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Wine

I love wine.  I love the way it smells, tastes, how versatile it is, and how it it looks after I spill it all over the carpet (ok, maybe not that one, but that most certainly has happened before).

I have a few requirements when it comes to wine:

  • It must be red
  • It must be relatively inexpensive
  • It has to have a good shelf life after being opened

Reds

I started out my wine journey with White Zin (I think KJ and Beringer were my favorites back then).  I felt so grown up!  It wasn’t too long before I graduated to whites: Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Grigio.

I still enjoy whites occasionally, especially when paired well with a meal, but it wasn’t until I started drinking reds that I really started loving wine.

I started drinking Pinot Noir 2 years ago and moved on to drinking mostly Zinfandel, then mostly Cabs.  The only red I don’t consistently love is Merlot.  I’ve had a few good Merlots but a good Merlot seems harder to find than most other reds.

I like my reds slightly chilled.  We keep our house a little lower than 70* year round, so my room-temp wines are slightly chilled by definition.

Relatively Inexpensive

The way I see it, there definitely is a time and a place for super expensive wine:  birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, promotions, etc.  But not for everyday.  I drink wine most nights, and to be honest, I’d rather spend my $$$ on tangible things – shoes, clothes, retirement.

I consider “relatively inexpensive” to be in the $10-$15/bottle range.  One of the wines I love is a bit more, so I don’t drink it quite as often.

“Relatively inexpensive” is going to differ for everyone.  My boss drinks $35 wines each night.  I don’t know that even when (if) I get to his stature in life that I’ll want to spend my money that way.  There are plenty of really good bottles for much less.

Has to have a good open-bottle shelf life

Despite how much I talk about drinking wine on the blog, I usually only have a glass a night, so a bottle lasts me about 3 days.  If a wine is undrinkable after a day of being open, I’ve thrown away a significant portion of the bottle.

Over the years, I’ve come across a few I buy again and again.  I don’t have a classically-trained palate.  I don’t taste things like wet hay, smoke, or tobacco in wine (nor do I think I’d want to).  I simply like easy-going, good wine that pairs well with a meal, with chocolate or cheese, and by itself.

My current all-around favorite:

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Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz

What they say:

The wine displays intense blackberry and cherry with lively black pepper notes. It is full bodied with strong palate presence. It demonstrates soft silkiness and firm tannin backbone. Expressive smoky cedar oak characters compliments a wine with great length of flavor, with complex notes of blackberry and spice.The 2004 Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz owes its complexity to the integration of moderate to warm climate ripe blackberry lusciousness with stylish cool climate black pepper and spice characters. The enticing nature of the generous yet approachable fruit flavors ensure that the wine can be enjoyed by those who choose to drink it now; however it has sufficient depth of flavor and density of structure to evolve further over the next 10 years if cellared carefully.

What I say:

I tend to like wines that are “jammy” – rich and almost (but not) syrupy.  I want a wine that I can feel on my tongue as I drink it.  I like that this Shiraz has spice but doesn’t knock you over with it.  It also pairs well with meals and tastes awesome with chocolate.

**

Reviews:

Red Blends

French Reds

Shiraz/Syrah

Zinfandel

Cabernet Sauvignon

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