Here ye! Here ye! A new feature is happening on the blog! We will now regularly post quick reviews of some great wine finds under $10! I know a lot of people think that great wine can’t be found in an affordable price range, but I beg to differ. There are so many affordable options out there, that your palate (and your wallet) will thank you for checking them out. My number one tip for finding great wines under $10 is to look at grape growing regions outside the US and to start exploring new varietals that may be unfamiliar to you. I would start looking at your local Trader Joe’s or BevMo because they tend to carry a lot of lesser known, foreign wines at great price points.
The first wine of this new featured column on Mixed and Mashed is WELL BELOW the $10 limit and is perfect for your Labor Day BBQ. Introducing the 2014 Panilonco Carménère Reserva! This Chilean wine from the Colchagua Valley is a fantastic steal at $3.99 (at least it was at my local Trader Joe’s). Perfect for grilled meats and burgers, you have to grab a bottle or two of this easy drinking wine if you are hosting a big group.
The Panilonco Carménère Reserva is soft on the palate and has a velvety mouth-feel with very little tannic astringency. The color is a deep, dark, ruby red. It explodes with juicy, dark cherry and plum notes on the palate and has just a hint of earth and spice on the finish. Now, would I recommend serving this wine to someone you are trying to impress? The answer is no; however, I would not be the least bit embarrassed to serve this at a large BBQ or party. The Panilonco is a very food friendly wine that can also easily be consumed on its own – plus the ridiculously affordable price point makes this one easy to buy in bulk if you are serving a crowd. Heck, even if you end up hating it, you can turn it into an amazing sangria and not even blink an eye – it only cost you 4 bucks!