Friday, October 21, 2016

Favorite Fall Wines and a Request


My husband and I enjoy wine. I guess you could say it's a little bit of a hobby. We don't invest in expensive wines, and we're not sticklers about storing wines for a particular length of time before opening them. We don't take our wine hobby that seriously. But we do enjoy drinking a variety of good wines at reasonable prices. Some of the best wines we've had are in the $10 to $15 range, and there are good wines under $10 a bottle. 

Part of the "hobby" involves trips to wine shops on the weekends when they have free tastings. If you're just starting to drink wine, tastings are a great way to experiment with different wines. They also help you develop your taste buds

One night this week we attended a zinfandel extravaganza at a neighborhood wine shop. There were five tasting tables, 25 wines total. Some were 100% zins, others were blends. All were very different. Years ago I may not have noticed the differences, but after years of tasting my palate has become quite developed. I can now taste elements like smoke, black pepper -- even leather -- that, years ago, I used to laugh at when reading wine descriptions. I now know what I like and what I don't. I don't care for most Chardonnays, especially those aged in oak barrels. I also don't care for most Spanish wines, which can be very earthy. Not a favorite of my taste buds, though I know many people who love it.

So, with all this said, I thought it would be fun to share with you three wines that are among our current favorites: two reds, one white, each from a different country.

The first is 19 Crimes Red Blend, a very easy-to-drink and well priced wine from Australia. I bought several bottles at the grocery store recently for less than $9 each. It's a good "house wine." Check out their fun website to learn more and to read a list of the 19 crimes that turned criminals into colonists. Pretty interesting stuff. The guy on the label, John Boyle O'Reilly, was a real criminal who wrote poems during his harrowing transportation to Australia. Each variety of 19 Crimes wine features a different criminal on the label.


The next wine, 1000 Stories, is a new find for us and runs about $17 a bottle. It's a California zinfandel aged in bourbon barrels. You can detect a subtle hint of bourbon. Read about the new trend of aging wine in whiskey and bourbon barrels in this Chicago Tribune article and also a brief description of 1000 Stories. I immediately liked this wine. It's one we'll keep on hand through the winter.

At the mega zinfandel tasting this week we tried a red blend called Protest (syrah, malbec, zin) that is aged in whiskey barrels. The flavor was amazing. Everyone was commenting on how unique it was. You could really taste the whiskey.


The last wine, Urban Riesling, is from the Mosel wine region of Germany. Rieslings can vary from dry to very sweet. We prefer the off-dry to sweeter Rieslings, but not cloyingly sweet. Urban Riesling is excellent paired with spicy Asian foods. It is also well priced at about $12 a bottle.

    
Before you go ... I have a request. Would you please let me know if this type of blog post is of interest to you? Would you like to see more posts about wine, or is this a topic you don't care much about? Please click on "comment" below and leave your honest opinion. I want this blog to be a place you come back to for information and inspiration, so let me know what interests you. Without feedback, I can't make this a fun and relevant place for you to visit. As always, thank you for visiting My Little Bungalow.

P.S. Happy anniversary to my sweet hubby of 21 years! I hope to share a post with you next week of our special weekend plans.
 

20 comments:

  1. I would appreciate wine posts! We don't know much about wine and we are on a limited budget, and would value your advice.

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    1. Great! Thanks for taking a moment to let me know, Alison. Look for more wine posts on My Little Bungalow. Do you prefer whites or reds?

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    2. We prefer reds, but we entertain, so it would be helpful to learn about both! Thank you!

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  2. This isnt my cup of tea personally.I will share a wine we like that is new to us. Innocent Bystander , sauvignon blanc. Trader Jo's $10. Oh and pick up (while there) a box of crackers and fig spread top with Manchego Cheese. Delish,I don't lie.
    We aren't really drinkers here we are reader's though if you would share what you're reading.

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    1. I'll try that wine you recommended. I like sauvignon blancs particularly in the summer months. Their grassy, grapefruity overtones are so refreshing. The Manchego cheese with fig spread sounds delightful. I believe you!

      I wish I could say I'm an avid reader, but I'm not. I fall asleep when I read unless it's first thing in the morning. I sometimes also suffer from a guilt complex if I spend time reading instead of doing other things, but when I do get into a good book, it's SO enjoyable. The current book I'm reading is The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman. I bought it when I finished reading her novel The Museum of Extraordinary Things, which I adored. The Red Garden I don't care for as much. I love Hoffman's writing style and descriptive prose, but this book has too many story lines with too many characters. I guess the main character is really the town of Blackwell, and the stories of its many inhabitants over the decades. I'm anxious to finish it so I can start a new book. Any recommendations you'd like to share?
      Claudia

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  3. Love this post! I don't know much about wine at all, but grew up in a German home where we were allowed/encouraged to drink wine at Christmas dinner and other special times, even as kids. Honestly, I've never really cared for it but would like to enjoy some occasionally. After reading the health benefits of red wine, I'd love to have a recommendation of a good red wine that is not too expensive.
    Would love more posts on making a cozy home....I'm always inspired by your ideas and photos!

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    1. Glad you like this one, Linda. My mom's father came to the US from France, so they had a similar upbringing in that they were allowed a small bit of wine with dinner at special occasions. Very European!

      A good red table wine we enjoy is called Kumbaya. From their website: "Ripe blackberry and red currant flavors with spicy accents; very smooth and velvety on the finish." I'd agree with that. My favorite reds are those that are fruit forward, velvety and smooth. If you're new to drinking reds, those are more palatable in my opinion.

      Thanks for reading!
      Claudia

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  4. very interesting, yes

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  5. Liking these posts a lot! Also like your posts about cocktails too. Thanks for sharing, I'll add these wines to my list. I've found I like red blends a lot.

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    1. Hi Liz. I'm glad to know you're enjoying my cocktail posts. I'll keep them coming! I love playing bartender at home. And so much more economical than going out for drinks.
      Claudia

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  6. I like these posts as well, Claudia. It's nice to see what others are drinking (and reading and knitting and gardening and and and). Your photos and text are a pleasure for the senses. You write from the heart, and it comes through loud and clear.

    I've put an APB out on your riesling. They have it across the border in Ontario. I'll give it a try next time I head that way.

    Personally, I can't drink reds (migraines - GAH!), but that doesn't stop me from buying them for guests. Good wine at a nice price point is always appreciated!

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    1. Aw, thanks, Ann. You are too kind. When are we going to meet up? I feel like I know you from our correspondences. Sorry that you can't drink red wines. I have a friend who also gets headaches from it. I actually prefer reds to whites. Sometimes white wine gives me a little heartburn, but red doesn't. Hope you can get some of that Urban Riesling to enjoy soon!
      Claudia

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    2. Ann, we liked some whites at a tasting last weekend. They were a sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and Gruner Veltliner (which we purchased a bottle of) by Tinpot Hut of New Zealand. I wonder if you can get them where you live.
      Claudia

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  7. I'm not a big wine drinker, hardly at all actually, but I don't mind a wine post now and then.

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    1. Hi there. If there is anything in particular you would like to see on the blog, let me know!
      Claudia

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  8. I did enjoy this post, Claudia. I am a white wine drinker, myself. My parents enjoy red wine. Your recommendations will make good gift ideas for them. I always enjoy posts with product recommendations the blog writer likes. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Jeannine. I'll be sure to post more white wine recommendations in the future. Thanks for your feedback!
      Claudia

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  9. We have a large wine industry here in the Northwest and are very proud of our wines - however, in recent years craft beer has almost eclipsed wine as a signature NW beverage (but coffee comes first, of course!) Even some of the smallest towns in our region have their own breweries. Maybe beer fits more with our laid back outdoorsy lifestyle. In any case, I enjoy all of your posts, the variety of topics and your lovely photography. Some of your recipes have become favorites I make again and again.

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    1. Hello, Pamela! So nice to hear from you. There are many wines from Washington state that we enjoy. For example, a house favorite here at the bungalow is Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling. Super affordable and consistently good. I was at the winery, in fact, about 10 years ago with my best friend who lives in Seattle for a concert in July. I remember it well: 50-something degrees and rainy through much of the show. What state do you live in? Oregon has great wines too! I agree with you about beers gaining in popularity. I can't drink beer, but I enjoy hard cider. I may do a post about ciders soon! They're perfect for autumn.
      Claudia

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    2. Hi Claudia! I live in Washington state - in the drier, colder northeast corner of the state. In fact, most Washington wine grapes are grown on the east side of the state where there is a lot more sun. And ciders are popular here too - as in Oregon. I've enjoyed your posts about Seattle - a wonderful city to visit - so much to see and do.

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