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Below are the 11 most recent journal entries recorded in wines under $20's LiveJournal:

Sunday, October 28th, 2007
9:15 pm
Wine Witch!
Hello all. I just joined, having searched around LJ for communities that are wine-enthusiastic and at the same time, not wine snobbish. Looks like I came to the right place!

I also wanted--if that's okay--to make my first post about a wine blog I helped my stepmother to start called Wine Witch.

It, like this community, is devoted to inexpensive but good quality wines. I hope you all check it out and if you have time, let me know what you think.

Take care and I hope to see more posts here soon.

<3 Bubbles
Sunday, August 26th, 2007
1:31 pm
Favorite Qualities in Northeastern Wines?
My brother and I are throwing around the possibility of starting our own winery/vineyard, probably in New England, and we're consolidating recipes for use in that region. The question always comes up, though, as to what qualities complement the terroir of that region the best. Do you emphasize the cold cleanliness of many of the whites by the use of steel barrels? Do you leave that Riesling on the vine a little longer to grab it just after the honeyed tones start to fade, or do you keep it in the height of its honey stage and temper that with lowering the sugar more? Do you give up on the heat-borne richness of a Cab Sav and instead focus on finding the perfect amount (and type) of oaking?

This is where you come in. I'm surveying as many people as I can to try to get (educated) people-on-the-street's opinions on their favorite qualities in Northeastern wines. What is it about that New York Riesling you drank that made it special? What about that Pennsylvania Chardonnay? If you've had a wine from the Northeast that stood out to you in a good way, whether it be in mouthfeel, color, a certain interesting flavor, a certain combination of flavors, or whatever, I'd appreciate your feedback as to *how* it stood out and how it made you feel about the wine as a whole. My brother and I would like to build on these inherent strengths, rather than attempt to play on the strengths of California or France and obviously come up painfully short.

Any advice is welcome in this regard. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Current Mood: hopeful
Thursday, July 19th, 2007
12:24 am
Hello all. I've just recently begun to appreciate the art of wine drinking and am now beginning the unusually delightful education process - much more fun than math or Spanish. But I'm still very much a novice, and am currently seeking some specific recommendations for a wine to bring to (impress) a date this weekend. :) That's where you folks come in - can you help me?

Here's the context. We're staying in and are making a basil-themed meal - his plant needs harvesting. On the menu is

- homemade pesto over gnocchi
- a basil/eggplant/onion/lemon juice cold salad
- (no meat dish; we are vegetarians)
- ...and we'll want to be drinking while we're cooking too, you know, for nerves.

I generally prefer red wines, but it's hot in the city these days and this is a pretty summery meal, so white it is. I'm thinking a pinot gris or chardonnay would be good, but from what I've learned a good chardonnay is hard to come by (I've never gone looking for one before). Can you tell me your favorites of either of those varieties, or, better yet, ones that you think would specifically compliment our very basily meal? (I'm looking to spend around $20-30.)

Thank you in advance for any suggestions!
Saturday, February 24th, 2007
1:46 pm
i had a 2004 carmenere last night that was pretty good. carmenere is a chilean grape. the bottle was just $10, by concha y toro.
Thursday, February 8th, 2007
10:44 pm
2003 Goundrey Shiraz
While out at a bar/restaurant in my neighborhood in philly (the place is called Devil's Tavern at around 19th and chestnut), my girlfriend and I had a Shiraz (2003) that we really enjoyed by an Australian winemaker called Goundrey. At the time, she wrote the name down and put it in her purse. I forgot the maker, but remembered that the bottle had sheep on the label. About a week later I was in the checkout line of the wine & spirits shop (about a block away from the bar) and I saw that the same stuff was on sale for $7.99 (from 12.99). I noticed the label in the checkout line. Anyways, I'm bad with descriptions, but the wine itself was structured well, it was peppery and was balanced with vanilla, and blackberry. It was not as dry or full bodied as I typically am into, but it was definitely good, even after getting it again a week later. Check it out.
9:55 pm
BV Coastal Estates 2005 pinot noir
A few weeks ago I only had about $30 left in my wallet/bank account until the next paycheck and really wanted to buy some wine. My friend Melanie and I went to the liquor store and found Beaulieu Vineyards (BV) 2005 Coastal Estates Pinot Noir for about $6.99 a bottle.

I brought it to a gathering where we stuffed gift bags and VIP bags for our roller derby game in January. A friend had a glass or so, but I ended up drinking most of the bottle before I'd realized what happened. (Mad stuffing powers, girl talk, etc.) It was very drinkable!

A few weeks later when I had a couple more dollars to my name I bought another bottle and brought it to a friend's house for dinner. We shared the bottle amongst three of us, and wished there was more.

I don't know how to describe the flavors since we drank it very quickly and didn't savor it much. It may be the wine equivalent of one of those fruity girly drinks you can't taste the alcohol in and before you know it, you fall out of your chair. I doubt it would classify as a spicy/peppery treat or a "fruit bomb" or any of those fancier terms. We didn't smell the nose or let it swirl around our mouths for a few minutes before swallowing. But if you're looking for a mellow, easily drinkable wine with a little interesting character to it for less than $7 per bottle, this might be your girl. The website describes the texture as velvety, with hints of spicy cherry and cocoa -- that sounds about right. It went down easy and had a nice aftertaste.
Wednesday, January 31st, 2007
9:28 pm
Beringer 2003 Shiraz
So I was going to try one of Chateau St. Jean's less expensive bottles, but I just couldn't be persuaded with the selection at my local store.
I was thinking of getting adventurous with some italian wines, but found myself browsing Zinfandels.  (I'm still amused by people who are surprised that there are just "Zinfandels," which are red...obviously people are used to Sutter Home's popularized "white zinfandels.")

Beringer Founders' Estate (California)
2003 - b/c I'm still on that 2003 Californian kick.
$9.99/ 750 mL bottle

Very heavy on the tongue, as I usually say when there isn't a clean finish.  For me, a good wine has a variety of depth, but without leaving your mouth completely coated in acidity.  However, this isn't as "heavy" as some wines...
Overall:  very enjoyable, no regrets, and I'm not disappointed for branching out.  My family has always been a fan of Beringer Merlots (prior to their winery visitations, and increasing their acquaintance with various other Californian vinyards), and they still will occasionally purchase a bottle. 

I think it's more of a dining wine, rather than a just "sit back and sip," kinda wine.  I could see this going quite well with steak, or more acidic, intense vegetarian dishes - perhaps something along a Mediterranean/ oriental influence of flavors.
Saturday, January 27th, 2007
10:11 pm
First posting.
First off, I dig the community concept. 
Probably one of the easiest staples as far as inexpensive wine goes:  Yellow Tail Shiraz.  I believe it's $7.99/ 750 mL bottle.
YellowTail also has a reliable Pinot Grigio.

I'm a bit confused actually.  For my birthday I received a bottle of Ravenswood cabernet sauvignon that was really good.  ($10.99-12.99/ 750 mL bottle - currently on sale in PA stores.)  I must have received a 2003 bottle, b/c the 2004 bottle isn't as impressive.  Or maybe it wasn't the Vinters Blend....Sonoma wines seem to be more reliable, but also a lot more pricey...

I will say that on average, 2003 seemed to be one heck of a year for Californian wines. 

My next try will be Chateau St. Jean - my parents have visited this winery and continue to order crates of their wine yearly.  While their Cinq Cépages are way out of the price range as discussed here, it is one of *the* best wines I've ever had.  I'm curious as to how their lesser expensive wines hold up.

I'll be sure to post my opinion later. 

Thursday, January 25th, 2007
5:03 pm
Lindemans 2006 Bin 99 Pinot Noir
First review: Tuesday, 1/23/07
Second review: Wednesday 1/24/07
For $6.99 a bottle this seemed worth trying.
Note: I have enjoyed Lindeman's Shiraz on several occasions so was slightly hopeful about this one.

My first taste on Tuesday seemed undrinkable, thin, mostly flavorless, slightly bitter/acidic and uninteresting. Especially compared to the recent cheap excursions I'd had with BV 2005 Pinot Noir and Yellowtail Cabernet-Merlot (or the blue bottle) - two in the same price range which were definitely much more drinkable to my tastes. But who wants to throw out wine? I couldn't even make it through a whole glass, and my tastes are not very complex. I put down the wine in favor of Coke Zero if that tells you anything. I decided since I hadn't properly aerated the bottle and you never know, one day your taste buds might be more into one thing. I'd let the bottle sit opened a few hrs the next day and try it again.

My second taste last night ... I still couldn't find any nutty or oaky or fruity flavors that pinot noir has. The wine was less bitter and a little more drinkable but still kind of bland, soft, and slightly acidic. It tasted like the kind of wine which would give you heartburn after 2 or 3 glasses. I didn't finish the whole glass. I still haven't thrown out the bottle but I'm thinking the rest will be used for cooking or salad dressing, something along those lines. Who knows... Maybe it just needs a few more months to develop into something tastier.

If you've tried this wine and liked it, I'd be interested in hearing what you tried it with, or what you thought. Maybe my taste buds are totally off this week. Also, it seems like reviews for 2003-2005 on this wine are good but maybe 2006 was not a good year.
5:02 pm
$6.66 Pinot Grigio
So, last Halloween (2006) I was in NJ with a friend shopping for boooooze. The place had a display of "Vampire Vodka" and other themed spirits. I saw the $6.66 bottle of pinot grigio with a giant V on it and had to have it! hahaha

I cracked it open when I was having a little get together for New Years and someone wanted a white wine. Served chilled to the porper temperature (not too cold). It was very tasty and very drinkable. nothing too special or earth shaking, but i will definitely get a bottle or 2 next halloween. it is also a great "conversation" wine due to the "gothic" nature of it. ;)

Style: Pinot Grigio
Year: 2004
Price: $6.66 for 750ml

Produced and bottled in the VS Viile Banatului region of Transylvania. Inported by Tri-Vin Imports, Inc. Mount Vernon, NY USA.


Current Mood: thirsty
Wednesday, January 24th, 2007
4:18 pm
i was looking for info on inexpensive wine and thought this might be a fun place to start a community journal on budget wines. Basically wines $10 and under are the ideal... but as there are a lot of great wines in the $12-$20 range, and sometimes we may be able to splurge or items go on sale for a few dollars and drop them into our affordable ranges, i figured I'd open it up to a slightly higher amount.

When you rate a wine, try to include the year and price (approx.) even if it's the sale price. You don't have to be scientific with the flavors and "the nose"... e.g. blackberry with hints of oak. Or you can if you want and have that experience. The main thing is how drinkable is the wine? Could you have more than one glass in a sitting? Would you drink it again? What did you eat with it, if anything? How did it go with your food? Would you share it with guests or bring it to a party? Compare it to another wine if you can't discern the flavors (e.g. it reminds me of xxxxx but much richer, or like Yyyyy but with a slightly more acidic flavor).

If you want to use the tags for price and flavors, as well as yr/varietal/brands, that is awesome.
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