Let’s Go Shopping — Back To The Bargain Aisle

In the coming months I’ll again be beating the drum of “try something new!” Remember, one of the nice things about making attempts to climb out of your wine rut is that you don’t have to go broke doing so. A recent listing in one of my favorite wine mags proves this point convincingly. What I like most about this list, apart from the great prices, is that it provides an on-ramp for my encouragement to take risks with your wine purchases.

In the April 2014 issue, Wine & Spirits‘s critics pull together a short list of what they call The Best For $10 or Less. Collectively they tasted more than 3300 wines for the April issue, but the eight listed below struck them as being especially worthwhile. Along with a few of the usual suspects, there are also three picks from Portugal, one of the current hot spots in the wine world, that are worth checking out. So, when you go shopping in the next couple of days, take this list with you. Give yourself a break from the same old, same old. Wake your palate up with something new. Is there a better way to spend money than finding a new wine, or two, to enjoy? No, I don’t think so either. Happy shopping!

$8 2012 Round Hill California Chardonnay “As rich as much pricier wines, balance with flavors of wildflower honey and Meyer lemon. ” Round Hill Vineyards, St. Helena, CA

$8 2012 Oak Grove Pinot Grigio Reserve “A zippy, lemony wine to cut through fried calamari.” Oak Grove Vineyards, San Martin, CA

IMG_0723$9 2011 Melini Chianti Borghi d’Elsa “Sunday Chianti for rump roast, with soft, violet-scented red fruit.” Frederick Wildman and Sons, NY

$10 2012 Stonehedge California Sauvignon Blanc “This intense beam of passion fruit flavor is fresh and ready for littleneck clams.” Stonehedge Cellars, St. Helena, CA

$10 2011 Visconde de Borba Alentejo “Lean and spicy, a light red to serve with pork roasted with apricots.” Aidil Wines & Liquors, Newark, NJ

$10 2012 Ravenswood California Vintners Blend Zinfandel “Syrah, petite [sirah] and other mixed blacks [red grapes] build meaty savor into this warming, heady red.” Ravenswood, Sonoma, CA

$10 2011 Quinta do Portal Douro Mural “Scents of mint and flowers on ripe, purple fruit — for casual dinners around the grill.” M. Imports, Fairfield, CT

$10 2012 Caves Velhas Tejo Casaleiro “Simple and welcoming tart cherry and strawberry flavors for roast duck.” Vison Wine & Spirits, Secaucus, NJ

If you happen to pick up one or more of these selections, let me know how they treated you. It’s important to keep The Grape Belt staff on its toes. Thanks!

DSC_1192 **Wine list and tasting notes from Wine & Spirits April 2014

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