Monday, September 26, 2011

More Thinking Inside The Box

When I posted my last post about boxed wines, I ended by saying I had heard that the Target Wine Cubes were very good and that they were on my list to try.  Well, I finally got around to trying a few of them and I have to say that I agree...they are VERY good.

The first one I tried was my favorite variety, Sauvignon Blanc.  My Target sells the 3 liter cubes for $17.99 though they occasionally go on sale for $15.99.  Even at the regular price, that comes out to about $4.50 per bottle of wine which is an excellent deal.  Anyway, I chilled the cube a bit and they poured my first glass. The first thing I noticed was the tropical nose. I thought to myself that it was very similar to my favorite Sauvignon Blanc, Nobilo.  I took my first sip and I was in love. The wine was light and crisp with a hint of tropical fruit and citrus...much like Nobilo.  I had already found a slightly cheaper wine that was very similar to Nobilo but the cube was an even better deal so it has now become my go-to Sauv Blanc.

The second variety I tried was the Pinot Grigio.  It had the aroma of apricots and the taste was light, slightly acidic and a bit dry.  The apricot carried over to the taste and I also detected a hint of honey.  Like the Sauv Blanc, I thought it was very good. It goes very well with chicken and light seafood dishes.

Now, my husband is more of a red wine drinker so he asked me to buy one of the red varieties. Consumer Reports had just rated some bargain red blends and had recommended Target's Cabernet/Shiraz blend.  Well, unfortunately, once I got to Target, I couldn't remember which one they had recommended so I grabbed the Vintner's Red Blend.  I really liked was light and quite fruity with hints of dark berries.  My husband however, is not a fan so next time I'll get the Cab/Shiraz blend.  I think the Target Wine Cubes have found a permanent place in my fridge and wine rack....good wine for a great price.  You can't beat that!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Super Affordable From South Africa

My interest in South African wines started when Zane Lamprey went there on Three Sheets.  He sampled some of Fairview’s Goats Do Roam wines and I went right out to find them myself.  Since then, I have tried all three (?) varieties and I LOVE them.  I’ve tried some of Fairview’s other wines and I have liked them all.  So when I needed a new topic, I though why not expand on affordable South African wines?

I found that our local Total Wine had plenty of affordable South African wines to choose from.  My first choice was Star Tree Nouveau Rouge.  It was a 2009 vintage and cost $9.99.  It was a medium bodied red with hints of raisin and nuts.  It was well balanced and a bit different, which I liked.  I drank it alone but I think it would pair well with cheese and red meat.

My second choice was a 2010 Spier Chenin Blanc that was a steal at $7.99.  I noticed the color at first since it had a bit of a greenish hue.  It had the aroma of tropical fruit which carried over to the taste.  I also detected a bit of kiwi.  It had a nice acidity.  I sampled this alone as well but Spier recommends pairing it with goat cheese, sushi, pasta and pizza.  Total Wine had several Spier varieties in stock and almost all of them fit my budget criteria so I plan on picking some of them up to try.

My third and last choice was a 2010 Chardonnay by Excelsior that also cost $9.99.  Like the Chenin Blanc, this wine also had a bit of a green hue.  It had aromas of peach and orange and had the taste of green apples.  It was a bit creamy and nicely fruity with a medium body.  I really enjoyed this one and I am guessing the fact that it is only lightly oaked had something to do with it.  Recommended pairings are grilled seafood and lightly spiced Thai chicken dishes.  I LOVE Thai food so that is a pairing I definitely want to try.

In my opinion, South Africa has a plethora of good, affordable wines to offer and I plan to stay on the lookout for more!