Vina Santa Ema Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Reserve 2006 – Chile

Wine Spectator – 89 Points

Full and fruity!  Loads of dark berries, ripe cherries and currant on the nose.  Juicy, round mouthfeel and not dry on the finish.    Tasted great on its own…  I think the 4 years in the bottle paid off!    My only gripe would be that the finish wasn’t big enough, this isn’t a bottle for those who usually enjoy a huge Napa cab.   If cabernet is usually too “strong” for you to handle, I’d try this one – its as easy drinking as a merlot!

Price = $11

Score = Triple

Tienen Duende Garnacha 2008 – Spain (Campo de Borja)

I wanted to love this wine.  OK, maybe because of the pretty rose label.  I am also a big fan of the grenache grape.   I relate the word with chocolate ganache- yum.  Back to the tasting.   Definite scent of berries and prune.   The wine smelled bigger than it actually was… the finish died pretty quickly.   Also, I feel that the alcohol overpowered the fruit.   An OK effort but I was not too impressed, would still like to try the Tienen Duende Verdejo but that’s for another day!

Price = $10
Score = Single

The Flying Winemaker 2007 Tempranillo – Campo De Borja Spain

Are you a fan of fruit forward, spicy wine?   Do you love a jammy Napa Zinfandel?  Be sure to try this wine!   This delicious Tempranillo smells like blackberries and smoke with a hint of clove.   It is a smooth, medium bodied wine that is good on its own but has a slightly dry finish so it would be perfect with some tapas – think chorizo, bacon wrapped dates or manchengo cheese.  

Price = $10

Score = Triple


Lets get this started!

I am a wine enthusiast who believes that wine can be enjoyed at any budget.   Every year, Wine Spectator publishes a list of their 500 top wines under $20.   As much as I would love to try all 500, there are a few reasons I have decided not to… my wallet, waistline and liver will thank me later!

Here are my guidelines:

1.   Wines will be between $10-15.

2.  I will only be trying red wines for now, and may start to mix in white wine closer to the summer.

3.  I will not taste wines from the most well known producers.   The reason being that I likely tried them already.

4.  I will not taste the wines with food.   If I am curious about how a wine would pair with an aged Vermont cheddar, I may take out some cheese and try the combination but will also be sure to include notes for the wine by itself.

5.  I trust my friends’ opinions.  If you have a favorite value wine, or if there is a wine you would like for me to try, email me and I’d be happy to add it to my list!

An important note:  Everyone’s palate is different!   Some people love oak, some hate it.   Some people love a big Cabernet, and others enjoy a light Pinot Noir.   Or if you’re like me, you love them all!    A wine that stands out to me is a wine that is unique, has flavors that stand out and is delicious on its own.

Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!