Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wine: Red Weeknight Drinkers

What's a weeknight drinker? It's a smoother wine that doesn't put a lot of pressure on you to think too hard or even finish the bottle if you're not in the mood. It's the kind of wine that's entirely pleasurable to drink with a simple dinner or while you watch your favorite TV show. (At my house, it's "Survivor" wine to drink during the only show I sit down and watch all week.) Weeknight drinkers are also inexpensive enough that you don't lose sleep over a bottle left for a few days unfinished. You can buy a case of it at a good price and get to know it a little. It's good for one glass or four and OK for casual guests or just for you. It's your own house wine.

Over the winter, my weeknight wine of choice was the Briccotondo Fontanafredda, a moderately priced Italian that hit the big time when it scored 90 pts and showed up at #74 on Wine Spectator's top 100 list. For the money (about $12 a bottle) it was a real treat. But, alas, supplies are running low and I'm ready for a change! Over the past few weeks, I've been ferreting out some reds, roses (spring is almost here!) and whites to buy by the case for weeknight enjoyment. Here's what I've found so far that I would buy again:

St. Francis "RED" 2004: This Sonoma county red table wine fits the bill. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet, Cab Franc, and Zin, it's just what you'd expect from St. Francis. Smooth but not wimpy, spicy but not too "hot" or overpowering. Really nice little drinker for the money. $8.49 @ Costco.

Gotin Bierzo Mencia 2006: Bierzo is the region in northern Spain. Mencia is the grape and this Gotin (which is also the local word for a short pour of wine) is another great candidate for your weeknight cellar. Lots of fruit, smoothness, and texture, this unfiltered wine drinks like a more expensive bottle. (Wine Spectator gives it 87 points) $11.99 @ Kahn's Fine Wines

Chateau De La Cour d'Argent 2005: I trust Parker when it comes to Bordeaux and 2005 was a great year for France in general. This one garnered 87 points from both Advocate and Spectator and a notice as one of the best under $20 Bordeaux this year. This one drinks more like a lighter, smoother cab which makes it a perfect weeknight choice for me, especially for the money. $10.99 @ Costco

Chapoutier Belleruche 2005: Another great buy and real luxury for a weeknight drinker. These wines also make equally good cocktail wines for guests. This wine is the prototypical cotes-du-rhone with good fruit, good acidity, and a smoothness that goes equally well with food or on its own. $8.99 @ Costco


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post! I love trying new wines, but can be overwhelmed (and a bit lost) by the selection. This will be a great reference on my next wine run.

Anonymous said...

wow...thanks braingirl...I am on my way to Costco with your list!!

braingirl said...

Last time I was there, I bought a few other mid-line wines that I'll write up next week. But if you're there, grab the Kim Crawford Chardonnay and the Earthquake Zin if they still have it. (These will be in the $15-21 range.)