Something to Wine About: Cheap and easy vinos to enjoy

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Just because it’s a Monday night at home with a book, or binge watching Downton Abbey, shouldn’t mean you have to settle for subpar wine. You can be economical and still enjoy great vino. Here are some of my recent finds.

Reds

Cercius 2014

I was holding onto this wine to include in an article about when it’s worth it to spend a bit more on a bottle.

Then I checked the price. Wow.

Coming in at under $15, this is a Cotes Du Rhone that drinks way above its price point. Crowd-pleasingly delicious, this wine is clean, rich, round, fruity and smooth. It’s fermented in concrete, and the result is awesome.

Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Hovering around the $10 mark, this wine is medium bodied and a bit lighter than some cabs. This simple wine is smooth, has dark fruit, good structure and a pleasant finish. It also has an elegant label, so it’s a good wine to stock up on if you need one to grab and go to a last-minute dinner or barbeque.

Cigar Old Vine Zinfandel 2015

Coming in at just around $15, this wine has a rich nose of red and dark fruit. On the palate, luscious fruit blends seamlessly with rich chocolate notes. Drinks like a more expensive wine. A wonderful wine to wind down the day.

Lindeman’s bin 45 Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

At just about $10, this Cabernet from Australia is a terrific buy. Be aware this is not a very dry cab. I found it to be semi-dry. It’s not sweet, but I can see this being a gateway red for wine drinkers just starting to move away from sweet wines.

Because I rarely like wines that aren’t very dry, this super-smooth wine was a welcome exception. A well-crafted treat you can afford any time.

Rosé

Quinta de Paços 2016 Casa de Paços Rosé (Vinho Verde)

This is a very different rosé than its Cote de Provence counterparts. It’s darker in color, richer in flavor and off-dry. Very fruity with succulent strawberry notes, this wine immediately reminded me of sangria.

I enjoyed it as it was, but couldn’t help thinking how over ice — I know, normally sacrilegious — with a couple of apple and orange slices, and a blackberry garnish, this wine could easily rival sangria as a delicious party drink.

If you have wine drinkers that prefer the sweeter pink wines this could be the one to start bringing them over to the slightly dryer side. A great buy at only $9 a bottle.

Whites

Quinta de Pacos ‘Casa do Capitao-Mor’ Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, 2015

Aromas of honeysuckle and lemon greet you. Flavors of peach, apricot and lemon round out this wonderful summer sipper.

This delicious wine has a slightly higher alcohol content than most of the lower alcohol vinho verdes I’ve tried in the past and far more layered flavors.

For those not familiar with this wonderful type of wine, Vinho verde hails from Portugal. It is fruitier than pinot grigio, less aggressive than sauvignon blanc, lighter than chardonnay, and one of the least expensive wines on the shelf.

It is a good, crowd-pleasing wine, and coming in at only $10 you can afford to stock up.

Tellus Chardonnay Umbria 2015

This unoaked chardonnay is fresh, flavorful and clean. It comes in at just about $15. Would pair well with light summer fare, like a salad, or just make for a refreshing drink to enjoy outside on a hot day.

Linda Delmonico Prussen is a Long Island-based award-winning journalist passionate about all things wine.

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