I am not sure how the universe lined up this past week two wine tasting events that I was able to enjoy. One event was in my neighborhood and the other at a friend’s house. For the neighborhood event, the requirement was to bring a favorite bottle of your wine and share a little information about it on a place card that would sit next to your bottle. This past Wednesday night, 36 bottles of wine were opened and we all enjoyed a variety of wines from around the world. Most wines were less than $30 a bottle and honestly, there wasn’t a bad one in the group.
The second wine tasting involved a small group of friends who like wine and have some knowledge of wine. Except for one of my friends, he has a passion for wine and I would wager to say that he could have been a sommelier. The wines we had this night were a little more exclusive, but still, most are available at a local wine store in Sarasota.
I put together a list of wines that a majority of the wine taste testers liked and that were not too expensive. A good bottle of wine and price do not necessarily go hand in hand. Here were the top selections. I am not a wine expert, so my descriptions are very basic.
Bougrier ‘V’ Vouvray: This is a French wine that is great for drinking by the pool on a hot summer day. It does have a little sweetness to it, but not too much. I personally do not like sweet wine, but this one I have purchased several times and it is nice and light. This wine sells for around $25. You can find it at places like Total Wine or a local wine shop.
Kendall Jackson Avant Chardonnay: One of the biggest complaints I hear about Chardonnay wine is that it is too oaky. Most winemakers use oak barrels to age Chardonnay wines. This one is a little different. Kendall Jackson actually mixes this wine with Chardonnay aged in oak barrels and wine fermented in stainless steel tanks. The blending of the two wines gives this bottle a nice, crisp taste with hints of fruit but very light on the oak. This is a great beach day wine, especially when it has sat in a cooler and is nice and chilled. One of my favorite go-to wines. Average price on this wine is $10-$12 depending on where you buy it. I get this one at Publix.
True Myth Cabernet Sauvignon, (Paso Robles Region, Central California): I was first introduced to this wine by the owners of Fine Wine & Tastings on Main in Lakewood Ranch. Some Cabernet wines can be very heavy and dry, True Myth is not. This is a rich wine that is fruity and will go well with a steak or pasta dish. You can buy this at Fine Wine & Tastings on Main, Lakewood Ranch. The price on this one is approximately $22-$24
Ripasso by Zento: This Italian wine is aged for a total of two years before it is released for sale. It is a deep red, juicy wine that will stand up to a heavy dish but not overpower it. This particular vineyard has a great reputation for making good, affordable Italian wines. This wine’s average price is $23.
If you are looking for good wines in the Sarasota area, take the time to check out the local wine shops. You will more than likely get some great advice about affordable wines and contribute to the local economy.
Photos from Shutterstock and Total Wine