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Category Archives: $10 wine

Cheap wine matters, says VinePair web power index

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VinePairThe Wine Curmudgeon has made the VinePair wine web power index again, which measures the most influential wine sites on the Internet. This is always good to see, because it means my message is getting across: Wine is fun, it doesn’t have to be complicated, and anyone can enjoy it.

The irony about all this? That Google started taking an intense dislike to the blog about 15 months ago, and it only got worse when I changed platforms last fall. How this happened is a mystery, since I’m doing the same thing I’ve done for the past seven years. But Google, for whatever reason, rates the Wine Curmudgeon as less trustworthy than it did in April 2013 and is less likely to recommend the site when someone searches for cheap wine news, reviews, and the like.

Which means the site has an influence beyond Google, and I have everyone who visits here to thank for that. We’re going to get this cheap wine thing done, regardless of the obstacles in our way, whether the Winestream Media or a $50 billion company that controls two-thirds of the search activity in the U.S.

Wine of the week: Bogle Sauvignon Blanc 2012

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Bogle Sauvignon BlancThe Wine Curmudgeon has finally found something wrong with the Bogle sauvignon blanc ($10, purchased, 13.5%). It doesn’t have a screwcap, and it comes in an old-fashioned, heavy bottle. Otherwise, it’s pretty much what a great $10 wine should be:

 • More quality than its $10 price. Classic California sauvignon blanc — grassiness, crisp, and with an almost tropical finish.

• Widely available. My biggest frustration, when I find great cheap wine, is that it’s not for sale in enough places so I can write about it. That’s rarely the case with Bogle, which makes more than 1 million cases annually. It’s in grocery stores (I bought this at Whole Foods, believe it or not), independents, and chain retailers.

• It doesn’t try to be something that it isn’t. This is a problem with wine regardless of price, in which consumers think they’re buying one thing and often get something else, fooled by back label nonsense or a too-cute front label. It’s telling that the three comments I found on CellarTracker (the blog’s unofficial wine inventory web app) for this vintage all said the same thing, even though each comment had a different score with it. Which, again, tells us what we need to know about scores.

Serve this chilled, with or without food, and know that wherever you are in the U.S., you’ll be able to buy a bottle of wine that won’t make you wish you had bought something else.

Memorial Day and rose 2014

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Memorial Day and rose

One can never have too many roses.

The annual Memorial Day and rose post is one of the Wine Curmudgeon’s favorites, a post that has appeared every year since I started writing the blog. And why not? Rose is more popular than ever before (for which I will take some small credit), and it’s the quintessential great cheap wine: tasty and food friendly. It’s almost impossible to find a badly made $10 rose.

The blog’s rose primer discusses styles, why rose is dry, and how it gets its pink color. The blog’s rose category offers more suggestions, and the following will get you started for this year’s Memorial Day and rose extravaganza:

Bodegas Palacio Rioja Milflores 2013 ($11, purchased, 13.5%): Quality Spanish rose that overcomes goofy bottle hype — extolling the “fruit and flower-filled fields of Rioja” — to offer excellent value. Crisp and aromatic, with some cranberry fruit and even a little orange on the finish.

Penya Côtes Catalanes Rose 2012 ($9, purchased, 13.5%): One more in a long succession of solid, winning roses from the south of France, this from the Roussillion and made with mostly grenache. Look for some strawberry fruit, but also a stony finish.

Pedroncelli Dry Rosé of Zinfandel 2013 ($12, sample,13.2%): Another quality effort from Pedroncelli, with lots of juicy red fruit. Not as crisp as other roses or as it has been in the past, and made more in the style of the old Toad Hollow. Which is quite a compliment, actually.

Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2013 ($10, sample, 12.8%): This South African rose is another example of terrific $10 rose. It seems to have lots more strawberry fruit this year, though it’s still dry. But I’m guessing that much of that fruit will become more integrated in the wine as it ages in the bottle.

More about Memorial Day and rose:
Memorial Day and rose 2013
Memorial Day and rose 2012
Wine of the week: Alliance Loire La Clotiere Rose 2012
Wine of the week: Chateau de Campuget Rose 2012

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