I once had a South African wine, I cannot remember which one, several years ago that I enjoyed quite a bit for its ease of drinking. It was smooth and uncomplicated, just a good quaffable wine. The back label stated as a summary of the usual wine descriptors: “Goes down well!” I absolutely LOVED that term and have adopted it since for fun, easy drinking wines.
I have decided to use that “label” for a couple of wines that we have been drinking over the last weeks and for which I did not take any notes because they were basic wines accompanying food or just had while watching TV. I still thought some of you might be interested in these rather affordable, decent wines which is why I am sharing them here. (Ignore my bad photos, I still have not come up with a way to replace Instagram…)
2008 Quinta da Alorna Vinho Tinto
First up is the 2008 Quinta da Alorna Vinho Tinto, a Portuguese red blend comprised of the grapes Tinta Roriz, Castelao, Syrah and Alicante Boschet (YAY, two more grapes to tick off the Wine Century Club application).The wine is from the Tejo region in Portugal and has an agreeable 13.5% ABV. It was a bit heavy at first, but then opened up to a nicely herbal and soothing red, full bodied and well integrated tannins. Not much primary fruit going on, but just what I’d expect from a Portuguese red. Great for a winter evening. I have yet to be really let down by a Portuguese red. Bought for $11.
2010 Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve
Next up the 2010 Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône Réserve, a French red blend from the well renown Perrin & Fils winery. A blend crafted from wines all over the region, it has 13.5% ABV and garnered some praise in the wine world for whatever that is worth. According to The Wine Advocate the wine is made with Grenache and Syrah grapes from Perrin estates and contracted wineries. I really enjoyed this wine. It was light and simple without being dull, very fruit forward and accompanied our mushroom ragout with mashed potatoes and goat cheese very well. I can see this work on its own as well. It reminded Nina of summer, what a great compliment for a wine. Bought for $10.
2010 Louis Bernard Cotes du Rhone
The best value by far was the 2010 Louis Bernard Côtes du Rhône, another French red blend from Southern France. Another big producer, another goes down well wine. It is made with Grenache and Syrah grapes, with Syrah being the dominant grape in the mix. The wine also has 13.5% ABV (if you see a pattern there, you are right: I prefer lower alcohol reds). The wine is very fruit forward, great red berries and currant. On the palate it is nicely smooth, has low tannins and is super user friendly. It might be a bit too sweet, but that really is just a bit for me. Bought for $ 6 (there is currently a manufacturer mail in rebate possible that brings it down to $4 per bottle!).
I hope you find this helpful. Nothing impressive, but rock solid, good everyday wines.