Wine Tasting on a Shoestring Budget
Whether you drink wine for a healthier heart or a pairing with your favorite food, there are a myriad of excellent choices for every budget. This guide is specific to domestic red wine available in the North American market
The main considerations in choosing wine for meals or recreation are flavor and food compatability. Red wine is available in sweet, semi-sweet, dry and semi-dry varieties, depending on the type of grapes used in wine making. Sweeter favors include blushes, rose, white zinfandel, and grenashe, semi-sweet include pinot noir and zinfandel, semi -dry wines include merlot and shiraz, and dry wines include syrah, cabernet sauvignon, and burgundy. Sangria is a combination of a sweet flavored wine and fruit juice that is served chilled, available in most Italian restaurants or your local wines store.
Those looking for a good introductory wine, will find Sutter Home Sweet Red to be an excellent choice. It is an expensive, (@$4.99 per 750 ml) sweet flavored medium bodied wine and an excellent complement to pasta, beef, and pork dishes. Gallo Twin Valley White Merlot is another good choice for a smooth, sweeter flavored wine and sells for @ $5.99 per 750 ml. I also recommend Gallo Twin Valley Cafe Zinfandel, my personal favorite for serving with turkey or ham and trimmings on Thanksgiving Day.
Those looking for a drier flavored wine will enjoy The Little Pengin Shiraz, at a price of @$7.99 -$9.99 per 750 ml. This wine goes very well with red meat, poultry and cheese. Along the same line, Lindemans Pinot Noir Bin 99, is a semi-dry wine with a bold flavor that goes very well with vegetarian dishes, pork, and veal and sells for @ $7.99 per 750 ml bottle.
Additional recommendations of inexpensive, easy drinking, wines that I recommend include the semi-dry Twisted Old Vine Zinfandel, a great choice for a wine and cheese party, Gallo Blush Noir, a spicy, declicious sweeter flavored wine, and Rex & Goliath Shiraz, a tart and fruity, flavorful semi-dry wine that is a great complement to Indian cuisne, lamb, beef, and pork. Those looking for a light, crisp, sweet wine that goes well with spicy foods, will also enjoy Beringer White Zinfandel.
Although the jury may still be out on the health advantages to red wine, at minimum, it induces relaxation, thus lowering the blood pressure. Regardless of whether you are choosing wine for health benefits, a dinner beverage, an apertif, a wine and cheese party, or for chilling out with friends, there are a variety of affordable flavorful, domestic wines on the market. While this list is certainly not exhaustive, they are a few of my persoanl favorites, and some great choices for those on a shoe-string budget, in these tough economic times.
Joined:Jun 29, 2001
Native of the North Florida Gulf Coast now living in the beautiful hills of East Tennessee
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