Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wine Wednesday - Under $10 Challenge

I'm always on the internet, reading wine articles and wine blogs but, hearing about challenges after the fact. Not this time! Since I follow @raelinn_wine on twitter. She posed the Wine Ophelia Twitter Cheap Wine Challenge where readers (and drinkers) are to find a nationally available wine for under $10 that they enjoy. Perfect, the recession is still not over for everyone ;-).

When thinking of what wine to purchase or where I would find the best value, I immediately thought about Argentina and Spain. Two wine growing regions that are moving to the forefront of consumers minds due to value and taste. I went to Cost Plus World Market (I get future points for any purchase) and actually ended up buying 2 bottles, one from Argentina and Spain. The 2008 Garnacha de Fuego from Calatayud, Spain was the better of the two.

Upon first swirl were hints of flowers and red berry aromas. But the first sip filled my mouth with fire. This garnacha comes in at 14% alcohol and tasted heavily of white pepper. I put my glass down and came back to it in about an hour and I had a grilled hamburger. The smokiness of the grilling matched the pepper of the wine and the true flavors were allowed to shine. I loved the silky smooth mouthfeel and the ripe cherry flavors. I found a very light texture and acidity to this wine and a bit of chocolate on the finish.

While this garnacha is a bit spicy for me to sip alone by the glass, at $8.99 a bottle it will be my go-to this summer for all barbecues.

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