Best reasonably-priced wine/food matches?

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Bitser

Senior Cook
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
379
Location
Woods Landing, Wyoming
Lived in New Zealand, c.2002-3, and have returned several times since. I'm keen on the wines, which I think are among the best on earth. But perhaps the best known wine, Marlborough sauvignon blanc, often has a grapefruit whang, acidic and slightly bitter, that puts me off.

Just tasted a wine that lacks the aggressive citrus punch, and highlights aromatic tropical fruit with a soft, mouthfilling richness. Saw it at the local wine shop— a new Kiwi wine— and gave it go. Glad I did.

ibVnWns.png


I'll be back in town Monday and will order a case. Our previous case-lot sauv blanc has been Mud House, which is excellent. But I like this better. It's a steal at $13-16, considering the quality. NZ sauv blanc isn't a wine to cellar and age: the younger, the better.
 

Bitser

Senior Cook
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
379
Location
Woods Landing, Wyoming
A delicious red that compares well to Beaujolais crus, from an outstanding California winery, for ten bucks?

The best Beaujolais cru wines —Morgon, Fleurie, and Moulin-à-Vent— pair beautifully with fresh bread, cheese, and charcuterie. They also complement roasted or grilled chicken. At $20 per bottle and upwards.

So I was amazed to find a comparable red from J. Lohr, a classy outfit with upmarket reds, selling for $10-12 a bottle. The grape, similar to gamay noir, is valdiguié, genetically tagged to southwest France. Grown in in the cool windy Arroyo Seco valley, it yields an exceptional wine.

8OUlo6Y.jpg


Best served at cellar temperature (55°F) or slightly chilled, it opens with dark berry and pomegranate flavors and a peppery bite. Slightly acid and mouthfilling, it's a great quaffing wine for summer evenings. The finish is clean with a hint of spice.

Like most gamay-based wines, it doesn't age well and should be enjoyed in 2-3 years from the vintage date.

If your local shop doesn't have it, pester them. It's worth the effort.
 
Last edited:

Bitser

Senior Cook
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
379
Location
Woods Landing, Wyoming
Looking over the cellar ld me to consider our changing preferences for wine.

We pretty much quit eating beef a couple years ago, so I don't buy much cabernet sauvignon with big tannins that cut through fat. Likewise, Bordeaux-style red blends.

We've also mostly given up lamb (alas!) with the Rhône reds, syrah and grenache, that go so well with it.

We have some lovely wines in the cellar that need to be opened, so a few lapses in our regimen are in order.

With more veg dishes and salads on the menu, I'm buying more white varietals and blends, with wines from Airlie in Oregon topping the list. Harken barrel-fermented California chardonnay is a mainstay with omelets and quiche.

Also, more fish from a community-supported fishery share that brings us a frozen package of Alaska seafood each month. I've been stocking pinot noir for the salmon and various whites, especially New Zealand sauvignon blanc and Torrontes from Argentina, with pinot gris and pinot blanc.

We drink more rosé, with Pedroncelli dry rosé of zinfandel a favorite.

Have you changed your choice of wine lately?
 

Bitser

Senior Cook
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
379
Location
Woods Landing, Wyoming
Forgot to mention that our most opened red is zinfandel or primitivo, which goes with the tomatoes I grow in greenhouse and the resulting sauces. Likewise, Italian red blends and Barbera D'Alba.

I've also bought more Beaujolais crus— Morgon, Fleurie, Moulin-à-Vent–
which go well with roast chicken, along with similar California wines such as the J. Lohr Valdiguié mentioned above.
 

Bitser

Senior Cook
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
379
Location
Woods Landing, Wyoming
Been drawing down the cellar, so no new wines to gab about— you're welcome to post about any you like.

My toolkit for wine is quite simple. I saw this sort of corkscrew in restaurants, and got several, with this heavy metal one my favorite.

Qf6YKx0.jpg


Friends have expensive, high-tech rabbit thingies that take up lots of drawer space and seem quite awkward to operate. At least they get dropped pretty often. I tried those two-blade things that break the seal and rotate the cork out, but they shave off bits of cork that end up in the glass.

I finally settled on a simple foil cutter and a likewise simple but quite efficient screw.

A4BMIpn.jpg


It takes a stout grip to hold the bottle and work the screw, but the cork comes out intact: no woodsy bits. Then you reverse the rotation and disengage the cork (speaking of which, that's a beaut cork: look at the color.)
 

Cooking Goddess

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Jul 21, 2009
Messages
15,813
Location
Body in MA ~ Heart in OH
Our toolbox is similar. The waiter's corkscrew is getting a bit hard for my arthritic fingers, but I think it adds a little zing when using - like a pro. My favorite is like your second one - I think it might be an OXO branded one.

And we have a travel corkscrew in the SUV's glovebox, because you never know when you might pick up wine and cheese on the road.

travel-corkscrew.jpg
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
7,157
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
First, I brine my body with an oaky Chardonnay for about 3 days.

Salt & pepper all over.

Then baste every 20 min. with the best Merot, (for this you will need several bottles especially if continuously filling the neck cavity which really imparts an incredible feeling taste.
 

Bitser

Senior Cook
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
379
Location
Woods Landing, Wyoming
Tomorrow (17 November) is National Zinfandel Day. One of those sub-postal events, but I'm only too glad to celebrate my favourite red. Just ordered a half-case of Zin, from a source that's been reliable and inexpensive. $16 per bottle.


gxK4JNh.jpg
 

karadekoolaid

Head Chef
Joined
Jul 16, 2006
Messages
1,317
Location
Caracas
Well I just landed in Ohio, 4 days ago, and I´m going to try every wine in sight.
I´ve been accustomed to Chilean/Argentinian wines; and I can assure you, they have some excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Carmenere, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, plus a few other varieties which are pretty rare.
I´ve got no idea what a Zinfandel tastes like, so that may be a first choice. I cook a lot of spicy food, so a Syrah (or Shiraz) often works well; however, a while back I was given an Aussie Shiraz - it was horrible.
So I´ll be in touch in the next few weeks, just to give you my thoughts, for what they´re worth! I´m not a wine "expert" by any means, but I do enjoy a good glass of wine with a good meal.
 

Bitser

Senior Cook
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
379
Location
Woods Landing, Wyoming
Never been to South America, alas! The malbec is renowned. I've had some grand cabs (Los Vascos) and red blends (Alamos). If you fancy oysters or seafood try a bottle of dry Torrontes.

Looking forward to your impressions.
 
Last edited:

Silversage

Head Chef
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
1,189
Location
Florida
Thaks for looking in. To celebrate 1000+ views, I'll invite other wine buffs to post reviews of your favorites. The only rules are that the price be $8-20, and the wine be widely available.

Bitser seems to be gone. It's too bad - I enjoyed reading this old thread. It would be nice to see Steve drop in again, too.

I cellar and drink a lot of wine. Most are in the under-20 price range of this thread, but several are WAAAAY outside of it. The problem is that those aren't bottles that you just pop open and knock back on a Friday night. Since my wife doesn't enjoy drier wines, I would have to drink the whole bottle.

What I would like is to have a glass of something special with a meal, then save the rest for another meal. That just doesn't work. A VaccuVin can add a couple days, but you can't keep opened wine long term.

I've seen the Coravin advertised for years, but never bit the bullet. This week I got one for myself. I'm excited - now I can have my cake and eat it too!
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
7,157
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
As much as I love my wines, I'm so sorry I cannot bring any knowledgeable conversation to this thread.

But I do understand your excitement for that Caravin. I had heard about it, or something similar, just not worth the expense for me though.

When I open a bottle I immediately pour half into another bottle sized at 375ml. I have a good ringed rubbered cork. It does keep for several days this way, with the air exposure being limited to the narrow neck. At one time I had several 375ml bottles and often, while bottling, I would use them. Very handy.

I know good wines are to be enjoyed with good friends. Except, as you have said, that is not always possible. It's a shame that more wineries don't use those half bottles.
 
Last edited:

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
28,378
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
Wow, Coravin even has a systemt that lets you keep sparkling wines for up to 4 weeks.

I never heard about Coravin before. Is the argon better for keeping wine fresh than nitrogen? My ex knew someone who had the big nitrogen system for keeping wine from oxidizing, but didn't find it much better than the Vaccuvin, even though his system cost several thousand dollars. I have seen those in some restos and bars.
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom