Posts Tagged ‘Value’

Golly Gee (S.M.)!

July 12, 2013

At this point, we know each other pretty well, right?


What would you say if I told you that I just tasted one of my favorite wines of the year (so far)… and it was only SEVEN DOLLARS?!?!?!?!

First, let me show you what I made for dinner…


Rosemary Chicken, Mushroom & Bell Pepper Skewers, and Grilled Cabbage Slaw


After Kara and I picked up most of our ingredients from our local farm stand, we swung by Trader Joe’s to get some organic, free-range chicken breasts.  While browsing the wine aisle to find the perfect pairing, I came across this bad boy…


Pontificis 2011 Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre


You know that I am a big fan of Rhone-style wines.

You also know that I’ve been loving the value and quality of wines coming from the Languedoc-Roussillon in Southern France.


When I see a seven dollar Languedoc composed of the popular GSM Rhone blend of Grenache (50%), Syrah (30%), and Mourvedre (20%), you know I’m going to be all over it.


Does it deliver?

Hells to the yeahs, it does!

Note: I opened, and poured, this wine a good 45 minutes before tasting it.

Color: A dense, and inky, deep ruby red.

Nose: Beautiful notes of dusty chocolate with fresh strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry fruits.

Taste: Though young, this wine has a medium body of very soft, and approachable tannins.  The front palate starts off strong with dense and brambly fruits of blackberry and dark cherry, which transition nicely to a mid-palate of cranberries and orange zest.  On the finish, these fruits begin to raisinate, and show off a wonderfully long, acidic finish.

Score: Wow!  This wine is a strong 91+… And I almost feel bad scoring it that low.  My only reservation is that this wine appears to lack the ageability of a truly fine wine… But… C’mon guys… This wine is what it is.  This is a fantastic wine that is ready to be consumed right, the F, now… And the great part is that you can find this at your local Trader Joe’s… Right.  The F.  Now.  Of course, if you shop at my local TJ’s, you’re gonna have some trouble finding it.  I’m buying them all up.  Right.  The.  F.  Now.

Stay Rad,


What’s the best seven dollar wine you’ve ever had?  Leave a comment, and let us know.


Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 48: The REAL Value at Trader Joe’s

June 13, 2012

In this episode, Jeff talks about what wines to look for at Trader Joe’s, and tastes a quality Pinot Noir.

Wine Tasted:


Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve 2010 Carneros Pinot Noir

Stay Rad,


Searching for value in Bordeaux…

August 27, 2011

“Should we open up a bottle?”

It’s a simple question.

The answer should be simple…

but it never is.

“What should we open?”

“I don’t know.”

“What do we have?”

“We’ve got plenty of wine, but it’s Thursday.  I’m not gonna open up anything good.”

And it goes ’round and ’round and ’round…

As I dug into the wine fridge, I found this…

Chateau Du Seguinier 2005 Premieres Cotes de Blaye, Bordeaux

I don’t recall where I bought this wine…  Probably Trader Joe’s.

I don’t remember how much I paid…  Most places on the internet show that it is less than 10 bucks.

I do know that I purchased this wine at a time when I knew a lot less about wine than I do today…  Considering that I’m still learning, I know that I didn’t know much at all…  You know?

At the time, what I knew about Bordeaux was that 2005 was an AMAZING year…  “A 2005 for less than ten bucks???!!!???!!!!  I’m keeping this one!” I thought.

On Thursday, when I spotted the Chateau Du Seguinier 2005 Bordeaux, I was all, “Why not?”

Cotes de Blaye is a lesser-known appellation of the Bordeaux region of France.  It is technically a left bank wine… but WAY North.  Their red wines are primarily Merlot based.  They are known for being dry.

Here’s how it went down…

If you wanna see the color, hold that sucka in front of a fridge foo!

Color: The Chateau Du Seguinier is a dark brick-red.

Nose: Really good!  Cranberry and blueberry fruit with a touch of pencil shavings.  I ain’t gonna lie… It smells delicious.

Taste: I know that this wine is supposed to be dry, but the Chateau Du Seguinier is HELLA DRY.  Very tart.  The tannins are very harsh and bitter.  It’s got a little cabbage and dried tomato skins on the finish.

Score: I initially gave this wine an 84+, but as I let it sit for about a half-hour the tannins started to mellow out.  With a little decanting, it shows more like an 86+.  It comes of as a decent table wine (not a term that is often associated with Bordeaux).  It would go really good with spaghetti.  In fact…

A BIG plate of Spaghetti with a HUGE Fork.

While tasting this wine, I become obsessed with spaghetti…

So I hooked myself up.

For the sauce, I sweated some onions in olive oil.  Then I deglazed the pan with a splash of the Chateau Du Seguinier (Why not?).  After the wine steamed off, I threw in a can of diced tomatoes, salt n’ peppa, and some cumin and dried oregano.

When the pasta was ready, I tossed in the sauce, along with some freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese and some basil.

The spaghetti paired nicely with the Chateau Du Seguinier.  It brought out some nice fruit notes in the wine.  Cranberry and raspberry for days.  It was all good.

So my take on “value” Bordeaux is simple.  They are meant to drink young.  They are meant to have with food.  If you spent less than 20 bucks for it, don’t hesitate…

Just pop that bottle, baby.

Stay Rad,


This wine makes me want food… Now!

June 12, 2011

Setting the mood: I have this tempranillo decanting in two huge wine glasses. The candle is for show. It will not be lit.

There are a few advantages to having summers off.  One such advantage is having a ridiculous amount of time to kill.

The other day, I spent almost two hours at the Gilroy BevMo just looking at wine.  Scoping the labels.  Reading the blurbs.  Scouting for deals.

A “deal” is NOT the same as a “sale”.

They are having their 5 cent sale right now.  It’s a scam that will be discussed on another day.

By deal, I’m talking about value.  A Rad wine at an equally Rad (if not Radder) price.  With so much time on my hands, I found that the best deals (on paper) were in the Spain, Chile, and Argentina sections.  I came across hella wines that were highly rated by the Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Not Wilfred Wong!  Again… will discuss on another day) that were in the 10 to 20 dollar range.

From that BevMo adventure, I ended up buying 3 bottles of wine.  Of the bottles, the one that I am the most excited to taste is this bad boy…

The Mas Que Vinos 2007 Ercavio Tempranillo Roble cost me $10.99 and was given a 90+ rating by Robert Parker.  Now, Gary Vaynerchuk would tell me to trust my own palate, but I must say that my palate usually agrees with that of Robert Parker.  For 11 bucks, why not try it?

Now, it’s time to taste…

Mas Que Vinos Ercavio Tempranillo Roble 2007

Those smudges on the label are not supposed to be there. I'm that messy.

Color:  This wine is a DARK ruby.  There is a not quite rusty rose color along the outer edge of the glass.

Nose:  One sniff of this tempranillo filled my mouth with cocoa powder.  You know how you’ll be opening a packet of instant cocoa and a cloud of powder wafts up to your nose?  THAT kind of cocoa powder.  The chalkiness of the nose also reminds me of opening the box for a new bicycle tube.  There is a green component to this wine as well.  Slightly minty.  A little like fresh lettuce from the garden.  There is a deep note of plum.

Taste:  I don’t want this to throw you off.  My first thought in drinking this wine was of a grapefruit.  Imagine that tart citrus component of a grapefruit.  Now take away the mouth-puckering sour aspect.  I guess I’d call it essence of grapefruit.

Now, take that grapefruit and dip it in chocolate.  Delicious!

There is a lingering acidity.  A little lime.  There are some nice soft tannins that tell me this is as good as this wine is going to get.

This wine is a solid, confident, beast…

This wine makes me want food… Now!  I want tacos.  I want burgers.  Bruschetta.  Cheese.  It is extremely versatile.

After my initial taste, I jumped up to raid the fridge.  My initial thought was to grab some cheese.  Since I was thinking about tacos, I grabbed some hard cotija cheese from Mexico (Literally!  I flew down to Mexico just now to get this cheese).

While I was cutting the cheese (Childish joke.  Though not intended… appreciated!)  My mouth began to water with this flavor of caramel and chocolate (Rollos anyone?), so I grabbed some strawberries.

The saltiness of the cotija paired very well with the acidity of the wine.  The strawberries did a great job of stepping up those chocolate notes.

This wine is a solid, food friendly, mo fo.

Considering that this is my first official review for this blog, I had a tough time scoring this wine.  I must tell you that I loved it.  You must also know that I doubt it has the structure to last another two years in the cellar.  All I’m thinking right now, however, is that I want to go buy a whole case right now.  I want to drink this wine with as many different food pairings as I can.  It is THAT good.  But… I’ve had better.  But… It’s only 11 bucks.

I’ve got to tell you, I could not have asked for a better wine to score first for you.  This is THE threshold for me.  I’m giving it 90 points, and I’m telling you that you MUST try this.

Rubbery, synthetic cork. Chocolaty, authentic wine.

Stay Rad,


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