (Coteaux Du Languedoc, don’t ya just love that French) picked up at Cost + (World Market – whatever).  A fine, fruity but dry rosé from an underrated appellation.  We don’t recall now, but in the Summer this was probably under $11.  Rosés are delightful and provided they are not too bland, as some are, a beautiful food wine.

Caves Des Perrières, Pouilly Fumé, from the Loire Valley, 2008, this minerally Sauvignon Blanc has been available regularly at Trader Joe’s for an astounding $9.95.  It is without the grassy taste typical of many Sauvignon Blancs and crisp, clean, fruity but dry.  The perfect accompaniment to those expensive scallops. Refreshing and delicious.

Chateau Rives-Blanques, 2005, Cuvée de L’Odyssée, Limoux Chardonnay.  Costco carries it for all of $15.99.  A captivating Chardonnay, without the cloying oak of California Chards.  This is clean and voluptuous, fantastic with soft cheeses.  The ‘slacker had it with a nice Camembert.  With fruit and a baguette, this is a luxurious lunch.  Don’t forget one of the ‘slackers all time favs frequently at Costco, along with other fine wine sellers, Le Chablisienne, the wine that takes back the reputation of real Chablis at a price we can afford, about $16.  Remember, Chablis is a place, not a grape.

Last, but far from least, a great buy in sparklers, at Whole Foods, for about $11, J.P. Chenet, Blanc du Blanc.  A tasty, not bland, sparkling wine from France, but not Champagne. Great any time, and would make a great New Years party wine at this price. And what a great bottle! Even a little depression on the side for your thumb; it’ll make your guests feel special. Happy 2010!  Terrific with a bird, with salads and light soups; also with cheeses.

You noticed these are all French? Well, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some whites and rosés from other places that are great too.  Germany, California, certainly Italy, New Zealand, Long Island and the Finger Lakes in New York.  But don’t miss out on these French lovelies at great prices and wide availability. Cheers!

May 10, 2009

Update: World Market

Filed under: reconsideration,rose,summer wine — Dex Wineslacker @ 9:24 pm

A bit of a retraction is due here…

The ‘slacker and sophisticated dinner companion revisited Cost Plus, World Market today and the ‘slacker has to admit, the wine department was revitalized, at least at the local branch. Fresh displays and a very nice selection of world wines, focused on coming Summer and keeping the cost down for entertaining, if not for collecting.

We picked up at least three promising rose’s, from Pic St. Loup, Coteaux Du Languedoc; from Costieres de Nimes, Rhone Valley; and one of our yearly faves for patio time, Parallele 45 Rose’, Cote du Rhone, a consistant winner at $11.99, as well as one of the tastiest dessert wines from Australia, Innocent Bystander Moscato, from Victoria, a Wineslacker pick for a meager $8.99. We also could not resist a bottle of Las Rocas, Garnacha, 2005, from Calatayud, Espana, for $8.99 and the well received Cab from Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells, 2006, for $15.99.

Welcome back, World Market!

Powered by WordPress