If you enjoy wine with your meal like the Diva does you know how much the price of a bottle is inflated by most restaurants today. It’s truly outrageous to pay three or four times retail. Well there’s a good way around it, BYO, but before you do check on line or call the restaurant to see how much they charge for corkage.
When you want to save money on wine when eating or entertaining at home all you need do is do some prudent shopping at Trader Joe’s, BevMo, Ralphs or just check out this list of wines of the world for under $25 that we have been enjoying tasting thanks to a gift from a wine-loving pal.
The brands are from serious winemaking families in Argentina, Chile, Italy and Austria and are also ideal for gift-giving. These wines are perfect for everything from holiday entertaining and everyday drinking to gift-giving.
- Catena Chardonnay 2012 – ($20) The Catena family winery has been widely recognized for its long-standing role in setting new standards for quality wine and viticultural research in Argentina. This richly-textured Chardonnay is sourced and blended from the winery’s high-altitude vineyards in the Lujan de Cuyo and Tupungato regions of Mendoza. From the Agrelo lot in the La Pirámide vineyard (3,117 ft.) the wine obtains flavors of ripe, honeyed tropical fruits, while the cooler temperatures of the Villa Bastías lot in the Domingo vineyard (3,675 ft.) gives the wine stone fruit and citrus notes. The Gualtallary lot in the Adrianna vineyard (4,757 ft.) with its extreme climate and shallow, sandy soils provides lively floral notes, strong mineral character and vibrant acidity.
- Catena Malbec 2011 – ($24) Heavy and heady, this Catena family classic is blended from four separate Malbec lots. The Lunlunta lot in the Angelica vineyard (3,018 ft.) gives the wine its ripe plum fruit flavors and silky texture. The wine’s dark fruit character and pepper notes come from the Malbec vines in the Agrelo lot. Its excellent structure and black cherry aromas are credited to the grapes from the Altamira in the La Consulta lot. The Gualtallary lot provides the floral aromatics and concentrated mouthfeel.
- Cousiño-Macul Antiguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – ($18) A perfect winter wine to drink before, with or after dinner, this luscious Cab comes from estate-grown fruit and offers aromas of berry, cocoa, fresh herbs and light toast, followed by flavors of ripe black plums and blackberry fruit.
- Tasca d’Almerita Regaleali Bianco 2012 – ($15) Although the history of the Tasca d’Almerita dates back to the 19th century, it was Count Giuseppe Tasca who started a new era for the winery, and the winemaking region, with his focus on quality and innovation. His first wine on the family's Regaleali estate was this blend of three Sicilian grapes that may not be familiar to U.S. wine drinkers – Inzolia, Catarratto and Grecanico – with some Chardonnay added to the blend. The wine is cold fermented in stainless steel to create a refreshing, crisp and versatile white.
- Falesco Merlot 2011 – ($15) Founded in 1979 by two of Italy’s most acclaimed winemakers, brothers Riccardo and Renzo Cotarella, this vineyard should be blessed for making this magnificent Merlot.
- Weingut Loimer Lois Grüner Veltliner 2012 – ($16 ) While no this Diva’s personal wine style, people who enjoy tarter wines will love its aromas of fresh apples and citrus, with great spice components, exotic fruit and refreshing acidity on the palate.
All of the above are distributed by Winebow of New Jersey. Enjoy a bottle on Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, for New Year’s Eve, they’re inexpensive enough to consume any day of the week. Cheers!