The season has officially changed and as with the weather, so do our choices in wine. Wave buh-bye to crisp, refreshing wines and fuse fuller bodied wines into the chillier months ahead with these three big reds (and even whites!) under $25!
This wine, from the Central Coast of California, is a tad different from its traditional big buttery California Chardonnay sibling. Aged only in stainless steel, this wine leans into the crisp mineral territory of some French Chardonnay’s and provides a perfect foil for the spicy, salty, crunchy, buttery snacks that may fill your winter months. You’ll also love the forward notes of stone fruit and apricot on the nose.
- Pairing Party: Let the grapes do the talking by pairing this winter white with Danny’s Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup topped with a garnish of Thyme to bring out the earthy essence of this style Chardonnay.
- Where to Buy: Club W — a new club who promotes an unpretentious approach to the study of good wine. Becoming a member means down-to-earth guidance from the club’s sommeliers along with access to a whole bunch of impressive and uncommon juice. And the best part – there’s no big commitment. You can order wines in a given month, or not!
- Cost: $10/bottle
Did you know that many wineries blend vintages of grapes, but that very few of them actually talk about it openly? Enter Candor, which actually means “truth.” It was winemaker Austin Hope’s embrace of multi-vintage winemaking that birthed this wine, which is made of a blend of 2010, 2009, and 2008 vintages from Paso Robles and Lodi appellations in California.
The end result is this wine, which offers the vibrant fruit flavors of a young wine, with the complexity, texture and maturity of an older wine from its barrel aging. You’ll love its honest berry, toasty spice, and pepper flavors. It’s a Zin with a zing!
- Pairing Party: The warm and robust attributes of Zinfandel make it perfect to pair with heavier red meat dishes for chilly winter months. Try cozying up with this bottle and Danny’s Braised Lamb Stew.
- Where to Buy: Hope Family Wines
- Cost: $18/bottle
You may be wondering what the heck “Claret” is? Well, avoiding wine nerd terms, we’ll tell you it’s a wine that’s often described as having a Cabernet Sauvignon base, such as those from Bordeaux, France.
Bordeaux varietals typically include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot grapes; and this particular wine blends a few of them itself – Cab Sauvignon, Cab Franc and Merlot. In turn the wine offers many characteristics, but the most notable being expressive notes of espresso, dark chocolate and blackberry.
- Pairing Party: Dense wines, like this, call for dense meals. Try this bottle of vino with Danny’s Short Rib Bourguignonne (you can even add a bleu cheese atop for an added flare). The combination will give you great complexity and balance, with a burst of flavors that are sure to warm your palate and your belly!
- Where to Buy: Francis Ford Coppola Winery
- Cost: $21/bottle
For more information, visit www.WinoBee.com or chat on Twitter using the @WinoBee handle.