Category Archives: Under $15

Sara Bee Moscato | Sweet Wine at a Sweet Price?

Sara Bee Moscato | Kosher Moscato Wine – Trader Joe’s Wine

Sara Bee Moscato

I have received quite a few e-mails for Kosher wine recommendations lately, so I will make an effort to include a few more Kosher wine reviews when possible. Taking into consideration the surging popularity of Moscato wine at the moment, I thought it might make sense to try out an affordable Kosher Moscato wine option. Meeting both requirements is the Sara Bee Moscato, economically priced at just under $6 in the Trader Joe’s Wine Section.

At 5.5% ABV, I fully expect that the Sara Bee Moscato will fall on the sweeter side of the spectrum (during fermentation, yeasts convert alcohol to sugar, so a higher alcohol rating translates to lower sugar levels). While sweet wines aren’t exactly my cup of tea, my goal is to help readers determine if this is indeed a Moscato Kosher wine bargain or one to avoid altogether.

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Apothic Dark Versus the Popular Apothic Red

Apothic Dark Red Blend | How Does it Compare to the Apothic Red?

apothic dark

My recent review of the immensely popular Apothic Red Blend was met with an interesting response. On one side, many readers reacted positively and remarked that it was one of their favorite inexpensive red blends on the market. On the other hand, several readers commented that the Apothic Red was more of a ‘wine cocktail’ loaded with residual sugar and tainted with wine additives.

While I can’t speak to the issue of wine additives in either the Apothic Red or Apothic Dark wines, I completely agree that the Apothic Red tastes somewhat confected and like a ‘wine cocktail’ to a degree. I wrote that it tasted more like a wine that was made in a laboratory than a vineyard, but that its uncomplicated and approachable sweet, ripe fruit flavors would be quite popular amongst many consumers.

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Apothic Red Blend | Top Red Blends Under $10

Apothic Red Blend Reviewed | Top Red Blends Under $10

Apothic Red

Have you visited the Costco wine section lately? I have, and triumphantly came away with a pretty solid Napa Cabernet under $20. Luckily not much has changed… as their selections continue to focus on value and are strongly oriented towards highly commercial options with a few gems from more boutique producers laced in there. Something else that has remained constant? The prominent positioning and suggestive placement of the Apothic Red Blend.

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Reserve des Cleons Muscadet | Summer Seafood Partner

Reserve des Cleons Muscadet Wine Review | Perfect Partner for Summer Seafood

Muscadet Wine

Muscadet might be tough to pronounce (try Moose-cah-Dey), but if you’re familiar with this popular Loire Valley white then you already know just how easy it is to drink, especially paired with seafood during summertime.

Many of the best Muscadet’s hail from the Sevre et Maine appellation and are aged sur lie, which means on the dead yeast cells. This process adds complexity and lends a certain creaminess to the resulting wine.

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Alamos Malbec Reviewed | Still A Robust Bargain?

Alamos Malbec 2014 Reviewed | Still A Robust Bargain?

Alamos Malbec

First things first… I realize that I’m not bringing you anything groundbreaking or immensely exciting here with an Alamos Malbec review. Its long been a perennial favorite now and is practically the poster child for the Malbec craze. It’s tough not to like its plush, intensely fruited profile and soft, approachable style.

But I hadn’t actually tasted this wine in years and am curious if it’s still a halfway decent bottle for the price. And did I mention how popular it is?

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Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay | Ring in Chardonnay Day!

Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay | Ringing in National Chardonnay Day!

Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay

Kicking off National Chardonnay Day with Wente’s Morning Fog Chardonnay

Today is May 21, 2015 which just so happens to be National Chardonnay Day and I’m celebrating with the Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay. While you might not be able to get out of work for this particular holiday, National Chardonnay Day is a great reason to kick back and enjoy a glass of Chardonnay – should you need an excuse!

Chardonnay is still by far the most popular white varietal by consumption in the Unites States, with over 65 million cases consumed each year. While I often recommend alternative varietals over always going for the obvious Chardonnay choice, I have always been a big fan of well-made, balanced Chardonnay. Plus there’s an interesting story to be told here…

Why Wente? | California’s First Family of Chardonnay

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Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Cabernet | Reviewed

Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2013 | Trader Joe’s Wine

Trader Joe's Platinum Reserve Cabernet

The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve and Platinum Reserve Wines might vary in the type of wine as well as the AVA specific sub-appellation from which they are produced but a few things remain constant: they are often excellent values, routinely over-delivering for the price and the best ones sell out quickly. The program is not unlike Costco’s own private-label Kirkland Signature one.

The Grand Reserve Meritage ($12.99), Grand Reserve Oakville Merlot and the Platinum Reserve Yountville Cabernet ($14.99) have been personal favorites of mine. While the Grand Reserve Meritage seems to be somewhat more readily available, the latter two offerings sold out really quickly.

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Tribunal Wine Review | A Pour to Pass On?

Tribunal Wine Review North Coast Red Blend 2012 | Trader Joe’s Wine

Tribunal Wine

While I was at Trader Joe’s updating my Guide to Trader Joe’s Wine with new additions and updated pricing I decided it was time to pick up a few more bottles to put to the test. When I am there I always make it a point to ask a staff member what they believe the best wine values are and whether or not they have actually had the opportunity to taste them.

Chief amongst those recommendations was today’s subject: The Tribunal Wine North Coast Red Blend 2012. The enthusiastic associate described it as an unusual blend of several varietals resulting in a rich and surprisingly complex wine considering it’s sub $10 price point. Intrigued, I decided to investigate…

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Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc | Don’t Overpay! | Costco Wine

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc | Don’t Overpay! | Costco Wine Review

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc

Kicking off International Sauvignon Blanc Day with Kim Crawford’s Sauvignon Blanc

Well it’s finally Friday and it’s finally warming up after the dreadful Winter we’ve painfully endured here in the Northeast. As if that alone isn’t enough reason to celebrate consider that today, April 24th 2015, also happens to be the 6th annual International Sauvignon Blanc Day! So if your weekend plans didn’t already include some alfresco Sauvignon Blanc sipping, they pretty much have to now, capiche?

How It Came About | International Sauvignon Blanc Day

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Kirkland Signature Rutherford Meritage 2013 Reviewed

Kirkland Signature Rutherford Meritage 2013 | Costco Wine

Kirkland Signature Rutherford Meritage

The Kirkland Signature Rutherford Meritage is one of the most popular offerings in the Kirkland Signature Wine Program, having developed it’s own sort of ‘cult following’. It has almost always over-delivered in a big way complete with Napa flair and real ‘Rutherford dust’ character. It also routinely sells out in a flash. Then you’re waiting another entire year to spot this little gem again, if you’re lucky that is.

The 2011 vintage of the Kirkland Signature Rutherford Meritage was slightly disappointing to me (it was a pretty challenging vintage) and I never even spotted the 2012, but today Costco had the 2013 in stock! While the price has gone up a few dollars (from $10.99 to $13.89), the 2013 vintage was a knockout for Napa Valley and I can’t wait to see if the 2013 Kirkland Signature Rutherford Meritage is as well.

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