Today marks the end of my 14-part Kiwi Wineau series reviewing wines under $10. While I have not entirely exhausted the subject, I have examined it pretty thoroughly for the past seven months.
So it's time to wrap up. Don't worry I will continue to review cocktails and wines of all prices. Oh, the research just never stops, my friends... So picked from all the reviews - the Top Ten!
They are in order of the most recently reviewed and prices are at time of review. I have tried to pick a range of varietals but many others were very drinkable too. For example, all the sparklings were excellent for the price. I've listed specifically where to buy in the East Bay but I'm sure many are easily purchasable in your area too.
Press here for Youtube videos of our tastings.
1. Martin Fierro Malbec 2008, Argentina ($8) from Vintage Berkeley.
Smells and tastes of cherries and the holidays, cinnamon. Very peppery and deep. Best with fatty piece of ribeye steak. Kevin: "Needs to be opened up an hour before drinking"
2. Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Marlborough, NZ ($9.99) from BevMo and large supermarkets
Lots of lime, hint of passion fruit, great with a range of food including Thai or as friend Reece says: "very meaty BBQ."
3. Woodbridge Chardonnay 2009, Lodi, California ($7.99) from most supermarkets and drug stores
Smells and tastes of pear pie as promised. Easy drinking with a touch of butter and fruit. Kevin: "You won't wow your guest with this, but it's perfectly fine."
4. Glory Days Viognier 2008, Lodi, California ($8.99) from Mulberry's, Piedmont
Nostalgic label has old photos of baseball scenes. Full, rich and complex. Apples with a sharp aftertaste. My husband expanding on the baseball theme: "Not as rich as an expensive Viognier but gets on you faster than you'd expect and has some good movement."
5. Barokes Mix-Pak, Australia ($9.99 for pack of four cans) from Broadway Wines, Oakland and College Avenue Wines, Berkeley
Shiraz: Rich red depth. Smell reminds you of when you were a kid picking blackberries off the side of the road. My friend Sue: "Cheeky little number."
6. Delmas Blanquette de Limoux Cuvee Berlene 2007, France, ($9.99) from Wine Mine, Oakland
Offers hints of green apple and lemon with a slight dryness and a creamy nuttiness at the finish. Bubbles small and persistent and very festive. Me: "These people have been making bubbles for ages!"
7. Rosso, Tintero, Italy, ($8.95) from Kermit Lynch, Berkeley
Light and bright with red berry juiciness, like an old-style chianti. Very quaffable. Says friend Ross: "Would go well with pizza and spaghetti."
8. Schmitt Sohne Relax Riesling, Germany ($7.99) from BevMo
Complexity and fullness, redolent of flowers and fruit. Slight acidity balanced by a sweet lingering finish. Me: "Pretty blue bottle."
9. Red Diamond Merlot, 2007, Washington ($8.99) from Berkeley Bowl
Dark and wintry wine; juicy plums and blackberries. Tad minty with caramel. Friend David: "Berrydelicious!"
10. Casal Garcia Vinho Verdo, Rose, Portugal ($7) from Wine Mine
Invigorating spritz of bubbles in the background, bit of a bite at the end. Friend Kenny: "Good enough to sit on the patio and just suck down by itself."
So it's Goodnight Kiwi Wineau!