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.