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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Parker’

Drink This Weekend Edition: Holiday wines for budgets big or small

Friday, December 16th, 2011

121611_wineHoliday shopping got you frenzied? Make it easy on yourself and complete your gift list with some bottles of vino. It’s not a question of whether wine makes a great present but rather which to select among the myriad reds, whites, rosés and sparklings sitting on the shelves. No time to linger at the wine shop, reading labels and asking store clerks for advice? No worries. Here’s a list of wallet-friendly and budget-buster wines to get you in and out the door – and on to the party.

You can be budget conscious without bringing a bottle of Barefoot or Yellow Tail to a holiday party. Everyone knows those labels. Heck, they’re sold at Walgreens and the Amoco where you fill up. Dare to be different by choosing Thorn Clarke Shotfire Shiraz. Hailing from Australia’s Barossa Valley, this deep red wine smells and tastes of rich dark fruits and spice from the oak. For a made-in-America value option that still pinches your pennies, reach for a bottle of Lodi Zinfandel bearing the Rubus label. The Lodi region in California’s Central Valley is known for old vine Zinfandel. This is a full-bodied, spicy red wine with cheery fruits like raspberry and cherry. The 2008 vintage of the Thorn Clarke and the 2009 Rubus both clock in below $20 and are available at all The Wine and Cheese Place locations.

Looking to impress? Here are a couple of big-buck finds worthy of the splurge. Our highbrow French pick is a Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Reine des Bois by Domaine de la Mordorée. Swirl a glass of this ruby-hued baby, then breathe in the aroma of deep red fruit, especially blackberries. It’s a dense wine, rich with the taste of sweet, dark fruits and licorice. If you are piqued by points, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator all rated the 2009 vintage between 93 and 96 points. The lucky recipient of this $90 wine can drink it now, but it’s also a great bottle for a collector since, as noted by Wine Spectator, it “has the stuffing to unwind nicely in the cellar.” Get it at The Wine and Cheese Place on Forsyth Boulevard.

If you want an Italian expression, look no further than an Amarone by Roccolo Grassi. Amarone is a dry, robust red wine noted for its raisin character because the grapes (primarily Corvina grapes, but also Rondinella and Molinara) are dried over several months. Roccolo Grassi, a small Italian winery, is “known for drying their grapes for a shorter time than many Amarone producers. This gives the wine the power and richness from the drying, but does not allow that raisin quality to overpower the elegance of the wine,” explained a local wine importer. Roccolo Grassi has been turning the heads of wine critics over the last few years, and its 2006 Amarone just landed in The Lou. Grab a $94 bottle at St. Louis Wine Market and Tasting Room before all the in-the-know Amarone drinkers buy it up.

Now kick back, relax and pour yourself a glass. All that holiday shopping is finished.

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