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Old 01-05-2009, 03:08 PM   #11
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If money is an object, (and it usually is ) I suggest an amazing Chilean Cabernet blend called Escudo Rojo. It is made by the same people who make the Grand Cru Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux.

This wine costs somewhere between $10.99 and $14.99, depending upon the market. In my neck of the woods it costs $10.99, and truthfully, it drinks like it costs around $40.

Yes, you read that right.

Personally, I don't care for Chateauneuf-du-Pape with steak unless it is grilled outdoors, but I'd really rather have a Morellino di Scansano (Italian Sangiovese from the Maremma region of Tuscany) even with a grilled steak.

I'm saying that while also telling you that C-du-P is one of my all-time favorite wines. just not with chicken or steak. Besides, you are NEVER going to find a C-du-P for under $30 any more. They have been "discovered!"
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:10 PM   #12
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Good call on the California Zin, especially now that I see there is baked sweet potato and brown sugar involved - most are so hot with alcohol that they require food and your menu suggests they might go well. The zin will stand up to the sugar.

chefnaterock, we're talking retail here as most people don't have access to wholesale prices.

In my experience there are plenty of great wines for under $20. You just have to talk to the retail person who is familiar with their inventory. But yes, around $20 - $25 you see a "personality change" in the wine that makes you sit up and take notice! Worth the money to get that kind of smile on your face!
Right on, retail. Obviously, that can even vary quite a bit by market and the type of operation (overhead mostly). I live in Ohio and the state minimum mark up from wh. to rt. is 50% (e.g. 10 wh = 15 min rt.)

I think you can still find some awesome wines under the $25 range, and sometimes they are better than the $35+ bottles. Burgundies for example, or Italian wines (particularly a portfolio called "Small Vineyards"). I was at a tasting with these guys recently, it blew my mind. $12-20 bottles that drink like $30-50. Welcome to Small Vineyards
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:13 PM   #13
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I'd go with a good California Red Zinfandel. To me, nothing goes better with grilled or smoked meats. Some of the best reasonably priced Zins come from Renwood, Ridge and Ravenwood. I was a huge fan of Ravenswood a few years ago but less so in recent years, primarily because their cheap Vintner's Blend wines have damaged their reputation as a quality vintner. However, they still have some great, reasonably priced zins, particularly from their Russian River vineyards.

I usually try to stay around $20-$25 a bottle for my wines. It's hard to find good wine for much less than that, and there are so many good wines in the $20-$25 range that it's hard for me to justify paying more. Try the 2006 Ridge Three Valleys or the 2004 Renwood Old Vine, both priced at or under $20 from Saratoga Wine Exchange. The 2004 Ravenswood Belloni Russian River, under $25, is also a very good buy.
Finca, if you're willing to get out of California, you can find all manner of excellent wines (robust reds are what I'm talking now) from Spain, Portugal, the South of France, Chile, and Argentina that cost under $20 and are fine drinking. It is easy, imho to find a good wine for $20 and up. I enjoy the sport of finding excellent wines for under that price. How else can one afford to have wine with dinner every day?
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:19 PM   #14
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Finca, if you're willing to get out of California, you can find all manner of excellent wines (robust reds are what I'm talking now) from Spain, Portugal, the South of France, Chile, and Argentina that cost under $20 and are fine drinking. It is easy, imho to find a good wine for $20 and up. I enjoy the sport of finding excellent wines for under that price. How else can one afford to have wine with dinner every day?
Amen to that. And it seems that that good under $20 bottles are especially available from across the pond. In Cali., I've noticed I usually get what I pay for, and if I'm not willing to fork over $50+ for a Burgess Library or Darioush (sp?), I am not going to be too happy. I think there is a little to much manipulation (reverse osmosis, micro-ox) taking place in the cellar in Cali., not enough terrior, but that is probably another conversation.
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:16 PM   #15
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HEY... I thought this was veggie week for you???
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:17 PM   #16
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Not this week, we are still planning it out, probably for next week!
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:25 PM   #17
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Ok... just trying to keep you on track!!! LOL!
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:30 PM   #18
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LOL thanks for the reminder. I had to collect the recipes we wanted to try over the weekend, then plan out each meal, then collect the ingredients we would need. I figured it would be the middle of the week by the time I had it all figured out, so we just planned out some easy meals based around the sales going on for this week.
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:21 PM   #19
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Amen to that. And it seems that that good under $20 bottles are especially available from across the pond. In Cali., I've noticed I usually get what I pay for
I had a 2005 Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon Winemaker's Blend Napa/Sonoma County that I thought was quite good and paid $17 bucks, if you care to try it
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:25 PM   #20
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I had a 2005 Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon Winemaker's Blend Napa/Sonoma County that I thought was quite good and paid $17 bucks, if you care to try it
I think I will, I'll have to see which of my purveyors carries it. An under $20 Cal I like is Rutherford Ranch Zinfandel.
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