Friday, November 09, 2007

Value Wine Recommendations

Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm a value-minded consumer. In this edition of the blog, I thought I'd share with you some recommendations for value-minded wines. I got these recommendations from Wine Spectator. I've had a subscription to Wine Spectator for a couple of years, but just recently did I really start digging into their ratings, buying the wines they recommend, and comparing the quality of those wines.

This "research" was prompted by a blind tasting at a friend's holiday party a few years ago. He bought 2 wines: 1 was a $8.99 bottle of Rosemount Shiraz, the other a $50 bottle of Shafer Merlot. Based on blind tasting- half of the group picked the $8.99 bottle as their preferred wine. The conclusion of that exercise was that half of the tasters were buffoons. But looking back at that experiment, both of the wines in that test were rated exactly the same by Wine Spectator: 87 points. So, if you believe the pros at Wine Spectator the wines were equal in quality although one cost 5x as much as the other.

Fast forward 5 years later. Based on recommendations from Wine Spectator over the past 2 years, I've discovered the following 4 wines. I present them for you for their Quality/Price ratio:

Columbia Crest
Grand Estates Merlot 2003/2004
90 points/$11 (bought a case @ $9.59/bottle)

Yellow Tail Shiraz Southeastern Australia The Reserve 2005
90 points/$11 (bought for $9.99)

Wolf Blass Cabernet/Shiraz South Australia Yellow Label 2005
88 points/$12 retail (bought for $7.99)

Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon California 2003
82 points/$2.99 (Trader Joe's only- $2.99)

If you like red wine, I hope you give these a try. If you do, please post back and let me know what you think. I'm planning on having some blind tastings here for Thanksgiving. I'll post back with the results of that experiment.
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