I went to another class at the Boston Wine School last week (read my recap of the last one here), but this time, it was all about Favorite Wines Around $10. And good wines at that!
Jonathon Alsop, who owns the wine school and teaches all of the classes, taught us a lot about how to find affordable wines - as well as what makes a wine affordable. Some fun facts/tips we learned that night include:
-The color of the label helps to determine the wine's price. For instance, brightly colored labels (pink, blue, etc.) make the wine cheaper, while more "sophisticated" colors (like black, for instance) can make the wine more expensive.
-A stained or torn label can take 50% off the price of the wine. Shop distressed!
-White wines and pink wines feature more bargains.
-Shop for wines made in Chile, Portugal, Greece, Spain, and South Africa.
-Go for grapes you've never heard of - they tend to be less expensive.
Now, onto the wines! Here are some tasty, affordable wines you should be pouring into a cup this weekend:
2012 Adega de Pegoes, blend of Fernao Pires, Moscatel, and Arinto (Setubal, central Portugal)
This wine - which retails at about $7.99 - was slightly sweet, acidic, and quite dry. For those who love their wines on the drier side, this one's for you.
2012 Cline Viognier (North Coast, California)
I tend to really enjoy viogniers, and this one was no different. It was actually one of my favorite wines of the night! This bottle usually retails for about $8.99-$9.99, and had great floral and fruity notes (think peaches and pears). The mouthfeel was nicely dry and sweet, without being overpowering in either department.
2012 J. Lohr "Wildflower" Valdiguie (Monterey, California)
This red wine boasted a lot of raspberry and cherry flavors, while the nose featured plums, chocolate, and more cherries. The color of this wine was also noteworthy - it was a beautiful, vibrant magenta. (Hey, you drink with your eyes first, right?).
2012 Tenuta Rapitala Nero d'Avola (Sicily)
The smell of this wine was a little acerbic for my liking - it boasted lots of pepper and spice. The taste and smell was borderline sour, too. I wouldn't say it was a bad wine; it was just a little too strong for my liking. However, if you like the more spicy wines (vs. sweet), this could be a decent option for you.
2011 Tilia Bonarda (Mendoza, Argentina)
This was another one of my favorite wines of the night. Reminiscent of a malbec, this slightly tart wine featured lots of tannins, a pleasant spicy nose, and lots of fruit flavor. It paired very well with cheese, too!
2011 Chateau Roustaing (Bordeaux, France)
Our final wine of the night was this drinkable red wine, that usually retails around $10.99. The nose was less harsh then the red wines we tried before it, and the taste was fruity and ideally sweet. Personally, I thought this tasted a little stronger (alcohol-wise) than the others, but I think this wine could stand up well to food - such as steak, cheeses, and pasta with red sauce, to name a few.
[Side note: We started the night with a glass of NV 90+ Cellars "Lot 50" Prosecco (Veneto, Italy), which typically clocks in around $10.99. 90+ Cellars is located right above the Boston Wine School].
Overall, I learned a lot from this class, and will be seeking out quite a few of the wines we tried in my local wine store. I tend to buy the same wines all of the time, so it was great discovering some new-to-me wines - at prices I'd actually be happy to pay.
What's your favorite affordable wine? I'm a big fan of the Apothic wines.
This class was complimentary. All opinions are my own.