Archive for the 'wine' Category

R & D

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

So, with dave getting hitched in less than 5 months, I’ve been tasked to pick a few wines out for the reception. I’ve decided to go with good value wines. Particulary, wines around the $10 price point. I’ve had a few wines in mind, but haven’t been able to track them down in the bay area, which reminds me that i need to place a few more phone calls this week.
The wines i had in mind are:

  • Solaris Cab Sauv – $10
    This puppy is just easy drinking at a great price. It does fall apart after breathing a bit, but consider the price! If you’ve got a few extre bucks, spring for the reserve.
  • E. Guigal Cote-d-Rhone – $13 @ astor in NYC, $10 at The Wine Club in SF
    Solid wine. Consistent year-over-year. Always a dependable option. You’ll see it in the $30 range at restaurants.
  • Ventana Cab Sauv – ~$13
    If you’re sick and tired of the state of california wine making, you’ll like what ventana has to offer. straight up old school, earthy cab. yum.
  • Sagelands Cab-Merlot – ~$14
    Actually tried this one for the first time at a Y! tasting. At first swig, i thought it was probably ~$25 – $30. Ooodles of complexity. If you like being taken on a journey, this is a good choice.
  • Canoe Ridge Red Table Wine – < $10 Yeah, it's a table wine, but it's a mouthful and tastes like anything but a old, watered down grape juice.

You might noitce a lack of vintages associated with those. yeah, i’m a bastard.

Anyway, i’ve been having trouble tracking those down. So far, i’ve only been able to grab a bottle of the Guigal. so, I decided to to a little R&D into new, sub $10 wines. It’s been a while, i admit, but it’s mostly because all my favorites that used to be around $10 are now around $15. inflation. what a bitch.

From what I’ve been able to ascertain, there are two main wines stores in SF: K&L and The Wine Club. It’s not too bad considering that it’s one short of a triumviate similar to NYC’s Astor, Union Square, Sherry-Lehmann. My time at K&L was cut short due to YAFF (Yet another family fire drill), so I didn’t get a good feel for their wine selection. fortunately, i was able to spend a good amount of time at The Wine Club and picked up a couple recommendations from the staff:

  • Pacific Estates Cabernet Single Vineyard – $9.99
    Uh, yuck. Don’t bother with this unless you like unremarkable wines. Reminds me why i’ve stopped trying new wines. Unfortunate because the paso robles folk have had such a good record with me.
  • Viu Manent 2003 Cab Sauv – $9.99
    The label said 16 months in french oak, and i was sold. This thing is rich up front and gives way to a mineral-oak finish. I’d imagine this would be much better with a food pairing as opposed the sit-alone-at-home-and-drink type of drinking that i usually enjoy.

Tomorrow, off to pick up another bottle of the Viu Manent,and maybe some new selections. hell, at $10 a bottle, it’s cheaper than a night out on the town.