Highly Recommended Wines Between $15.49-$26.31

I would like to highlight some of my “Top Wine Picks” in the $15.49 - $26.31 range from around the world as we head into the busy holiday season… I will start with bubbles – as I recommend each and every one of you do the next time you want a good-looking, feel-good beverage!

Fresita (Sku 9010 - $15.49) – This product is for those of us who like strawberries. If you do not like strawberries then please do NOT buy this wine. If you do like strawberries then run straight out and buy this product as fast as you can! You will thank me for it. This Chilean sparkler features real, organic strawberry pulp from Patagonia, and has a certain pleasant sweetness not found in any of the “brut” (dry) style bubblies. At only 8% alcohol this is a nice light treat that can be served as an aperitif or to finish a meal alongside a strawberry based dessert.

Louis Bouillot Perle de Nuit Cremant de Bourgogne (Sku 13583 - $25.37) – This sparkling wine from Burgundy is made in the same method as Champagne – hence the use of the word “Cremant” (a catch-all term used in France to describe any sparkling wine that is made in the “Champagne” method, but does not hail from the Champagne region!). As far as I am concerned this product is the closest thing that NLC carries to real Champagne that is not considered, and thus priced as, real Champagne. Expect crisp green apples, lemon, lime and minerality both on the nose and in the mouth.

Banfi Le Rime Pinot Grigio Toscana IGT (Sku 4016 - $15.49) – Banfi is a major player here in province of Newfoundland and Labrador - one of the largest, and most highly regarded suppliers of Italian wines. This food-friendly, ultra-VALUE wine features a crisp acidity with aromas of white flowers, citrus and slight hints of peach. This wine would be a great way to start any meal, as well as a more than adequate accompaniment to seafood and shellfish appetizers and light dishes featuring chicken or pork.

Dreaming Tree Chardonnay (Sku 12725 - $20.47) – Famous singer Dave Matthews loved wine so much that he invested in a winery. Dreaming Tree is that winery. With the goal of making good value wines, meant to be drunk in their youth, Mr. Matthews and his partner, Steve Reeder, set out to source the best possible grapes that they could find. The Chardonnay used in this bottling hails from both the Monterey and Santa Barbara Counties, and has spent about 9 months in oak barrels. The oak aging provides a spicy backbone to the upfront aromas and flavours of apple pie and cooked pears. Winter or not, spark up the BBQ and serve this wine alongside grilled chicken or halibut steaks.

Trapiche Extravaganza Red (Sku 13851 - $18.99) – This recent addition to the shelves of NLC has been a huge hit since it first hit our fair shores for the recently concluded 2013 Wine Show. Aromatic and supple, this Argentine red features a combination of Syrah, Malbec and Bonarda. A true “New World” style of wine, with lots of fruit-forward , jammy notes, I would recommend this product to any California Zinfandel fan, or to those who like grilled meats that have been slathered in BBQ sauce and/or rich marinades.

Tommasi Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC (Sku 11409 – Regular $24.48. Until Jan.4th, 2014 ONLY $22.48) –  Even before the $2 savings, I already had this wine in mind for this article. It being the holiday season I had wanted to write up an Amarone – a top Italian wine from the Veneto, but one that that would most certainly not fit into the parameters of this piece. A “ripasso”, such as this one by Tommasi, has many of the features of an Amarone – a slightly dried fruit flavour profile, as well as a richer, fuller body and higher alcohol content. This wine has enough power to go great with things like stews, braised red meats and aged cheeses. Enjoy this wine – I know that I will be!

Warre's Otima 10 Yr Old Tawny (Sku 10400 - $26.31 for 500ml) – Warre’s makes great port – there is no doubt about it! This 10 Year Old Tawny is of very good value when compared to similar products by other producers. Expect aromas of dried fruits, like dates, figs, raisins and prunes, as well as flavours of orange peel, apricots, almonds and pecans. Serve this fortified wine after a meal with either aged and/or blue cheeses, and a selection of nuts (I prefer walnuts!). I have read that some people prefer this product chilled as opposed to room temperature, but like so many things wine related that is of personal preference. As a side note, NLC will soon be releasing a Warre’s Otima 20 Year Old Tawny – which will impress even the pickiest of port fans. Stay tuned!  

Banfi Rosa Regale Sparkling DOCG (Sku 6190 - $15.26 for 375ml – with 750ml also available!) – Unfortunately folks if I am the person writing the article, and the article is being written around an event or occasion that features chocolate, then I am more than likely going to mention this product! Here are the details of this wonderful wine to pair with chocolate. First off go for dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate – the higher the percent of cocoa the better! This wine has lovely aromas of crushed strawberries and fresh rose petals. When paired in the mouth together the combination of Rosa Regale and dark chocolate tastes just like a cherry blossom! The low alcohol content (7%) helps put the final touch on a perfect meal without the higher contents of fortified wines. This is in my opinion one of, if not the, best products to go with chocolate that NLC currently sells! Enjoy!

Andrew Facey
Senior Product Knowledge Consultant