Do you think we prefer reds to whites!?
First a bit about our wine buying style: For the most part we buy wines that are drinkable now. While we may hold onto a wine for a long time, in general we don’t purchase bottles with the intention of aging (maybe someday we’ll have some neat cellar for that..) For us, wine is typically opened during cocktail hour while we’re beginning to prepare dinner. We prefer it when wines stand on their own for porch sippin’ rather than requiring the perfect food pairing. While I do love a good food pairing, if it doesn’t taste good on its own I’m not likely to buy it.
My dad has a neat system of record keeping where he writes where he bought (or who gifted) his wine and the price on the bottle. I need to start doing that if I’m going to share more posts on wine because I have no record of the exact price on any of these. A funny story: my dad doesn’t use decimal points when he labels bottles so once time we were served a wine and “$75” was written on the back. We thought we were enjoying a $75 bottle! It was actually purchased for $7.50. Ha!
Let’s see what’s hanging out on our wine rack ready to be poured into a glass or carried to a party….
The wine taking up the most real estate is Trentadue’s Old Patch Red. Trentadue holds a special place in our hearts because it was one of our favorite wineries from our honeymoon. Recently Market Street Wine Shop featured it for only $9.99 a bottle! We loved it as much as we remembered during a Friday night tasting and picked up half a case.
Matt and I love big, bold reds – especially ones described as juicy, chewy, inky, velvety and the like. To fill the rest of our Market Street case we picked out some old favorites and wild cards.
Charles & Charles Red Blend is one we first picked up at Beer Run (that’s right, a beer store!). We were just looking for a recommendation to go with a grilled flank steak and one of the staff pointed us towards this bottle. It was described as a winery with rockstar attitude, making wines that are bold and exciting but drinkable now. We like that the small blended amount of Syrah tones down the Cabernet and adds some fruitiness to the background.
I recognized this bottle on the shelf as something I had had in a restaurant before and liked, although I couldn’t tell you where. 2010 Bodegas Breca “Breca” Garnacha is a 100% Spanish Garnacha from old vines. I don’t know a ton about wine, but I know that when I see the words “old vines” on a bottle I’m usually going to love what’s inside. Old vines are less productive plants, but the fruit tends to be juicier and more intense. This is a wine to save for a weekend – it’s got quite the punch to it.
This 2007 Casa del Canto Roble is a wild card that was on sale for a great price at a weekly tasting, likely for under $10. (I usually jump on any wine $10 and under that gets a thumbs up at a weekly tasting.) Also from Spain, this guy is a blend of Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah and was vibrant and juicy with a touch of pepper.
This lone white was another wine tasting purchase. It hails from Greece, and my dad purchased is for us while he was visiting and we went to a tasting together. My sister happened to be IN Greece at the time, so it was a fun full circle. I believe we paid only $9 for this guy.
The last wine on our upstairs rack was a recent purchase I made when our family met at Sans Soucy vineyards in Virginia. This is the 2010 Legacy, their flagship wine. It’s a blend of chambourcin, tempranillo and cabernet franc that was dried in Southern Virginia tobacco barns. I found it to be full bodied and really juicy and knew Matt would like to taste it. At $25, it is definitely the most expensive wine on our rack, but as a memento from the day and a local wine, it will be worth it when we pop open the cork.
Downstairs in the brewery we have our overflow rack, which is currently half full (not half empty!) These are bottles that won’t fit in our IKEA wall rack or extras we have on hand.
There are two bottles of our favorite wine of 2013 – the Garnacha de Fuego Old Vines. It’s the cousin to the Breca above. The wine is the definition of “jammy” and rings in under $10 on sale. We love it as our “take to a party” wine. It’s always great to have a crowd-pleaser wine around. For that category we usually look for something leaning away from bold and tannic, and more towards fruity and medium bodied.
Here’s a local wine we bought at White Hall Vineyards when we went tasting with Larbs and Matt. We also bought their Cab and Petit Verdot, but apparently we already drank those : ) This Chardonnay is just how I love them – lush and mildly oaked. White Hall has a commitment to making wines that are drinkable now rather than intended for aging.
Matt can remember any bottle of wine he’s ever had whereas I might only recognize a label or a wine I’ve had over and over. He must have a taste memory. We will often pick a bottle off a shelf and he’ll say “Oh you loved that.” I did!? This is one. I generally love Petite Sirah (and Verdot)! and the McManis is a good one. It’s full of ripe black fruit.
Old Vine Zinfandels are also high on my favorite varietal list (Merlots are low on it…) and I almost always love them. This Sivas Sonoma comes from our beloved Sonoma, California and was a recommendation from Market Street Wineshop to pair with Osso Bucco. It’s a little bolder and more tannic than most of the Old Vine Zins we like so it’s probably more appropriate to pair with food to soften it up.
Next time would you like to take a peek in our beer fridge!?
What’s on your wine rack?