Tag Archives: cheap wine

Wine of the week: Domaine du Tariquet Classic 2014


Domaine du Tariquet ClassicWhat’s left to say about the Domaine du Tariquet Classic, the Gascon white blend that may be the greatest cheap wine in the world? How about that it tastes even more complex this year?

I know, I know. Hard to believe for a $10 wine made in southwestern France with colombard and ugni blanc (plus sauvignon blanc and gros manseng this year), none of which are on the Winestream Media’s hit parade. But there it is. This vintage of the Domaine du Tariquet Classic ($10, purchased, 10.5%) has the usual white grapiness and a hint of citrus (less than the last couple of years), but it’s also practically savory on the back. This makes the wine more subtle, something it has never really been before. That a $10 wine made with such ordinary grapes can have such a significant vintage difference speaks to how amazing the Tariquet is.

How much do consumers appreciate this wine? There was a huge floor stack at the Dallas retailer where I bought six bottles a couple of weeks ago, and when I went back the next week, the stack was half the size. So, yes, highly recommended and a permanent member of the $10 Hall of Fame.

Chill this and drink on its own or with almost any weeknight dinner (or weekend dinner, because it’s that well made and your guests will be impressed with your good taste). One note: Give it a couple of minutes after you open the screwcap for the wine to breathe and for the flavors to come together.

More about Domaine du Tariquet:
Wine of the week: Domaine Tariquet Classic 2013 (the sonnet review)
Wine of the week: Domaine Tariquet Classic 2011
Wine of the week: Domaine Tariquet Rose

Winebits 402: Bogle, Ben Kingsley, marijuana


ben kingsleyThe best get bigger: Bogle’s $10 wines have been in the Hall of Fame since I started doing it, and it’s a pleasure to see that the Wine Curmudgeon isn’t the only one who appreciates the brand’s efforts to maintain quality and value. Bogle expects to sell some 2.5 million cases of wine this year, which could push it into ranks of the 10 biggest U.S. producers. The best news about all this? “Regardless of what’s going on with the economy, people are always looking for strong value, and that’s at the core of what we’ve done,” says the company’s national sales manager, Sam Bon. “For the price category below us, things are difficult, and for the price point just above us, things are going very well. We plan to maintain our price points.” Take that, premiumization.

Money doesn’t help: Wine-Searcher.com interviewed Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley (“Gandhi”), who can afford to drink wine that that rest of us can only dream about. So what did he tell the interviewer? “The first thing your readers must understand is that I’m not a wine expert. I’m fascinated by wine but it always struck me as a very complex subject. Any tips you can share would be gratefully received.” Congratulations, wine business. You not only confuse those of us who spend $10 a bottle, but those who drop thousands on a bottle, like Kingsley. I wonder: Should I send him a copy of the cheap wine book?.

Weed with that wine? What happens when you add marijuana to wine, infusing the latter with the former? That’s the question Vinepair attempts to answer, and if you don’t mind more than a few Cheech and Chong jokes, it’s a reasonably interesting piece. We learn, for example, that grass probably isn’t the worst additive for wine, though there isn’t a comparison made with polyvinyl-polypyrrolidone, which is currently legal to add and has something to do with adhesives.

Labor Day wine 2015

Labor Day wine

Bring on the wine for some Labor Day porch sitting.

Four wines to enjoy for Labor Day weekend, as well as the Wine Curmudgeon’s annual appearance at the Kerrville Fall Music Festival to talk about Texas wine (and to hear live music in a most amazing setting) and my more than annual reminder: If your state makes wine, it’s about time to try it, or to buy another bottle if you’ve found one you like. Because drinking local matters more than ever.

Labor Day wines should be lighter, since the weather is warmer; refreshing, since you’re likely to enjoy them outdoors at a picnic or barbecue; and food friendly, because you’re probably going to drink them with a holiday dinner or lunch:

López de Haro Rosado 2014 ($10, purchased, 12.5%): I bought this wine at an iffy retailer where most of the rose was overpriced or of questionable quality, and it didn’t disappoint. In other words, always trust in Spain. Look for red fruit, an undercurrent of minerality, and $10 worth of value.

Garafoli Guelfo Verde 2013 ($10, purchased, 11.5%): This Italian white is fizzy — or frizzante, as the Italians call it. Hence, it comes with a soft drink bottle cap closure. Slightly sweet, but pleasantly so, with some lemon fruit. Serve chilled.

Famillie Perrin Côtes du Rhône Villages 2012 ($12, purchased, 13.5%): French red blend with grenache, syrah, and mouvedre Solid, varietally correct Cotes du Rhone with more black fruit than i expected, some earthiness, and black pepper. Very food friendly.

Trivento Chardonnay Amado Sur 2014 ($15, sample, 13.5%): This Argentine white blend is surprisingly crisp for a wine that is 70 percent chardonnay, but somehow has more pinot grigio qualities than either chardonnay or viognier, the third grape in the blend. Having said that, well done, mostly a value, and quite food friendly.

For more on Labor Day wine:
Labor Day wine 2014 
Labor Day wine 2013
Labor Day wine 2012
Wine terms: Porch wine

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