Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2 For Tuesday Adventure

Today I ventured out to some of the local wine stores to see if I could find any great values...

Aresti "A" Carmenere 2006, Chile - $10 (on sale for $5)
I had to pick this one up because it was on such a great sale and I wanted to try this varietal on its own.  It is a very unique grape and it is often used in blending, but this seems to be 100% carmenere.  From the first whif, it seems a bit funky, but once you get past that, you'll notice some dark ripe fruit and berry.  The wine is pretty well balanced, heavier on the fruit side, but enough acid to make it palatable.  This is definitely a food wine and it's not for everyone because of it's "unique" style.  So if you are up to try something out of the ordinary, give it a try.

La Tenuta Rosso di Montalcino 2006, Tuscany - $18 (on sale for $10)
This is very typical of this style of wine, a rustic nose followed by big fruit, this wine is very juicy, but I have had better.  In fact, I believe I have written about another Rosso recently, so look back a few posts to see something a little better.  I like my Rosso di Montalcino to be as close as possible to Brunello, so I suppose my standards are unreasonable... Overall, a good wine, worth at least the sale price... but not much more.

A fine adventure,  an excellent learning experience.  Cheers and Buon Bere!

Vacation Wines

So what do you drink when you take a cruise in the Caribbean?  Well, first order of business, a pina colada by the pool works really nice! :)  But since this is a wine blog, I should tell you about some of the wines I had on the cruise.  We ordered a 7 bottle package of their higher quality recommended wines, and found a few decent ones that we recognized that are worth mentioning... of course we paid higher than retail prices, but what can you do?

Silverado Sauvignon Blanc, Napa - $20 
This wine has great citrus and acid components, but I don't think it is the best wine for my bucks, especially at the on board price, however it was one of the better choices they had.  Your wine experience is all relative to your overall experience, and although this is not my favorite wine, it was great while we were drinking it!   It was a great aperitif and went well with a crab cake appetizer.


Spellbound Cabernet Sauvignon, CA - $17
You should be able to find this great cabernet for less than this price, and I think it's worth every cent.  It was a very elegant, lighter style cabernet sauvignon.  Very easy drinking over the 2 nights we had it, and went very well with filet mignon and NY Strip Steak.  Unfortunately they ran out of it the night we ordered it for the second time, so we had to settle for something else.  This was the best wine in our selection.

So now that I am back from vacation, I decided to take this wine thing a little more seriously.  I will be taking WSET classes and obtaining my Advanced Certificate over the next few months, so I will have many exciting wines to share with you, regardless of price... but don't worry, I am still in search of the Best Wines For My Bucks, and will continue to find them for you! Cheers and Buon Bere!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Italian Wines, Round 2

It is always a pleasant surprise when I take that ride up to Blairstown to visit my friend Tony!  I was only going for a short visit, to help him with some audio/visual equipment, but of course he felt the need to make my visit worthwhile by opening a few great Italian Reds!

The two we tried this week were the Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre - 2006, and Allegrini La Grola - 2006.



Both wines were excellent.  This vintage far surpasses the 2005 right out of the bottle, and I believe given a few years, these wines will truly blossom fabulously!  The La Grola was much more ready to drink, with no bite, very smooth, elegant and fruit forward style.  Both were excellent compliments to the lasagna we ate as a little snack... but even when the food was gone, I couldn't put my glass down!  The Palazzo seemed much better balanced than the previous vintage and the label even looked a bit more elegant... Keep up the good work Ms. Allegriini!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Italian Supervino, Introducing Mr. Brunello Di Montalcino!

How I love Brunello Di Montacino!  Is it because you can't find a good bottle of this excellent style for under $30?  No, but unfortunately true.  Is it because I come from Italian roots, and there are a few drops of Brunello in my blood? Possibly.  Or could it be that Brunello is to Italy what a fine Bordeaux is to France? Hmmm, I think so.  I couldn't believe how well they went with a steak dinner we usually pair with Brunello's French counterpart.

As we started the tasting we had the new crisp 2008 Ferrari Carrano Fume Blanc.  Always a crowd pleaser.  Very tasty with a nice balance of acidity and fruit, slightly more acidic though.

 Then we had the 2005 Allegrini, Palazzo Della Torre, as our opening red.  It was a very nice start, great to drink with any hearty italian meal.

Then we tried the 2003 Camigliano Brunello Di Montalcino.  Still so young, I felt wrong drinking it, but thank goodness the tasting lasted 4 hours, so we got to try it and really experience this excellent Brunello open up with outstanding characteristics.

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I had a similar but much more enjoyable experience with our next, the 2003 Argiano Brunello Di Montalcino.  Right out of the bottle, I could tell this was a winner, and boy, a few hours in, this baby showed so much body and character, it was the reason the tasting lasted so long!  For the extra few bucks I personally would take this Brunello to dinner on any and all special occasions (if I was a one wine guy, which I'm not, so that statement was pretty bogus, huh?)... well then, if you like Brunello, you will love this one, that's all I can say.


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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giving Thanks To Pinot Noir

Mirrasou Pinot Noir 2008   $13

Velvety smooth, very well balanced, and quite elegant, this California Pinot Noir gives any inexpensive French Burgundy a run for it's money.  I was so impressed with this wine, that I am seriously considering buying a few cases.  It was great to drink right out of the bottle, and was a perfect complement to our Thanksgiving meal.  Highly Recommended.

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Patch Block Pinot Noir  $10

Spicy, acidic and medium bodied.  This wine was ok.  Not near as good as the Mirrasou for $3 more, but what do you expect to get for a $10 pinot noir from French producer George Debouf?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

ATTENTION WINE LOVERS>>>>

All new additions to the blog...

I was enjoying a very nice meeting with a very close friend of mine when we discovered some outstanding wines, all under $13!!!

Here are the descriptions... make sure to check these out, they are absolutely BEST WINES FOR YOUR BUCKS!!!


MONTE ANTICO TOSCANA 2006 $13.

from Italy

Very Interesting. That is the best way to describe this fantastic italian red!  Holiday spices, hints of nutmeg on the aroma and first taste. This is an easy drinking light blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon that will go perfect with linguini and clam sauce, pasta, or chicken or veal parmesan. I tried to compare it to one of my favorite blends, Falesco Vitiano, but it truly is no comparison... it is a one of a kind must try!

Imported by Empson (USA) Inc. Alexandra, VA

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CHATEAU SEGONDIGNAC MEDOC 2005 $11

from France

Wow. Bordeaux without a Bite, under $11. Don't wait, try this one for sure!  If you know anything about bordeaux, then you'll know I surely can't compare it to Reserve De La Comtesse... but I tried. And the Reserve is better, but for 4 times the price, it should be. This bordeaux has all the qualities of a fine French wine at a great price. It is well balanced, with low tanins, so drink up!

Imported by Monsieur Touton, NY

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CHATEAU LAFFAYETTE RENEAU CABERNET FRANC $ ??

from New York

Here's a wine that I had the fortune of trying because I was visiting the Whiteface Lodge in upstate NY, and they offered it as a welcome to the parents of my soon to be wife. Since they aren't drinkers, I had the pleasure of trying it myself...
It has upfront fruit, cherries and berries, and a silky, peppery finish, and after hours of being opened, it is still drinking beautifully. Unsure of the price, I cannot recommend this as a weekly value wine pick, however, it is a nice wine from the area, and I would like to share it, since it was a special part of my life.   In comparison, I highly recommend the Bordeaux above... I'm sure it is way more bang for the buck!

Bottled by Chateau Laffayette Reneau, Hector,NY

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Few New Winners...

SAWTOOTH ESTATE WINERY RIESLING 2008 $11.

from Idaho, USA

This delicious Riesling has aromas of peach and apricot.
On the palate it is crisp and lively with just a touch of
sweetness. It's a well balanced, refreshing white wine
that can be served as an aperitif or with chicken, turkey
or pork. It's also a great choice for any spicy Asian
cuisine.

Bottled by Sawtooth Winery, Nampa, Idaho

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CAPESTRANO MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO 2007 $10

from Italy

Here is a mouthful of rich, juicy red fruit from the ancient grape of
the Abruzzi region, Montepulciano. It is full bodied yet has very
soft tannins so it can be enjoyed on its own or with pizza, pasta
dishes or red meats. An incredible bargain!!!

Imported by Vias Imports Ltd, New York, NY

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CICCHITTI RED BLEND 2007 $15

from Argentina

This beautifully structured red wine is made from 60% Malbec,
30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. It reminds me of a
fine Bordeaux, complex, yet refined and elegant. Although big
and full bodied, it is in complete harmony with all that is going
on and just a pleasure to drink. Enjoy it with red meats, game
and full flavored cheeses.

Imported by F. Navarro Selections, New York, NY

Monday, October 12, 2009

Some Nice Wines For The Fall!

CARPINETO DOGAJOLO WHITE 2008 $14

from Italy

This refreshing and well structured white wine from
Tuscany is made from a blend of Chardonnay, Grechetto
and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. For all of you who would
like a change from the everyday Pinot Grigio, this will
surely please your taste buds. It's pleasantly fruity with
a fragrant aroma, good body and a very nice balance of
acidity, making it crisp and clean. Enjoy it with seafood,
or your favorite white meats.

Imported by Opici Import Company, Glen Rock, NJ
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LAN CRIANZA 2005 $12

from Spain

Lan is a wonderful full bodied wine from the well known Rioja
region of Spain. Made entirely from Tempranillo grapes, it
has aromas of dark red fruits and a very silky feel on the
palate. It is incredibly smooth with low tannins. This is a
an ideal red to serve with pork or duck.

Imported by Monsieur Touton Wines, New York, NY

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ACACIA RED BLEND 2007 $15

from California

Here is a nice surprise from a winery that specializes in Chardonnay
and PInot Noir. The Red Blend 2007 is Syrah based, however the
rest of the blend is a mystery. What is not a mystery is how well
this red drinks right now. It shows nice fruit right up front and is
perfect right out of the bottle, no need to decant it ahead of time for
full enjoyment. You will find nice flavors of plum, raspberry, blackberry
and notes of vanilla. A great value from a first class winery!!
Enjoy with red meats, ribs and game.

Bottled by Acacia Vineyards, Sonoma, CA

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thanks For Spreading The Word...Let's Keep It Going!

Although this is a new Blog, I appreciate all my fellow wine lovers getting enthusiastic about the great new wines we are sharing with you. If you ever have trouble finding any of these wines, let me know and I'll see if I can locate them for you.
Cheers!

TRAVIGNOLI CHIANTI RUFINA 2006 $10

from Italy

This is what I call a classic style of Chianti.
It's full flavored with notes of dark cherries,
and strawberry jam. Somewhat light on the
palate in the beginning, it opens up nicely
after about an hour. I highly recommend
decanting this wine and letting it sit for a
couple of hours before drinking. It has a
great overall balance and bone dry finish.
Serve with your favorite pasta dishes, pizza
or red meats.

Imported by Mr. A Wine Company, Teaneck NJ

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JARGON PINOT NOIR 2007 $12

from California

Here is a very nice, fruit forward Pinot Noir that is
perfect right out of the bottle. Delicious bright fruit
with good body and balanced with just the right
amount of acidity. This is one to drink now, no
bottle aging is necessary. I am always pleased
when I can find a quality Pinot Noir less than $15.
This is a very versatile red with food. It will
complement grilled salmon or steak, roasted
chicken or pork loin, and soft cheeses like Brie.

Produced by Jargon Wine Company, St Helena CA

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CHATEAU DE LA COUR D'ARGENT 2006 $15

from France

This fine bottle of Bordeaux is a steal for $15 a bottle.
It's drinking beautifully right now and is most likely at
it's peak, so just purchase enough to drink over the
next year or two. There are plenty of red fruit flavors,
some notes of earth and spice, and a nice soft finish
with low tannins. Try it with a prime rib roast.

Imported by Monsieur Touton Selections Ltd, New York NY

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wine is the Language of Love

MARQUES DE CACERAS WHITE RIOJA 2008 $10.00

from Spain

Here is a delightful, easy drinking, dry white wine that is
made entirely from Viura grapes grown in the prized region
of Rioja Alta, Spain. Fresh, crisp and clean, it has floral
aromas and a nice texture that is pleasing to the palate.
This white can be served as an aperitif and would be a
great choice with seafood dishes.

Imported by Vineyards Brands Inc, Birmingham, AL

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MARRAMIERO DAMA MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO 2007 $15.00

from Italy

I have found over many years, that Montepulciano offers so
much pleasure for a relatively small price per bottle. This
delicious red comes from the excellent 2007 vintage and is
sure to be a crowd pleaser. Deep purple color with aromas
of black cherry, currants, vanilla and licorice all add up to
an incredible tasting experience. This wine is drinking at its
peak right now. This is a perfect complement to any of your
favorite Italian dishes, especially those with red sauces.

Imported by Vinifera Imports, Ronkonkoma NY

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ALAIN JAUME & FILS RESERVE GRAND VENEUR
COTES DU RHONE 2007 $12.00

from France

Yes, it's quite a long name and appropriate given how much
this Cote du Rhone has to offer. Made from a blend of 70%
Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10 % Cinsualt, it is the finest
Cotes du Rhone I have tasted this year. Ripe red fruit flavors
with a hint of spice give way to a silky feel on the tongue and
a long, lingering, elegant finish. This is an incredible value !!!
Enjoy this wine with game, red meats and full flavored cheeses.

Imported by Kysela Pere & Fils Ltd., Winchester, VA

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wines Around The World

SOLE BEECH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2008 $12.00

from New Zealand


This white was a good find. Sole Beech comes from
the prime growing region of Marlbourough where the
grapes benefit from the warm days and the cool ocean
breezes at night.

This climate produces a nice, crisp wine that is in
perfect balance and harmony. Look for flavors of
passion fruit and guava. Highly recommended.

Imported by Monsieur Touton Selections, New York, NY

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GOULART CLASICO MALBEC 2008 $11.00

from Argentina

We have been fortunate to have a great selection of
Malbec wines over the last few years. Malbec is a
grape that thrives in Argentina, much like Cabernet
Sauvignon in Napa Valley, California.

This delicious red comes from old vines grown in
the appellation of Lujan de Cuyo. Goulart uses a
minimalist approach to winemaking which leads to
a modern style showing plenty of upfront fruit.

Flavors of wild raspberries follow through to the
finish with good structure and soft tannins.

Imported by Southern Starz, Huntington Beach, CA

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IRONSTONE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007 $12.00

from California

I am always pleased when I can find a nice California
Cabernet under $20.

Ironstone is a fourth generation family owned winery that
consistently delivers quality wines at low prices. This
Cabernet was full bodied and complex, with layers of
rich fruit and nuances of exotic spices.

Although a big wine, it has a nice mellow quality and
an easy, lingering finish that makes you want to have
another taste.

Bottled by Ironstone Vineyards, Murphys, CA

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Affordable Wines Mid September

CARPINETO DOGAJOLO 2007 $14

Here is a very affordable "Super Tuscan"
that is ready to drink now although it is
still young.

It's a blend of 80% Sangiovese and
20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Rich and
robust on the palate, this wines gives
plenty of ripe fruit flavor, yet is very
smooth and has an elegant finish.
Having had this wine over many vintages
I can say this is the best Dogajolo I have
tasted so far.

Imported by Opici Import Company,
Glen Rock, NJ
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TERRE DI GUIMARA NERO D'AVOLA 2007 $15

Nero D'Avola has become very popular over the
last few years, as more and more people have
discovered this delicious red wine from Sicily.

This wine has nice concentration of flavors and
aromas of violets. There are deep, rich scents
of mature red fruits merged with herbs and prunes.
It's full bodied but not overdone in any way.
There is total harmony from the first taste to
the long, lingering finish. This Nero D'Avola
is truly a work of art.

Imported by Vinifera Imports Ltd,
Ronkonkoma, NY

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ANCIENT PEAKS MERLOT 2006 $15

I was very pleased to find this high quality Merlot
from Paso Robles, California.

Ancient Peaks offers nice aromas of black cherry
and blackberry. It is incredibly smooth with a rich,
velvety texture. There is also added complexity as
a small amount of Malbec was added to the final
blend, giving the wine a totally unique character.
I can say that I have tasted Merlots in the $30
price range that are not as good as this one.

Produced and bottled by Ancient Peaks Winery,
Creston, Ca.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fine Wines Under $15!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3 CALIFORNIA SELECTIONS

Castle Rock Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2007
$13.99

I have always been a fan of Pinot Noir, so it was nice
to find two that give great Pinot character at a very
affordable price.

The first one, Castle Rock, is made entirely from
Pinot Noir grown in Sonoma County. Here, the cool
breezes from the Pacific Ocean make for ideal growing
conditions. This is a full bodied, yet elegant Pinot Noir
bursting with ripe fruit. Flavors of plum and black cherry
are complemented by aromas of red fruits and spice.
There is a hint of oak which gives nice balance.

Bottled by Castle Rock Winery, Geyserville, California

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Mark West California Pinot Noir 2007
$13.99

Mark West Winery specializes in Pinot Noir. This wine
is a crowd pleaser. It has a dark red color with plenty of
intense fruit and a nice spicy aroma from aging in French
and Hungarian oak for 8 months. It is full bodied and has
a long, pleasant finish.

Bottled by Mark West Winery, Graton, California

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Hart & Mc Garry Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
$12.99

I cannot remember the last time I saw a Napa Valley Cabernet
Sauvignon for $13. I thought to myself, what do I have to lose?
How could I go wrong with a Napa Valley Cabernet from an
excellent vintage?

What a pleasure this wine is. Aromas and flavors of black
cherries and raspberries are balanced with medium tannins
and a velvety finish. I highly recommended this to anyone
who enjoys a full bodied Cabernet.

Bottled by Hart & McGarry Vineyards, Manteca, California

Monday, August 31, 2009

She Has The Right Idea!

I was reading this article about a woman who quit her 6 figure a year job to open a Wine Bar, and thought it would be a great addition to the wine blog... Click below to check it out!


READ THE ARTICLE ABOUT WENDY CHASING HER DREAM!!!

MALBEC ROSE? REALLY?

POESIA PASODOBLE ROSE OF MALBEC 2009

8.99 per bottle



from ARGENTINA

Yes, it is one of the first 2009 wines I have tasted. Remember
the southern hemisphere is one season ahead of us in farming
so this is their brand new release.

What a pleasant surprise !! Gobs of fresh strawberry fruit hit
you right away in both taste and aroma. This Rose is made
entirely from Malbec grapes which are best suited to Argentina's
climate and soil. Since I am a fan of dry Rose, finding this one
was totally unexpected as most of the Malbec coming from here
is red wine. This is a such a delight with its fresh fruit flavors
and crisp dry, refreshing finish. Try it with appetizers or as
a dinner wine with grilled salmon.


Imported by Monsieur Touton Selections, New York, NY

DO YOU LIKE YELLOW TAIL?

WILDERNESS ESTATE RESERVE CHARDONNAY
AND RESERVE SHIRAZ 2008......6.99 per bottle


from AUSTRALIA

These selections caught my eye with their colorful labels
and very attractive retail price.

I noticed they were imported by DeBortoli Wines whose
products I have enjoyed over the years for their consistent
quality and great value.

The Chardonnay shows nice fruit with just the right amount
of oak for balance. It has good acidity which is hard to find
in an inexpensive white wine. Notes of peach and apricot
come to the surface after the wine warms up just a little.
This will be a perfect match with chicken dishes and light
pasta salads.

The Shiraz is medium bodied and has aromas of plums and
black cherries. It has a bright red color and the fruit just jumps
from the glass. The initial impression is one of sweetness but
has a finish that is elegant and dry. This will be a great choice
for the late summer barbeques and will go nicely with lamb or
steak.

Imported by DeBortoli Wines USA, Hoboken NJ.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WOW AMAZING NEW WINES!!!

This is our first edition of the BEST WINE BLOG EVER

CONO SUR - 2008 - CHILE - SAUVIGNON BLANC - $9.99

This wine was very cold and very wet :) It has all of the characteristics of sauvignon blanc, and was a very good choice. Nice bright citrus components. No overly grassy qualities or notes, just bright clean fruit, and a delight to drink in the afternoon. I've had better S.B., but I've definitely had much worse, overall, for the price this is quality Sauv. Blanc. If you feel the need to drive in the afternoon after drinking this wine (definitely not recommended!), make sure to wear your helmet!

"CAVALIERE" - 2008 - ITALY - SANGIOVESE - $7.99

This is by far the best sangiovese you will find this year! Rich bright fruit, relatively low acidity. A mouthful of pleasure. We've tasted sangiovese that we've paid double the price for, and it didn't come close to what we've found in this bottle! Wow! Let me repeat, we've paid double the price for great sangiovese and it still does not compare to this once in a year find... Don't sleep on this wine. Buy your case tomorrow!

BASKET CASE - 2006 - WASHINGTON - CABERNET SAUVIGNON - $11.99

Okay, so you might be a little crazy if you try this one... but then again, I'm feeling a little nuts just writing about it. It is a fruit bomb! And for Washington State Cabernet, you aren't going to find wine as good and as inexpensive as this one. This is the kind of Cabernet you drink with some Sweet Ribs, rather than a juicy steak, remember: Fruit Bomb! Buy as much as you can for immediate drinking, it is a True Crowd Pleaser. If you are looking for something more elegant or tannic, hold off a bit we'll find you something else, but if you want something you can drink right now with a bunch of crazies... this is your best bet.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

GETTING READY TO LAUNCH

I'm meeting with my business associate and wine expert this week to discuss the content of this blog. We plan on providing you with enough information to easily choose wines that work for you. I will give you first hand information from wines that we have tried and we personally find to be the Best Valued Wines For Your Bucks!

Every individual has their own taste preferences when it comes to food and wine, so we will do our best to give you a nice variety throughout this blog, and who knows, maybe we can open your horizons to trying, and loving something totally different... That is the true fun in Wine Tasting experiences!

After all, I have my favorites, among them being Brunello Di Montalcino, California Cabernet, and French Burgundy or Pinot Noir, but I started out hating red wine!

If you are new to wine, but really enjoy a nice Merlot or Malbec, or Shiraz and want to broaden your horizons, here is a place for you to get some real information from true wine enthusiasts, and friends. You are on your way to making great discoveries, and finding excellent wines for true values!

We will throw in some higher quality picks as well for those of you who want to splurge every now and then, but aren't sure what to go for. Remember just because you spend a lot of money on a bottle of wine does not mean that it is necessarily great! You have to know what you are getting and we will help you with that...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Welcome!

Here is my new blog. I want to share my passion for wine, and my enthusiasm for finding great values with the world!

Each week I will update this blog with 4-5 of the Worlds Best Wine Values so you can give them a try for yourself.

Feel free to leave comments, share your experiences, and join in the fun of finding great wines at great values!

Cheers!

Sean