Web Accidental Wine

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday Wines - Blog Edition

Before the Holidays last year, I started sending out recommendations of red and white wines under $20.00. In honor of the new blog, I'm going to revise that tradition. From now on, though, I'm going to recommend four wines, not just two. Red and white under and over $20.00. And now a little economy of phrase (That means I'm going to shut up and go right to the wine recommendations).

White under $20

2005 Babich Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough ($12.99)
If you love unoaked white wine, New Zealand is the place for you. Babich shows why. Light to medium bodied, this wine glistens with passion fruit, pink grapefruit and gooseberry. There's a steely element behind all that fruit and it's tied off with a pretty, silvery ribbon of acidity. I'm not the only person who likes this one - it's on the 2005 Wine Spectator top 100 list.

Red under $20

2002 Cline Oakley Five Reds California ($10.99)
Let's face it - California just doesn't make many value priced reds. Five Reds will change your mind about that. Made from Zinfandel, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan and Grenache, this wine is $20.00 juice for 11 dollars. It's stuffed full of black cherries and black raspberries, but it's not one-dimensional. Swirl it around in the glass and notes of geranium and sweet, blonde tobacco will develop too. Medium body and silky texture round out the wine.

White over $20

2004 Frank Family Chardonnay Napa Valley ($26.99)
If you love that big, buttery, oaky Chardonnay from Napa, then this isn't your wine. But if you want to understand just how complex the Chardonnay grape can be, try the Frank Family. It has everything Chardonnay offers - a tower of tropical fruit, racy acidity, a touch of butter and sweet vanilla and honey element from the just right amount of oak. This is what I'd call "California-style Burgundian wine" (I can hear the French swearing from here). Try this if you're used to typical Cali Chard.

Who dares, wins.

Red over $20

2003 Mettler Family Vineyards Petite Sirah Lodi
If you haven't tried Petite Sirah, it's time. Petite is technically neither petite nor Sirah. It's originally a Northern Rhone grape, but like Zinfandel (which is from Croatia), it's a grape we can thank immigrants for. What's the wine like, you ask? Big. Bold. Black currant and blackberry fruit here. Lots of tannins but smooth as a billiard ball. Lurking below the deep fruit is a roasted coffee-raw cocoa-black topsoil earthiness. Did I mention this is big?

Have fun this weekend!



At 6:43 PM, May 19, 2006, Blogger PinoVino said...

Mark thanks for the heads up on the CA wines in your recommended list. I have been a big fan of Cline for several years and since they are quite close we often drive over on Sunday and buy a bottle and sit out back to enjoy while lazing away the day. I will check out the napa and lodi producers as well. As you know I am a big fan of Petite Sirah!

At 10:30 PM, May 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd enjoy your pics by dry red, fruity red, dessert, etc sometime too.

At 8:04 PM, May 25, 2006, Anonymous Lauren Carter said...

My Dearest Mark,

I can't vouch for the taste of the wines yet (I'll tell them to Pat) but I like your style. It's very you, very accessable, and very fun to read. Keep up the wonderful work and I'll visit soon. PS - let me know what you think of my reviews. I want your honest and unbiased opinion. -Lauren

At 9:38 AM, May 27, 2006, Anonymous Alan Foley said...


We are ready to try some of your suggestions as we have enjoyed your earlier suggestions. On a technical note could you put a "print" text link and have it reverse the text to black on white background. Whilst easier to read white on black eats toner when you print it; an alternative is to use white toner on black paper and Office Depot's all out.


At 9:49 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger Mark said...

Alan -

I'm working on revamping the formatting of the site. Until I've got that all figured out, it might be simpler to copy and paste to your word processor if you'd like to print. I promise, though, that I'm working on a new format!

Thanks for the suggestions.



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