Grape Expectations: Your favorite wines

Yum. And, as Henry would say, all gone!

The other night at dinner a friend mentioned a great bottle of wine she had just enjoyed, and told me the name. Which I promptly forgot.

And then I remembered another great wine, one that I had the foresight to document about a month ago by pulling it out of my recycle bin in the bright light of day and taking a picture of it with my phone. (Hello, wino!)

Which made me wish I kept a list somewhere of all the good wines I’ve tried and all the ones that people recommend. That last sentence just made both my social life and relationship with wine sound WAY MORE ACTIVE AND INVOLVED than they really are.

So tell me. Do you drink wine? Well, then, you’re a vine one to talk.

What are some of your favorite cheap-but-really-good wines? Red, white, sparkling—give it to us. And favorite names and labels? Like Fat Bastard and Screw Kappa Nappa and Bada Bing—are any of these any good?

Let’s make a go-to list, Internets. Tell your wino friends and ask them to share their favorites in the comments. Because then, you see, we ALL have a list of grape wines. I mean great wines. And some of my favorite lurkers, I just happen to know you drink a lot of wine, so be Reislingable and help a girl out here.

I promise, I’m almost done with the wine puns. But to get you in the spirit the spirit of things, I leave you with this old chestnut.

What did the grape say when it got run over?

Nothing, it just let out a little wine!

Syrah all later!

P.S. The wine above? Marques de Riscal 2008 2003 Rioja Reserva

(Hic! Edited to reflect proper year. Thanks, Stacy, a true wino who just took a vacation to wine country!)

Mmmmmm. If I knew any wine language I would say it is approachable and has legs and things like that. But I don’t, so I say get some and drink it!

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25 Responses to “Grape Expectations: Your favorite wines”

  1. Hardin Says:

    Our house red is the Rosemount Shiraz. Fairly cheap, easy to find, and pretty smooth.

    Of course, we could also get all fancy with the boutique wines we bought in Australia or Sonoma, or those we brought back from France, but that might just make you Bordeaux.

    – Hardin

  2. laura Says:

    My go to is Ravenswood Zinfandel — reasonably priced and always good. Used to live near a Trader Joes that sold wine and I could try all kinds of stuff in the $5-7 range…now have to make a special trip to Cambridge for that kind of goodness. We’ve had a few good wines from Salmon Run (I think that’s what it’s called). I have a wine journal that I make notes in (usually I forget and have to get the bottle out of the recycling bin). Had some really good Reislings last fall.

    When I want a different alcoholic treat I go for Lindeman’s Framboise — it’s a Belgian Lambic beer flavored with raspberries. It’s in a wine sized bottle for about $8.

  3. thelandofka Says:

    Well, first off that is a 2003, not a 2008 bottle, you wino. 😉 I don’t think they have bottled 2008 yet, and if they have I wouldn’t recommend drinking it.

    I’ve heard Mad Dog and Boones Farm are highly recommended by the underage crowd. 😉

    HOWEVER, at our house, we freely admit to being winos. Our trip to Sonoma was very expensive since we bought 11 cases of wine while we were there. Yep, we are winos.

    Cheaper reds that we like are the Delas Cotes de Rhone and Louis Jadot Beaujolais Village. Those are around $10/bottle. If you like Zinfandel and aren’t afraid of buying a higher priced bottle, the Ledson Ancient Vine Zinfandels are really, really good.

    We have a little wine journal to keep notes of wines we like. Of course by the end of the bottle we aren’t always thinking as clearly, because we usually love it by then. 🙂

  4. Shannon Says:

    Thanks for getting this started, Anna! If you come up with a good way to remember your favorite wines, let me know. I keep meaning to start a little scrapbook with labels or even a list, but I’m too lazy and forgetful (especially after a glass or 2).

    I’ll list a few tomorrow – I’m trying to remember their names.

  5. Nicole Says:

    For a little bubbly try Gloria Ferrar. Not cheap but not too pricey ($25ish) and oh so good. Picture yourself sitting on a patio in sunny CA sipping a little Gloria Ferrar and eating almonds while overlooking acres and acres of grapevines. I digress… I like the ’05 Benziger cabernet. I think it’s priced around $15 at BevMo. For cheaper wines I like Fish Eye (it’s even got a screw-on-cap) and the Beringer White Zin ($4 at Safeway and it goes great with a mediterranean chicken pizza from Papa Murphy’s).

  6. ADM Says:

    In this house, we drink the following — three boys under age one will drive you to drink – HA, HA, HA!!
    (All of these are easy to find at your local stores):
    Korbel Champagne (ok, sparkling wine since it is from CA)
    Frexient (black bottle of bubbly, forget how you spell it)
    Chenin Blanc or Vouvray (very cheap and light)
    And every now and again, we get vino from the local vineyard here in sunny Numpsha (NH) – HA! Who knew we have a vineyard AND it’s actually quite good! Name to follow…

    And when I am very lucky or on vacation… I love Veuve Cliquot (and would drink it daily if I could because I am pretty sure champagne has less calories AND alcohol sip for sip…not that I care…or counting…).

    I also really enjoy some of the wines listed above — not too $$ and usually good 🙂

  7. MelodyA. Says:

    Yep, I’m going with Boone’s Strawberry Hill. Hey, it makes me feel young. I’m not a wino, I don’t know a thing about wines. I do drink them once in awhile. So, I could use a good list.

  8. Suzanne Says:

    We drink some pricey wines, but lately, haven’t had the bucks to buy more (they can only be purchased by the case).

    Inexpensive ones we love:
    Pindar. Any Pindar. It’s a LI wine, and if you can get them, the Sweet Scarlett is a great red for about 9 bucks a bottle. The two blushes, Spring Spendor and Summer Blush are also great. I have yet to try a Pindar that we didn’t like, though.

    If you can find wines from Moldova, they do a Pinot Franc varietal that is awesome-semi sweet red with the taste of cherries. Yum. I’m not sure the name of the vintner, because it’s written in Cyrillic letters!

    A decent fallback is Beringer’s White Zinfandel and White Merlot.

    For whites, hubby and I adore german wines. Graff or Schmitt Sonne. We like Auslese and Spatlese wine.

    I started my wine and foodies blog to have tasting notes in it, but you can see that we haven’t had much wine in the past six months. I’m enjoying a Jumilla right now (one of the expensive ones) and I’ll do a note on that.

  9. elizabethews Says:

    Oh wine…how do I love thee?
    First – fully agree with Laura – Ravenswood Zin is always good.
    Other standbys: Blackstone Merlot; Two-Buck Chuck from Trader Joes (Merlot, Cab, Chardonnay – $2.99/bottle and it is GOOD!!!!); TJ’s also has a great pinot grigio for $3.99; Robert Mondavi Chard
    My favorites that I save for special occassions because I won’t drink wine over $10/bottle unless it’s a special occassion:
    Groth Sav. Blanc (Sara will agree with me on that)
    Root:1 Sav. Blanc (a new favorite and it is A.mazing)
    Clos Pegase Cab….oh, love.
    William Alto – Sav. Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cab, & Merlot – ALL wonderful and that is just over $10.
    Goats Do Roam…Ferrari Corano Fume Blanc….Cline Ancient Vine…
    Do I drink too much wine?

  10. B. Says:

    wine makes me sneeze ;-(

  11. Sara Says:

    In October of 2007 Woman’s Day ran an article called “Tasty $10-and-under Wines”, which can be found on their website. I have been drinking my through most of them and they are surprisingly good. I am now officially hooked on Prosecco. yum!

  12. Jess Says:

    I really can’t help here, because we are not big wine drinkers and when we do drink it, it’s usually a $4 bottle from the grocery store because that is actually what Torsten prefers.

  13. Maria Says:

    Ravenswood Shiraz, Cab, Merlot always great standbys
    Blackstone Merlot is the former “house wine” of Cafe Bella, and one I like-
    Liberty School Cab Sav (Paso Robles California)
    Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz 2004(Australia)- or Jacob’s Creek Reserve Reisling 2006 (Australia)-both $12.99 locally; had them at a recent wine tasting event
    Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio is EXCELLENT, especially with summer upon us-very light Ruffino Pinot Grigio also good.
    Right now, I’d rather pinot grigio to chardonnay if drinking white.
    Napa/Sonoma wines; Sterling whites, Franciscan reds
    Rodney Strong has some decent wines
    “Fat Bastard” and “Red Truck” actually are okay in my book! And I agree “Goats Do Road” is good, and enjoy the fun of the pun.
    Speaking of puns, Anna…you were funny! Just another Reisling why I like you.

  14. Maria Says:

    that was “Goats do Roam”-scuse my spelling error.

  15. crista Says:

    I like lots of different wines but I tend to pick one and drink it for a good stretch. I’m happily stuck in a bit of a rut between the wine we had the other night,
    Nobilo ( a New Zealand sauvignon blanc that is pretty easy to find)

    and

    St Supery, a Napa Sauvignon Blanc (also easy to find)

    both fall in the $10-15ish category

  16. amy Flood Says:

    my favorite and very cheap is Willowglen Shiraz and my runner up is Yellowtail Shiraz. these are both $8 or under!

  17. Heidi Says:

    For a really cheap but tasty wine I like Golden Gate Pinot Grigio. Okay laugh if you must. 3.99 a bottle.

  18. Sheila Says:

    Yum. My favorite grown-up treat.
    Thanks for all of the suggestions.
    We are into red blends these days. Nice and full and satisfying.
    Favorites are:
    Ca De Sol; Big House Red
    Red Truck
    These are from CA
    Pillar Box Red (No it does not come in a box), Austalian
    and 2 Brothers Big Tattoo Red, Chile (portion goes to funding cancer research)
    All these are under $10
    I also agree that Trader Joe’s Red is really good. Can’t wait to til we get one here!

  19. Sarah Says:

    It’s been ages since I’ve had wine, but we really enjoyed Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio. It used to be under $10 a bottle but last I saw it was (gasp) $11 or $12.

  20. Food Friday: Best Pasta Salad Ever « Hank & Willie Says:

    […] Hank & Willie Shockingly regular entries since early 2007 « Grape Expectations: Your favorite wines […]

  21. Shannon Says:

    A few favorites (all under $12):

    Red: Mark West Pinot Noir (this is probably my favorite) & Smoking Loon Shiraz

    White: Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio (yum! tried it after Ted (from Queer Eye) recommended it) & Sharpe Hill’s Ballet of Angels (based out of Pomfret, CT – I also like to give this as a gift – the bottle is so pretty)

  22. CuriousC Says:

    I third that Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio! and Smoking Loon gets a second endorsement. Kendall Jackson anything. Fat Bastard IS good. Chalk Hill Chardonnay is excellent. But I’m not picky.

  23. vinomom Says:

    Ok my favorites right now are Woodbridge Pinot Grigio and Beringer Pinot but I have drank almost every cheap Pinot and Sauv Blanc that is out there – Ecco Domani is ok but a little bland for my taste and is the House Wine at a lot of restaraunts here in MD.

    Would love to find Golden Gate for $3.99 !! Being a wino, I buy the 1.5 liter bottles so that does limit my selection. I want to try Santa Margherita though EVERYONE says it’s to die for…but at $25 for a small bottle, thats gotta be a special occasion!

  24. Suzanne Says:

    I agree with Sarah on the Prosecco. We tend to get a bottle of that and make Bellinis. It packs a wallop on the buzz front. Yummy stuff!

  25. arizaphale Says:

    It sounds like you guys get Australian wine over there? I am a sauv blanc drinker and my fave’s are Geisen and Tyler’s Stream but they’re a bit pricey. Another easy drinker is Reilly’s Barking Mad. Appropriate really. One which I love for its price is a French thing called ‘The Arrogant Frog’ which is only $8.99 a bottle! Hooray!!

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