Food, Money savers, Uncategorized, wine and drink

Friday Fun Weekend Wine List

And most of these are $6.99 and under.

Thank goodness we have made it to the weekend! After the busyness of juggling kids and their activities, work, and home, it’s so good to be able to slow down and enjoy dinner with friends or even just sit and binge watch Dr. Who. And the perfect complement to the weekend is a good bottle of wine.  Even better: a good, budget-friendly bottle of wine.

I can’t claim to be a wine connoisseur.  I have taken the Napa Valley wine train tour and pretended to be a wine snob.  In truth, it was a fun weekend spent with my favorite couple in the world and I learned a lot about the wine-making process, but it really did nothing to ‘expand my palate’ or help me to ‘appreciate the subtleties of the varietals.’ In practice, if something tastes good, I will drink it. And fortunately, there are many delicious wines at low prices, perfect for host gifts or dinner parties. Or to enjoy while binge-watching your favorite show on Amazon.

These are just some of my favorites:

Some favorite reds: Flirty Bird Red Blend, Paxis Red Blend, Kirkland Signature Malbec

Flirty Bird Red Blend- $3.99, Aldi- I won’t lie, I purchased this because of the label.  Who can resist a string of cute little birds with one colored pink? Fortunately, this red wine from Spain delivered more than just a cute label.  It is a yummy red, with blackberry, plum, spice, and a bit of pepper. It pairs well with hard cheese, and according to the label, red meats. I’m a vegetarian, so I can’t confirm that.

Paxis Red Blend- $5.99, Costco- This one I also purchased because of the label. I was attending a school-related function (off campus, adults only, of course), and the school’s mascot is the Bulldog. Bulldog wine for the Bulldogs, what could fit better? This red table wine produced in Portugal was a hit with the group, and with good reason.  It scored 90 points and is number five top 100 buys according to Wine Enthusiast.  It is described as being a “dark, structured wine,” with “tannins and dark berry fruit.” I just know that it tasted really good with the hummus and pita I had at the dinner.

Kirkland Signature Malbec- $6.99, Costco- This 2015 Argentinian vintage delivers a good Malbec at a very good price point.  I want to say that I had a better Malbec at a fancy Argentinian restaurant in Pasadena, but this one is pretty good.  It delivers a silky blend of ripe berries and floral aromas, with an oak finish. It pairs well with almost any meal. I’ve enjoyed it with pastas, grilled veggies, and of course, by itself.

Honorable mentions:

Winking Owl California wines- $2.99- 3.99, Aldi- I purchased both the Winking Owl Moscato and the Cabernet Sauvignon.  I preferred the Moscato; it was light and fruity, with good balance. The Cabernet was rather weak compared to what I would expect from a Cabernet. It was okay, especially considering the price, but I wouldn’t bring it to a dinner party. I would use either as a base for sangria.

As you may have noticed, my focus has been on red wines.  I have been more drawn to the reds lately, though I used to be more of a white wine person.  The one white I would strongly recommend is A to Z Oregon Riesling. It’s bottle is beautifully embossed with floral vines, and the wine itself is fantastic.  It is bright yet smooth, with flavors of honeysuckle and citrus and floral notes. It pairs well with a variety of dishes. No photo is shown here, as the bottles have been emptied of their delicious contents, and one of my girls took the empty bottles to use as a vase because it’s pretty. I have purchased A to Z at Costco for $8.99 and $10.99, so it is my most expensive recommendation, but well worth the price.

So let’s raise a glass to this coming weekend. Have a fabulous one, wherever it takes you.  Cheers!

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