Food & Drink

January 24, 2014

Wine 101: California Value Wines For Valentine’s Day

There is nothing wrong with value wine, and I tell my students this all the time; there is an audience for the many styles of wine in the marketplace, if there wasn’t, there would be no such category. As much as I enjoy the higher end wines ($40+) I cannot afford them on a weekly basis, and I believe many of my readers cannot either. So I’ve decided to share some of my recent purchases that I put into a *value wine* category. All of the wines are under $15; depending where you purchase the wine these wines can run lower in price.

If you’re looking for a decent wine for Valentine’s Day and don’t want to break the bank these four California reds just might do the trick. All of them can be found in most retail stores where wine is sold.

The only way you’re going to find out if you like a wine or not is by tasting it. Once you know what you like, i.e., fruit forward, earthy and rustic, tannic etc…you’ll understand tasting notes, and from there you can make a decision based on winemaker or review notes. However, tasting notes are not always accurate, what is sometimes stated on the bottle and what you’re actually tasting are two completely different things. And review notes are equally as confusing because every person and every opinion varies with the wind. Use comments and notes as a guide and make up your own mind as to whether or not you like the wine.

  • Value Wine for Valentine's Value Wine for Valentine's
  • Value Wine for Valentine's Value Wine for Valentine's
  • Value Wine for Valentine's Value Wine for Valentine's
  • Value Wine for Valentine's Value Wine for Valentine's

Hahn Winery Pinot Noir. Mass appeal, what you see is what you get type of wine with cherry, oak, spice and an herbal bite striving for complexity. An easy, straightforward wine, enjoyable at the price point. Pair with an assorted cheese board.

The Crusher produced by Don Sebastiani & Sons. The Crusher is a blend of Petite Sirah, Merlot, Tinta Cao, Touriga Nacional, Souza and Cabernet Sauvignon. Shows off a lot of tart and tangy blueberries on the nose and palate; taste is softened with dark ripe cherries and blackberries, mild oak and classic pepper on the finish. Pair with grilled meats or dark chocolate.

Bogle Winery Old Vine Zinfandel. Crowd pleasing, friendly, approachable wine. Classic fruit style Zin, bursting with berries and cherries, balanced with oak and pepper. Ideal week night wine with or without food.

OZV, Old Zin Vines produced by Oak Ridge Winery. Classic fruit bomb. Even when decanted this wine never gave up its sweet. Solid nuances of milk chocolate, raspberries and jam on the nose and palate. An ideal wine for people who like sweet wine, or serve as a dessert wine.


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