I invite you to enjoy my tribute to you – my fraternité of virtual winos. Please reflect on these words in all earnestness. Is there a possibility I may be obfuscating my inability to procure a wine under $10 to review? Certainly. Is there a scintillating bonus for you at the end of this list? Most definitely. Drumroll please….
Top 10 reasons why virtual wine friends are the best friends:
1. Virtual wine friends generally have better breath, and if they don’t, you’ll never know.
2. No broken fingers from wrestling away car keys and silverware.
3. Limited exposure to circular debates over the 100pt system or boorish ramblings about the new vs. old world? Just click elsewhere. They won’t know.
4. They are better houseguests, use less water and don’t frighten the neighbors.
5. You know immediately if they like you.
6. You never need to brush your hair, teeth or cat to impress them.
7. If you ignore them for a few days, they give you the benefit of the doubt whereas real life friends actually guilt you into socializing which may require showering, driving, splitting a bill, blah blah blah.
8. None of those awkward run-ins at the supermarket wine department while carrying a pack of “lady-pillows” and cheese-doodles.
9. Many virtual wine friends reside in different time zones and that means it’s always “wine’o’clock” somewhere (translation: higher statistical probability that someone is drunk, reading your post, liking it, RT it or commenting – hooray!)
10. Open up whatever you want to drink, you don’t have to share!
Thank you for reading my pithy ode of appreciation. As a special bonus for your wild dedication, I leave you with my list of top 10 wines under $10 for the Summer of 2015 (peer below my signature.) I know, I know, what a ridiculously generous and selfless gift. I shouldn’t have. But you’re worth it. Mwah!
TOP 10 WINES UNDER $10 for SUMMER 2015:
1. Espiral Vinho Verde, Portugal $4.49
Case-worthy goodness and a wine that will hold it’s own against wines 3x as expensive. Beep, beep. beep that’s the sound of my truck backing up to the dock – load-er up. Drink this wine anytime but when paired with Indian, Thai or Mexican dishes, it shines. Crisp, refreshing, citrus and green apple. What do you have to lose except one heck of a deal on a great wine for the summer and beyond.
2. Cline Syrah 2013, Sonoma County, CA $9.99
I was blown away by this complex, rich and sophisticated Syrah. How could it be under $10? It tastes like it’s a $30+ bottle of wine! Nose is generously cocoa, smoke with some earth. Perfectly light bodied red for Summer, great fruit, plum, berry and beautifully balanced acids and tannins with a gorgeous vanilla finish. Undeniably case-worthy.
3. Fetzer Gewürztraminer 2013, CA $7-$9
A hands down favorite find for the Summer. This wine was highly recommended from an esteemed wine biz insider, and this hot tip will keep things cool this season. A classic Gerwürz (my nickname because I can’t pronounce the full name properly, the Fetzers call it “Gew”) is sweet, but this is not cloyingly sweet, has the perfect amount of fruit, acid, brightness that finishes dry. Perfect as an aperitif. So much to love, especially at the price.
4. Mark West Pinot Noir, CA $8.99
My favorite red for summer, why? Because it is both rich and refreshing. I call it a miracle wine because I have rarely found a Pinot Noir under 10$ that wasn’t blech and since this wine is delicious, it’s a bonafide miracle. It carries nuances of better Pinots such as dark cherry, touches of spice and cedar with a smooth wet stone finish and a body that is light. Perfect with grilled skirt steak on a bed of lettuce with lime cilantro dressing, or with manchego cheese and Marcona almonds. Your guests who require red will not be disappointed.
5. Gabbiano Promessa Pinot Griogio, IGT delle Venezie, Italy $7.79
Recommended to me by a fancy friend who drinks it everyday, hey no harm in that. She has a driver. Especially perfect to pair with summer dishes like a perfectly chilled shrimp cocktail, Vietnamese spring rolls, and fried chicken. This wine is fruit forward but not sweet. It has a ripe stone fruit and honeysuckle essence and nice body for a light wine. Poured into crystal at a luncheon or Govina’s by the pool, this is a versatile wine!
6. Madame Fleur Rosé, Wholefoods 365 Brand, Vin de Pays d’Oc, Languedoc Roussillon, FR $8-$9
This is my all time favorite value rosé. It tastes as good if not better than some more famous (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) rosés from Provence for a third of the price. Floral strawberry nose with a perfect French rosé profile of light berry, pear and bright acid that finishes with some citrus, grapefruit. I’ve bought this over and over and over again. So will you if you say yes way to rosé this summer.
7. Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc, CA $8.99
Ok, what the heck is going on? A mass market wine that I actually like and pretty much can get anywhere in the country. Yep. Here you go, for those who want it now, I’m certain your local supermarket will be carrying this wine as well, it’s Robert Mondavi and who doesn’t carry Robert Mondavi? For those snobs out there, give it try, it’s dry, had a great balance acid and emotes all the best qualities of a Sauvignon Blanc; light, crisp, fruit but dry. I suggest a roasted Branzihno with ripe tomato salad with some feta cheese with toss of oregano and basil. This wine is the perfect finish to a light meal.
8. Dibon Cava, Catalonia, Spain $7.99
A sparkler for this much money often gives me a head-ache just thinking about it. Ah-ha! Here is a a sparkling Cava that is a must find. Hunt it down. I picked up flavors of apricot, tropical fruit and enjoyed the lively effervescence. This wine is perfect for summer celebrations and special deserts like the Ile Flottante you manage to whip up for all the 29th birthday celebrations. Better buy a case, I see several such occasions in your future.
9. Rare Rosé NV, CA $5.99
I was steered away from this 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Bronze medal winner, by the attendant in the wine department. How could a wine that inexpensive, on the bottom shelf be any good? Ha! I know the Scottos make many other great premium value wines so how could I not take a chance. Not only was this wine worthy of the bronze medal, it was deserving of my gold. Ka-ching! Beautiful bouquet, light body, essence of berry and florals, and under $10. A perfect accompaniment to a late morning brunch of egg white fritata and warm scones with home made strawberry jam. Dreamy.
10. Line 39 Pinot Grigio, CA $9.99
These guys at Line 39 are fantastic and always get it right. This Pinot Grigio is drier than many and although there is ample fruit on the nose, it finishes dry with some fresh cut grass and maybe a hint of honey dew. This wine will put you in an alfresco state of mind. I enjoyed this wine with a gorgeous poached salmon with fresh dill and lemon. This wine cuts through the richness of the fish with a nice bite. Perfecto.