Flinty. Tart. Sharp. Qualities you wouldn’t look for in a mate but ones that Lisa gravitates towards in a white wine. As summer winds down and oyster season ramps up, we found a $20 Sancerre with a crisp, tart taste to add to your raw bar. Domaine des Hauts de Maimbray 2014 is bright and lively, with grapefruit or lemon undertones. A classic Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley, the wine is dry without producing cotton mouth; tart without prompting a pucker; and drinkable on its own or with shellfish. Lisa once pledged allegiance to Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, NZ, with the wet granite, limestone notes. Sancerre has moved to the top of the heap, offering the citrus profile of NZ wine without the stone aftertaste.
Celebrating American independence from England with French Rose at Eastern Standard. Chateau Pigoudet Grenache/Cinsault “Premiere” from Provence for Lisa and Dom. Roumagnac Negrette and Syrah “Authentique” from Fronton (SW France.)
￼The Authentique? Lots of flinty limestone with gentle nectarine/ strawberry notes. Medium salmon color with a fresh nose. Terrific with grilled cheese or any other cheese of your choice. Fronton is an AOC unto itself in Southwest France, within the Aquitaine region. At $11 a glass and about that for a bottle in the stores, it’s a bargain.
And the Premiere? Lighter salmon color, honeydew and granite on the nose. Dry as a bone, lemongrass and mineral flavors.
And now, the Fizz. If you’ve been tasked with bringing the bubbly to a cookout, birthday or pool party and want to keep the price under $15 a bottle, here are three inexpensive options. We recommend two of them and our clear favorite [and the cheapest] is Anna Codorniu Reserva Blanc de Blancs Brut Cava.
Happy summer everyone!
Our journey into red plonk territory wasn’t nearly as successful as the whites were. Of the four wines we tasted, just one was worth buying– the Brigaldara Valpolicella Classico 2014. But even there, the vote was a split decision. Gary liked it enough to buy again, Lisa would drink it again if placed directly in front of her.
Can anyone out there in VinoDuo land recommend an under $12 red worth drinking? Drop us a line and we’ll do a taste test and report back.
Summer and wine go together like, well, winter and wine, or spring and wine. Wine is a treat for all seasons. But in the summer, even serious $30+ a bottle wine lovers can warm up to a $10 Catalan Garnaxta or an $8 Portuguese Vinho Verde. it’s warm. It’s sunny. And after 2 glasses, even $8 plonk tastes yummy. What’s plonk? Often derided as “cheap wine” and “crappy wine,” VinoDuo likes to think of plonk as cheap wine that’s worth trying and savoring. To help readers separate the junk from the jewels, we’ve tested 10 wines—and recommend five—that sell for $12 or less and are readily available at your local wine shop.
And for our readers under 50, Plonk Plonk Fizz Fizz is a play on a famous Alka-Seltzer commercial: Plop Plop Fizz Fizz, Oh What a Relief It Is. We can’t guarantee you’ll like this plonk, but after a long day at work, we do guarantee relief in every glass.
First Up, Plonk [whites]
We tasted three wines and recommend two–Le Jardin d’Etoile Sauvignon Blanc 2015 and Ponte Vinho Verde ‘Branco’ 2016.
VinoDuo is all about drinking good wine that doesn’t cost a lot of money (vs. bad wine that doesn’t cost a lot of money.) Love Eric Asimov’s column but stay tuned for VinoDuo’s Plonk Plonk Fizz Fizz series on $10 wine you can drink with pleasure and serve with pride.