As Grape Sense nears the start of its fifth year, it’s time to return to the staple of any good wine column and recommend a few wines.
People always ask, “What are you drinking lately?” So, here is a column on five easy-to-find wines that are all priced under $16. All five are light-bodied wines perfect for late summer evening dinners.
Burgan’s 2010 Albarino
A great summer wine is a bit of an understatement with this $12.99 bottle from Spain. Albarino is a summer white wine with hints of lemon, nice minerality, floral characteristics and a beautiful freshness missing from way too many white wines. This wine has consistently scored around 90 points from the major wine critics. This wine is widely available at or near the price above. Serve this by itself, with appetizers or white fish and it will be a hit!
Graffigna 2010 Malbec Reserve
Even though many gravitate to white and Rosé wines in the summer, meat off the grill deserves good red wine. An outstanding choice — even for those grilled steaks is Argentinian Malbec. The Graffigna really delivers bang for the buck for around $11 to $12. The Graffigna is frankly lighter than most Malbecs making it a perfect summer wine with steak or even pork. You’ll get the typical beautiful dark berry flavors with a hint of vanilla. This is about as good as a $12 bottle of wine can ever get.
Gerard Bertrand 2008 Minervois Syrah/Carignan
Here is another light bodied wine with a world-class pedigree. Bertrand is a much heralded Southern France winemaker who turns out several different wines under $15. But you will have to make it to a wine shop to find his wines. The Minervois region seems to always produce well-rounded and smooth-bodied wines. This is delightfully light-drinking wine that can use 10 minutes in the fridge — a very light chill — before serving. If you can’t find this one, pick up any of the Bertrand wines and give one a try. This Minervois region wine is probably the lightest but the winery consistently delivers very balanced and drinkable red wine.
Clayhouse Adobe Pink
No summer wine column can go without a Rosé wine recommendation. It’s a Grape Sense mission to spread the word on the delightful dry Rosé wines. French Provence Rosé and Pinot Noir Rose from California and Oregon fill the wine rack. But the Paso Robles Clayhouse label delivers consistently good red and whites. The Rosé has done well with wine critics scoring around 90 points. This wine has a little bigger flavor than the French wines but it’s a nice blend of Rhone varietals Mourvedre, Grenache Noir, and Syrah. You get really drinkable wine with Clayhouse Adobe for $14. Be crazy, live dangerously and try this with bold flavored fish or a salad.
Ravenswood 2010 Napa Valley Zinfandel
Ravenswood is a name many will have seen in wine shops and grocery stores. They’ve been around a long time because they consistently deliver good wine. The Napa Zin has big fruit with a balance and finish any red wine drinker will appreciate for the $15.99 price point. Ravenswood has a basic bottling that turns up in many grocery stores that’s also quite palatable for even less. Give that wine an hour or two in a decanter and it delivers for the cost.
All five wines are widely distributed in the U.S. For more wine news, stories, features and wine recommendations — check out the Grape Sense wine blog at www.redforme.blogspot.com.
Howard W. Hewitt of Crawfordsville, Ind., writes Grape Sense every other week for 18 Midwestern newspapers. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Grape Sense nears the start of its fifth year, it’s time to return to the staple of any good wine column and recommend a few wines.
Princes, princesses, pirates invited to Fairy Tale Ball
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Exhibit showcases history of churches in Terre Haute
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Author visits birthplace of Calvin Coolidge
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Guiding Star: Inspired by family, Terre Haute native rallies famous names to fund cancer research
Famous people filled the Riviera Country Club, a scenic golf resort in affluent Pacific Palisades, Calif.
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MIKE LUNSFORD: The long goodbye to winter
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Making Waves: Woman devotes part of rural Vigo County home to museum on hairstyling
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Hope Awakened: On a floating hospital, Terre Haute nurse sees lives of needy transformed
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Rock Collector: Indiana Coal Council president loves rocks, fossils and 4-H
You might say Bruce Stevens grew up with lots of pet rocks.
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‘Afternoon on a Hill’: The formal poet who led an informal life — Edna St. Vincent Millay
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No Intermission: Character meets demise on ‘Walking Dead,’ but lively acting career continues for Terre Haute’s Jose Pablo Cantillo
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The scene occurred in the fourth season of cable TV’s most popular drama series ever.
Telling stories in song
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TRIED ’N’ TRUE: Try your hand at a cup of scrambled eggs
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White Violet Center to offer day of fun with nature on April 26
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Swope to present work by young artists in spring exhibit
Spring brings one of the most popular yearly exhibitions at the Swope Art Museum, its annual showcase of work by student artists.
Sign up to Bowl for Kids’ Sake
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‘90 Minutes in Heaven’ author to speak
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‘Scattered’ explores one of nature’s most powerful forces
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‘Smokey Joe’s’ takes look into classic moment in American culture
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