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by EKinMN on Feb 02 2012, 3:37am
We were discussing wine in Shop Talk tonight, and I thought I would share a list for some of you that are a bit new to wine.
I created this a couple years ago for a friend who was just getting into wine, and I’ve tried to refresh it a bit from time to time. I love to drink a pretty wide variety of types, regions, and price ranges. But, being the frugal gourmet that I am, I really try to find budget wines that don't taste "cheap". Anyone can buy a $50+ wine and have it taste good (it better taste good for that kind of money), but finding the true gems at $10-20 is a lot more fun, in my opinion. The list below was compiled a few years ago, so the particular vintages may no longer be available. That's OK, as most years for these wines are all pretty consistent. When it comes to California and Washington State wines, though, the following years were better than average: 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006. And, 2007 and 2008 weather in California was spectacular, so I am really expecting great things from those wines as they age. If you'd like some recommendations on white wines, I can help, but red is my passion.
* Big Ass Zin '01 or '02--$13
* Rancho-Zabaco Sonoma County Reserve -- $16
* Seghesio -- $18 (Becoming my fave, behind Jessup).
* St. Francis '02 -- $20
* Jessup Cellars '01 -- $28-$41 depending on year (hands down the best Zin ever made, but good luck finding it; try "bigwines.com ")
Other good Zins are Dry Creek and Armida
* Franciscan '00 or '01 -- $19 (the ’04 and 05 are really good)
* Canoe Ridge -- $25
* Markham -- $18
* Pine Ridge -- $25
* Also look at Flora Springs, Chateau St. Michelle
* Louis Martini Sonoma County '06 -- $9-12 if you find it on sale. Great "everyday" wine. The “house Cabernet” behind the EKinMN Family bar.
* Artessa '01 -- $20
* Clos Du Bois Sonoma '05 -- $13 (don't let the price fool you-this is amazing! This is a BIG Cab, if you like the really earthy dry Cabs typical of Napa. I found it on sale for $9.99 once, and now I wish I would have bought many cases!)
* Beringer Knights Valley -- $22
* Hess Estate '02 -- $20 (more recent releases were weak, but I’d give them another shot in 2006 or ’07).
* Simi '01 -- $20 (all vintages consistently good.)
* Rodney Strong -- $16
Also try Mount Veeder and Merryvale (but expect to pay a little more than $20).
* Artessa "Elements" -- $25
* Ferrari-Carano "Sienna" -- $30 (if you buy this, open it about 3 hours before you drink it, or buy now and cellar for a few years. It starts out simply, with lots of fruit-as it opens up, it tastes like a big, oak-y Cabernet. Yum! Sometimes you can find this on sale for $20).
* Flora Springs "Trilogy" '01 -- $30 (this is a "poor mans Opus 1" - do not miss this!) I bought ½ case, and I ran out already!
Pinot Noir (I have to admit, I do not like Pinot Noir, so you only get a couple options)
* Kent Rasmussen '99
* Sea Smoke ‘04
* Deloach ' 08
Other Interesting and Inexpensive wines
* Davinci Chianti (Italy) -- Best wine under $10 anywhere. This is a lighter red wine, great with pasta.
* Casillero del Diablo (Chile) -- The grape is called "Carmenere". An interesting wine that is somewhere between a Cabernet and a Petite Syrah. Great wine with grilled foods. This is also under $10 in most locations.
Really truly amazing red wines
* Croze Cabernet -- $35
* Franciscan "Magnificat -- $40 (2001, 2002, 2004 were amazing...2005 was not as good).
* Stags Leap "Artemus" -- $45
* Cliff Lede Cabernet -- $45
* Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages Cabernet -- $80 (I know...it's $80...but just trust me, please—open it at noon, sniff it at 3PM, sip it at 5PM, and drink it with a big piece of grilled cow about 8:30PM – in other words, make it last all day.)
* Quintessa -- $60-70
* Joseph Phelps Insignia '97 -- $285 (when you hit the lottery)
Best bottle of wine I ever tasted (tie):
1986 Beaulieu Vineyard (BV) Georges De Latour Private Reserve (Cabernet) You can still find this wine in the $150-200 range, but that’s because it’s really getting to the end of it’s cellar life for the average collector. Good bottles are hard to find. I’ve had this several times, most recently in 2008. Amazing.
1994 Silver Oak (Cabernet) This is still available, believe it or not, around $100. It was $80 when initially released, so this is really a great price.
2001 Chateau Latour (Bordeaux) -- At $449.00, nothing else needs to be said.
Last edited by EKinMN on Feb 02 2012, 3:53am, edited 2 times in total.
8 Comments Viewed 1679 times
by EKinMN on Oct 04 2011, 12:40pm
...I drove my Sierra off the lot. My baby looks as good today (if not better) than last year. Even with a few minor mods, it definitely has that "it's unique, and all mine" quality to it. Here's to many, many more great years!
Here is a picture of my baby still sitting in the showroom. It was saying "pick me, pick me...ohhh please pick me!
My anniversary of finding this site, and becoming completely addicted to it is still a few days away....stay tuned!
Last edited by EKinMN on Oct 04 2011, 12:41pm, edited 1 time in total.
8 Comments Viewed 1898 times
by EKinMN on Oct 01 2011, 3:34pm
I asked Jon's company, Star Spangled Property Maintenance, to do a project for me. I thought it would be a good opportunity to take pics of our trucks getting to know each other!
What a glorious Minnesota morning! Thanks for your help, Jon!
9 Comments Viewed 1996 times
by EKinMN on May 28 2011, 11:57pm
I spent the first day of the long Memorial holiday doing a bit of work on the boat:
Step 1: Acid wash to get all the scum off the hull.
Step 2: Wash boat.
Step 3: Clean interior and apply UV protectant
Step 4: Wax hull
Step 5: Take pictures of the boat, hooked to the truck
6 Comments Viewed 2128 times
by EKinMN on Apr 29 2011, 3:12am
I was reading an article in Car and Driver magazine about the location of assembly and domestic parts content of various vehicles. How sad is this (2010 data):
SILVERADO: 61% US/Canada part content. 214,842 assembled in US (Ft Wayne) and 162,141 in Mexico
SIERRA: 61% US/Canada part content. 89,837 assembled in US (Ft Wayne) and 80,594 in Mexico
Contrast that to:
TOYOTA TUNDRA: 80% US/Canada part content. 107,959 assembled in US (San Antonio)
Really? Toyota is more American than my Sierra. **SIGH**
Here is the link to the whole article: http://www.caranddriver.com/features/11 ... a_-feature
30 Comments Viewed 71382 times
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