5 Reds Under $20
Fruity and bright, this sparkling wine from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France is delicious as a digestif or aperitif. This is my favorite sparkling wine as opposed to the traditional champagnes from the Champagne Region of France. I find that it is more affordable to buy a higher quality bottle. Serve with appetizers or dessert.
Grape Varietal: Pinot Nior
Serve At: 43°F
This Pinot, made with grapes from Monterey County, is smooth and dry
yet fruit forward. You'll taste Bing cherry, raspberry, cranberry, and plum with hints of vanilla. Also advertised to recall coffee beans, kirsch, rose petals, fallen leaves, and lost loves. I guess this means it's the perfect "girls night" wine when you need a good gossip! It would also be tasty with chicken or a dark fish, like salmon.
Grape Varietal: Pinot Noir
Serve At: 55°F
Rich in blackcurrant, vanilla, and spices, this zingy wine goes well with meat dishes and pasta in red sauce. Spicy! Zingy! Tannins!
This is my favorite, affordable week night wine. It tastes great with just about anything and won't break the bank. Find it at Trader Joe's.
Grape Varietal: Malbec
Serve at: 64-66°F
Also found at Trader Joe's, this easy-to-drink Cotes du Rhone was the voted favorite of the night. It hits you with sweet cherry, cinnamon spice, a little blueberry, and brewing tea. Apparently you should also taste a bit like licorice, herbs, and orange.
At this point of the night we abandoned all notions of a "fancy wine tasting" and just stuck with adjectives like "yummy", "delicious", and "oh yes, those tannins".
Grape Varietal: Grenache and Syrah
Serve At: 60°F
I have a confession, sometimes I buy wines just because the label is super pretty and that's exactly what happened with this one. Thankfully, it ended up being delicious AND the bottle is now adorning our mantle as an upcycled candlestick.
This Bordeaux from the Medieval Chateau de Camarsac is a toasty, spicy intense wine with a woody, vanilla palate. Serve with steak!
Grape Varietal: 65% Merlot, 35% Cab Sav
Serve at: 64°F