I was travelling home from a sales conference with a colleague and we were talking about the wine we had at dinner the night before. Mark told me he really liked the wine, Pepperwood Grove Old Vine Zinfandel, and was quite surprised to discover it was $16.99 in our local Liquor store. (They charged $53 on the menu) He made a comment, that became the basis for this week’s wine blog, “Those are the things I would like to know – good wines under $20.”
So here are a few of my favorites under $20 here in Nova Scotia. Prices may vary from province to province. Let’s start with my favorites, the Old Vine Zinfandels. I love them. And are my go-to wine for the reds, and most of them are under $20. Smooth, full of flavor and very food friendly – they will go with just about anything you are serving, especially BBQ food.
From left to right, Cline Ancient Vine Zinfandel, gorgeous flavors of berries, chocolate and vanilla oak, $19.99. Ironestone – a lovely medium bodied wine with pepper spice and rich plum flavors, $16.99 here at the NSLC. Gnarly Head – a bolder Old Vine Zinfandel, the vines are up to 80 years old, so the berries are smaller and the flavor is a little more intense and rich. Like all Old Vine Zinfandels you will detect a bit of pepper and a vanilla oak, and its just $19.99. And last but not least the Pepperwood Grove, the Old Vine Zinfandel that started it all for me and Mark, and another colleague Anthony. At just $16.99 this is a great wine at a great price. Smooth, medium bodied with those spicy pepper and vanilla hints. A favorite of mine with anything BBQ’d.
If you like something a little bolder, there are some great Shiraz wines at our local NSLC for under $20. Left to right, from Washington State, these guys make one of my favorite Merlot’s, but they also make a great Shiraz. Terra Barossa is big and bold with intense fruit flavors and a hint of tobacco and spice. The 19 Crimes Shiraz, with one of 4 different labels is $19.99 here at the NSLC and a gorgeous dark wine in the glass with dark fruits, licorice and vanilla flavors. Yum! And the last one is one of my favorites. Layers Shiraz from Peter Lehman. Again at $19.99 this is a beautiful blend of ripe fruits, clove and cinnamon spice and just a great wine to drink with supper or later on the deck. Next week we will do great Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignons for under $20.
I can’t write a wine blog without telling you about some great white wines for under $20. I love Chardonnay in the summer, well actually all year round. But a nice cold Chardonnay tastes like summer to me. And I love a good California Chardonnay, and I love paying less than $20. The first one on the left is my most recent find. Tried it last weekend for the first time. Had it with grilled chicken, and enjoyed it for the rest of the evening. The Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay from Sonoma County is a spectacular wine that’s just $19.99. Vanilla and brown sugar embrace creamy lemon and pear. Dreaming Tree Chardonnay, a vineyard owned by musician Dave Matthews and his friend Steve Reeder, makes a beautiful Chardonnay. Steve Reeder says “ I make wines for people to drink, not to put in a cellar’. My kind of man. Smooth citrus notes with lots of spice and that vanilla oak which just feels smooth. Schucks Chardonnay was actually made to be a perfect compliment to fish, but since I’m allergic to seafood, I can tell you that it goes great with chicken and just about anything else you serve. The unique packaging will not fall apart in an ice bucket, and its a lovely Chardonnay with a crisp taste to it. Nice citrus flavors and it too is under $20. And the Mark West Chardonnay is just $18.99 and perfect for summer with melon, kiwi and honeydew flavors.
Next week we will discover more wines under $20 with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and hopefully have a chance to talk about some great Pinot Grigio as well.
Till next week, thanks for reading and Cheers.