Cardinal Wines and Spirits offers the best wine selection in Chicago, Crystal Lake, Niles, Norridge, and Palatine. Come see for yourself.
Finding Value in the Vineyards
With todays economy we are all looking for ways to save a little money. When it comes to wine the biggest dilemma is how to save that money without sacrificing quality. For us wine lovers these are great times as the consumption of wine keeps increasing so has the amount of wineries. This increases competition which forces these wineries to pay attention to quality while keeping the prices attractive. Toss in the fact that imported wines keep growing and you have more juice than we can drink. As consumers become more knowledgeable about wine, the harder it is for wineries to skimp on quality. Having said all that there is still plenty of wine out there that fails to impress. Following is a just a small list of some of the better value wines we discovered recently.
Pepperwood Grove – Merlot $6
When we tasted this our first thought was, how much? Our next thought was, how much can we get? Loaded with plenty of rich, dark fruit sprinkled with a touch of vanilla on the surprisingly lengthy finish.
La Vielle Ferme – Rhone Red $8
This blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Cinsault has long been one of the best values out of France. Bursting with an abundance of crushed red fruit and a gentle kiss of spice leading to a smooth finish. Pairs well with fish and cheeses.
McManis – Petite Sirah $10
Plenty to get excited about here with all the ripe dark fruit bursting in your mouth revealing notes of Blackberry, cassis, espresso and toasted oak laying the ground work for the big, generous finish. Would pair well with barbequed ribs, steaks and heartier dishes.
Black Ridge – Ridge Red Wine $9
Blends are the hot trend right now as winemakers are able to blend a little of this with a little of that and turn out extremely quaffable juice without charging a lot of scratch. Prime example here as the ripe fruit lays a layer of blackberry, currants and chocolate covered cherries on the palate. A ridiculous value considering what’s stuffed in the bottle.
Tres Picos – Garancha $14
Value comes at every price level and this might be one of the most remarkable values we’ve seen. No lack of fruit as blackberry, red licorice, sweet plum and cherries blossom in the mouth before surrendering to a finish massaged with cracked black pepper and bacon fat. Not heavy on the palate yet big on the flavor. Pairs with – everything!
DeLoach – Chardonnay $10
The problem with cheap chardonnays is they taste manipulated. This shows the perfect balance of ripe tropical fruit and toasted oak. Clean yet rich on the palate, this is one of the best value chards we’ve tasted.
Varichon & Clerc – Blanc de Blanc $12
When it comes to value it doesn’t get more ridiculous than this French Sparkler. A frothy mouthful of pear, tangerine and hazelnut dance effortlessly on the tongue. We tasted this against others 2 and 3 times the cost that didn’t compare. We should be drinking more Champagne and at this price there is no excuse.