Canadians Talking Tech

8 affordable wines that "bring the thunder"

by Noah Bloom Posted in Wine

This past weekend, I tasted a lot of wine at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. The event was called 25 under $25, which means I was bound to get sloshed by 6 in the afternoon, but more importantly, I could trial lots of reasonably priced wines that I would buy on a daily basis.  Sure you could buy great wines for $100 a bottle, but c’mon, isn’t it more fun finding wines that “bring the thunder” ie. taste great and don’t break the bank. (Thanks Gary Vaynerchuck.)

My criteria for a great wine aren’t based on whether you smell berries or tobacco. Really, enjoying wine isn’t about showing off your “refined” palate. Great wine means it’s not too bitter, too alcoholic tasting, doesn’t taste like dogfood, and has depth. Depth just means you can smell and taste flavours other than the grape. This makes the wine much more memorable and unique. I’d take a wine with a story to tell any day over grape juice.

Here are my favourites, which you can buy at British Columbia liquor stores, and likely elsewhere:

  • d’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2006, Australia, 506931 $24. This winery makes great wines, and the Shiraz are my favourites. Shiraz tastes spicy to me. d’Arenberg also makes the great Stump Jump. They have the signature diagonal red stripe on the label.
  • Castaña Monastrell 2006, Spain, 731620 $12. Nice dark colour, and rich flavours.
  • Evans & Tate Margaret River Shiraz, Australia $20. Another excellent Aussie Shiraz. Reminds me of my first winery tour in Australia years ago.
  • Kettle Valley Winery Pinot Noir, BC 556407 $24. First BC Pinot I really like. Living in Vancouver, there are so many BC wines to discover. I love Pinots. They’re delicate and very deep with flavour. I’m looking forward to finding a lot more great BC wines.
  • Beringer Founders Estate Merlot 2006, US 634255 $20. Big Beringer makes a fine Merlot.
  • Brancott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008, New Zealand 129528 $17. Just like Kim Crawford and Oyster Bay, another great white from the area. Sweet but not overpowering
  • De Bortoli dB Traminer Riesling 2008 Australia 952580. This is a sweeter white, not oaky like lots of Chardonnays. Oaky means tastes like wood. Not my style.

Now get out and find yourself some wines with a story.

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  1. One Response to “8 affordable wines that "bring the thunder"”

  2. By Ariel Helwani on Apr 5, 2009

    Damn,I never thought I would be so interested in wine. Well done.

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