Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Value Wines for New Year's Eve

Where did 2021 go? If you are anything like me it probably went too quickly! I think time moves at a different rhythm in post pandemic times.
But, here we are getting ready to celebrate another holiday season, another new year’s eve with masks,  and this time after requesting PCR negative tests from all your guests, it’s time to think about the food and most important the wines.  So, what wines to choose for your holiday party? Believe it or not, I ask myself this question too, something good but not too pricey, so I can buy plenty of bottles for all my guests.  The idea here was to choose some sparkling, whites and reds that will appeal to a large group of people and match with a variety of cold and hot appetizers, without breaking the bank!

So, I decided to allow the many importers, producers and PR companies that have supplied La Wina with samples all through this year to choose for me. I told them “send me wines of your choice below $20 and above all surprise me”. See my selections below, a truly different set of wines, these will be great for all your holiday gatherings and also as gifts too!

Yellow Tail Pure Bright Pinot Grigio 2020, South Australia

For many years, Yellow Tail has been one of the best selling brands in the world, mostly because  besides being very affordable, they provide something Americans truly love, plenty of Australian fruit and flavor. The Pure Bright line provides something else,  it is a low calorie/ low alcohol wine. A category I never dived into, (normally I tend to eat less so I can drink more calories from my favorite wines). Surprisingly vibrant, this light bodied white shows juicy green apple and passion fruit notes and is only $7.99!

Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc 2020, Swartland, South Africa
I have a confession to make, I’m a huge fan of Chenin Blanc, and feel it never gets the attention it truly deserves, always living under the shadow of Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. The Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin is flinty, showing nectarine, pineapple and honey aromas. It is made from estate-grown 60 year old unirrigated vines that grow on granitic soils.  A brief aging on its lees adds complexity to this flavorful white. $17.99

Funckenhausen Chardonnay 2020, Mendoza, Argentina
This wine, it’s a blend of 93% Chardonnay with 7% Sauvignon Blanc, from Mendoza, Argentina.  Cold macerated to secure fruitiness and completely fermented in stainless steel tanks. No malolactic fermentation accentuates the nice acidity already present in the fruit. It’s truly a good value, the bottle comes in 1 liter size, and not your usual 750 cl. This medium + body white yields lively pink grapefruit and yellow pear notes. A touch of lemon peel frames the creamy finish. $14.99

Domaine de Bousquet Brut NV, Mendoza, Argentina
It’s New Year’s after all! And I have to include a sparkling wine to toast 2022. This one is made from organic grapes, estate-grown in the Tupungato valley, Mendoza, Argentina.
It’s a blend of 75% Chardonnay with 25 % Pinot Noir, completely fermented in tanks, using the Charmat method, which is the same method used to make Prosecco. Domaine de Bousquet Brut is a certified vegan bubbly that offers enticing green apple, brioche and citrus (lime) aromas. Its fine, pearly mousse adds energy to the finish. $12.99

Aplanta Red Wine Blend 2019, Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal

Portugal is the source of many good value/ good quality wines and Aplanta is a very good example of this. This juicy and inviting red is a blend of 70% Aragonez, otherwise known as Tempranillo and 30 % Alicante Bouchet. It features a medium body, saturated with blueberry marmalade and black cherry notes. Velvety textured tannins give away to a supple finish. $10.99

Pont de Nyons Cotes du Rhone 2019, France
I love spicy reds like those from the Cotes du Rhone, they have plenty of pizzazz and personality and match with plenty of food!  This plush red is made from 70% Grenache (from vines averaging 60 + years old) combined with 30% elegant Syrah, grown in soils rich in limestone and clay.  It showcases sweet blackberry notes, with black olives and garrigue aromas that build up to a silky finish. $12.99

Salentein Malbec 2020, Mendoza, Argentina
Ooops! I just realized that I ended up recommending too many wines from Argentina, I guess I can’t deny my roots. The truth is I couldn’t finish without including a fine Malbec, after all, this is what my closest friends get for Christmas every year. 

This red is made from 100 % Malbec grown in the Uco Valley, in the eastern slopes of the Andes. It offers ripe plum, black cherry, sweet tobacco and spicy notes from oak, ending in a polished finish. $19.99

Happy New Year, my dear Winos! May you manifest each and every dream in 2022! Cheers, Silvina.

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