Monday, February 27, 2012

The Cheap Guys' Wine List - Guest Post

As a public service E and I (and anyone else who wishes to contribute) will begin posting “The Cheap Guys’ Wine List” (CGWL). As background this all started when E (who grew up in Italy) converted me from beer to tasting wine at various gatherings over the past year or so (too many to count).

Now the challenge is: find a good tasting wine that is between $12-18 per bottle. Now we have several good friends (like “big Lou”) who swear by wines that are over $25 and even $50 a bottle. The pricey ones are usually quite good but tend to be too rich for evenings when 3-4 bottles go down like water. And it sort of defeats the purpose of saving at a BYOB! Sometimes we treat ourselves to a $20+ bottle but not often.  There are lots of more economical choices.

Due to E’s heritage we have focussed mainly on Italian wine but once in a while throw in a ringer from the US, Argentina and Australia (yes- even France sneaks in occasionally).
We have several basic rules. First off, we gave up on making statements such as the “nose of the wine gives off hints of raspberry flowers” or.. “I think it has slight hints of apricot, cigars and Reese’s pieces”.  We just drink the stuff and if it tastes good it makes the list. Second, if it has a flowery or strange spicy smell or taste it probably will not get past the first sip.
Just as a note also all of the wines tasted by the CGWL are RED (we leave the whites to the “blond crew”) and most are from the SAQ in Montreal (sometimes we get a sampler from other provinces).There is the odd  “dep” (depanneur) wine- a decent one being Amaretto-  that creeps in to the mix due to our poor “inventory control “ or other emergencies, but for the most part we are reviewing SAQ wines.

So with all that in mind we have already found some good, reliable selections even while we continue to experiment. As we go along we will report upon new findings and also on failures. 

Here are a couple of our recent favourites:
Click on any of the names for more information  

“Il Ducale” Ruffino $18.95

Nero D’Avola Rapitala $14.15

Masi "Passo Doble" (Argentina) $17.05

Canti Barbera D’Asti  2008  $12.35  

Ricossa Barbera d'Asti 2010 $13.95

These are all full-bodied, smooth tasting with no « funny notes » of spices, flowers or other irritating tastes. All good with pasta, pizza and other dishes that normal people eat.
One which we tried and rejected was Moma Umberto Cesari 2010 $16.90. They make Liano- a great Cabernet but Moma we found tasted too much of vanilla and we were put off (we passed it on to the girls).

We continue our quest for great taste and excellent value. It is a difficult job but as they say “someone has to do it” and we enjoy our job!
We know that there are thousands of choices out there so any suggestions to be tried and added to the listing are most welcome. We are fair-but tough to please (NOT!)

Hope You Had A Great Weekend!