Tag: bargain wine

Wine Pairing for Thanksgiving 2019

Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday at Serious Foodie. You owe no greeting cards, no gifts. You can stuff yourself silly, drink too much wine (or beer, or cocktails), then pass out in front of the TV, opening an occasional eye to check the score of a football game.  But you still have to contend with the meal, and getting the right combination of food and wine together. Wine pairing might scare some, but it’s a whole lot easier than experts might have you believe.  Doing a traditional dinner with turkey and the usual sides (mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, etc.)?  Think light, crispy, acidic wines (white or red). Going the vegetarian route, with a lot of root vegetables and greens?  Same scenario: light, crisp, acidic wines (maybe with a slight bit of sweetness). We’ve produced a list that will work with most Thanksgiving menus – some favorites we’ve listed previously, and a few off the beaten path bottles.  And if all else falls flat, mix up some cocktails (check out our new cocktail/beverage blog). The Whites Mirabelle Brut by Schramsberg, (California; $19). Schramsberg was one of the first sparkling-wine makers in California, and is still one of the best. […]

25 Red Wines Under $25 to Try Now!

Every year we publish our compilation our report of quality red wines we've found that are under $25.  These wines are a result of various tasting events, restaurant experiences, and sommelier suggestions we've had this year.  Some usual suspects pop up, as well as interesting bargains from under-appreciated regions such as Lirac in Southern Rhone. The Top 5 Value Wines We have identified five special wines from this group of 25 that are exceptional values and really noteworthy: Palazzo della Torre The Allegrini Family makes some seriously great wines at many price points.  This wine has always impressed us with its consistent quality and value, and it is easy to find.  Allegrini uses an innovative "ripasso" method that gives this wine a style similar to higher end Amarone wines.  Bursting with dark, dried cherries, blackberries, and hints of dates, this wine has a lasting finish bolstered with just enough tannin to make it interesting, and worthy of a few years in the cellar.  Pair with pasta, chicken, or mild sausage. Corvina, Rondinella and Sangiovese. (typically $17 to $20). Tua Rita Rosso The Tua Rita winery is located on the western side of Tuscany, near the sea.  They are world-renowned for [...]

Tailgate Wine Pairings

Even though there is nothing like watching football with a great brew in hand, you don’t need to have a beer-only ootball party.  But the Serious Foodies at your party may not be your average American football fan. So, let’s impress them with a nice glass of vino to go with all those great football party munchies. This article focuses on wine suggestions that would work with most foods you’ll have on hand during the big game(s). Let’s start with the starters – chips & salsa, maybe some smoked salmon, or guacamole.   We think that the whites from Campania are magical with guacamole, like Greco di Tufo or Falanghina (try Taburno).  If you want a riper wine to cut through the spice, try Grüner Veltliner from the Wachau region (Hermann Moser, for example).  You want enough alcohol to match the weight and texture of the avocado, but enough acidity to match the lime.  These wines will also work well with shellfish & seafood (crab dip, shrimp, oysters).   If you are starting with something very spice, you can always go to a semi-dry Riesling.  It might be a wine-pairing cliche at this point, but these wines are perfect with Mexican food, […]

25 Fabulous Red Wines Under $25 for 2014

Each year, the Serious Foodie posts a list of the quality wines we consider bargains – and hopefully wines you can easily find.  Our red wine list gets posted every Fall, after considerable research and input from our associate tasters.  Last year we did 20 wines under $20 – we decided to expand it a bit by including five more wines, and going to the $25 level.  There were quite a few great wines that came in just above $20 that we felt it would warrant the extra few bucks for some tasty wines. There were quite a few quality bargain wines from Italy this year, and a few pinot noirs made the list.  In the past, it’s been hard to find quality bargain red wines from California, but we found a few that were outstanding. We have identified five special wines from this group of 25: The Top 5 Value Wines for 2014 Brancaia  Tre Toscana, Cambria Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Julia’s Vineyard, Domaine de Pallus Chinon Les Pensees de Pallus, Frescobaldi Chianti Rufina Riserva Nipozzano, and Tolani Valdisanti. Let us know what you think of these wines, and send along the names of your favorite bargain bottles.  Here’s […]

Pairings 101 – Wine with Passover and Easter Feasts

Passover and Easter meals are always about family and friends – and it is an ideal time to wow everyone with your knowledge on the best wines to match with the foods of the Spring.  The challenge to any meal with a large number of people is finding foods that fit all tastes and dietary requirements.  In this article, we explore possible Spring menus, and provide some general rules for matching wines, with recommendations from our previous tastings. Wines to use while waiting and noshing Brunch wines Wines with poultry & fish Wines with meats The finishing touch – wine with dessert and after the meal    For Starters, Let’s Try…. We are very fortunate to live in a climate where we can serve our guest outside for most of the year – but this is especially true in the Spring.  We like to use wines with a bit of acidity and a bit of tropical flavors – a refreshing treat that can sipped on its own, or used with mildly flavored appetizers.  The general rule of thumb is to keep it light when starting out.  You will focus mostly on white wines such as sauvignon blanc, albarino, gruner veltliner, […]

Buttery Butter – A California chardonnay

Guest review, Signore Georgio from Colorado, sent me the following review on a high end tasting, but value priced wine: “We tried a new (for us) wine while on Molokai, HI:  the 2012 Butter, CA chardonnay.  We enjoyed the wine, but we like most wines while on Molokai, and ordered 3 bottles online once we returned to CO.  The wine is aptly named as it is lightly oaked and has a real softness to it.  Interestingly, we drank this wine over 3 nights and it got better each night.  The winemaker, Rob Lloyd, used to be the winemaker for Rombauer, a favorite value wine of ours, and there are similarities between the two wines – but the Butter Chardonnay is less than half the price. It appears the winery is out of the 2012 but a few wine stores still have it in stock.  I look forward to tasting the 2013 to see if the winery can, or will, continue making appealing chardonnay in this same price range.  If the 2013 is as good as the 2012, I’ll be tracking down a case at least.” A note to our readers:  Signore Georgio from Colorado and his wife have a great collection […]

20 Fabulous White Wines Under $20

We reviewed a number of white wines a while back (see the Summer Collection post), and have recently added a few more to the selections – and taken a few off.   It’s not that the wines have gone down in quality, but that certain wines can be stand-alone drinks in the summer months, while other wines are all-year round, food friendly wines.  Like all of our selections, we have had at least one glass of each wine, and typically we have more than 6 knowledgeable people tasting the wine.  We would like your feedback on any of the choices, and most certainly let us know if you have wines that should get on our list. With the white wine selections, we try to find bottles which should be easy to get at your local store, or on line: ———————————————————— #20:  zero one: 2011 riesling American wine from Columbia Valley, Washington State. Averaging $14. ———————————————————— #19:  joel gott: 2011 unoaked chardonnay American wine from the Monterey region of California.  Averaging for $16. ———————————————————— #18:  Fantinel: 2010 friulano collio vigneti sant’helena Italian wine from the Friuli/Venezia-Giulia region made from the Sauvignonasse grape.  Averaging for $20. ———————————————————— #17:  Spy valley: 2011 sauvignon blanc […]

Marvelous Marzemino

We came across this unusual grape from the northeast region of Italy (primarily from the area around Isera in Trentino) when we were sourcing an Italian red that would match well with fish.  Marzemino wines are made in limited quantities, and are hard to find in the US.  The grapes have a long growing season, ripening late and is susceptible to many grape diseases, making it a bit finicky to grow. Our friends at the Italian Wine Merchant  had told us about the wines from the region, and suggested the Pratello Marzemino Poderi Ogaria.  We bought a case of the 2006 for our annual Feast of the Fishes party, and went through most of it – we immediately went back for another case.  Surprisingly, this wine has held up well in our cellar, showing outstanding fresh tastes of blueberry, lingonberry, and sweet herbs that has a surprising long lasting flavor.  It is light to medium bodied, with soft tannins and high acidity.  We recently opened up a few bottles of the 2006 for a pizza party we held, and it was a big hit.  We found only five bottles of the 2010 from the Virginia Wine Experience – so beware, […]

20 Fabulous Red Wines under $20

After tasting many wines under $20 (some were poured down the sink quickly), we found a nice selection to pass on.  We would like your feedback on any of the choices, and most certainly let us know if you have wines that should get on our list.  A few of these wines we separately review, providing more information (look through our postings). So, here goes…. ————————————————————  #20:  La Posta Angel:  2011 Paulucci Vineyard Malbec Argentina Malbec averaging $18.00. ————————————————————  #19:  Scala Dei:  2010 Priorat Prior Spanish (Catalonia) red made from Garnacha Tinta, Cabernet Sauvignon and  Syrah averaging $17.00 ————————————————————  #18:  Leone D’Oro:  2011 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Italian (Tuscany) red made from Prugnolo Gentile, a clone of Sangiovese, averaging $19.00. ————————————————————  #17: Angulo Innocenti:  2010 La Consulta Malbec Argentina Malbec averaging $19.00. ————————————————————  #16: Romero & Miller:  2005 Rioja Rentas  de Fincas Reserva Spanish red made from Tempranillo averaging $18.00. ————————————————————  #15: Vina Equia:  2011 Rioja Riserva Spanish red made from Tempranillo averaging $15.00. ————————————————————  #14: Seghesio:  2010 Sonoma Zinfandel California zinfandel averaging $19.00. ————————————————————  #13: Bodegas De La Marquesa:  2009 Rioja Valserrano Crianza Spanish red made from Tempranillo averaging $13.00. ————————————————————  #12: Bryn Mawr:  2011 Pinot noir Oregon pinot noir averaging $15.00. ————————————————————  #11: […]

Fattoria del Cerro – Great Tuscan Bargain

Fattoria del Cerro is a winery, restaurant, and hotel near Montepulciano, which is on the eastern end of Tuscany.  They specialize in  Vino Nobile di Montepulciano vineyards, and is the largest private estate producing Vino Nobile. The grounds are beautiful, and tasting wine at this vineyard is one of life’s great pleasures.   All Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are made from the prugnolo gentile grape, which is a clone of Sangiovese.  We’ve tasted several wines from Fattoria del Cerro, and two appear on our list of 20 under $20 bargain red wines for 2013.  The regular Vino Nobile di Montepulciano D.O.C.G. can be found at $15 to $20, and often appears on restaurant wine lists at about $40.  We love the striking up-front cherry, wild herbs and spice flavors of this smooth wine, with a nice elegant finish for a wine of this price.  This wine leaves a mouthwatering impression, with a nice balance of acid and tannins. The Riserva Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva D.O.C.G., and the single vineyard selection Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Antica Chiusina” D.O.C.G. are quite a bit pricier (about $60), but does raise the bar with more intense and lingering fruit flavors. We’ve also added […]

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