The Wine Diaries-Budget or Splurge

the wine diaries-budget or splurge
image; crushculdesac

Do you Loooove wine, like I do?  Yes? Then pretty please, leave a wine recommendation in the comments section?  Sharing is caring, especially when we’re talking about something as wonderful as WINE!

Trivia Q: Who said...”There has been this snobbery around wine that makes it seem exclusive.  It’s not true.  It isn’t, because wine is for everybody and it’s fantastic stuff.”   Find out at the end of the post…

I was inspired to write this post when I saw a $65 bottle of wine in the store.  I wondered, is it really worth it?  Can we actually tell the difference between a $25 bottle and a $65 bottle?  I’m not sure my palette is that sophisticated.  I know my wallet isn’t.

One of the annoying things in life is setting and maintaining a budget.  Do you agree?   During a divorce it’s crucial.  Just when everything is getting split in two (including yourself, some days) your disposable income feels like it’s getting split into a million pieces resulting in more coins and less bills.   What do we do when our disposable income goes down?  We might have to switch from Louis Vuitton to No Name handbags but drink wine out of box? No way!  I think that is inherently wrong, even during divorce.

My apologies if you just love your wine box however I will challenge you to try some of the least expensive wines I recommend and compare to your beloved box ‘o wine.  You will be surprised at the quality of wine you can actually get for cheap.  I’m not cheap…the wine is.  But much tastier than anything from a plastic bag in a cardboard box.  Promise.

One of my ‘go to’ whites is a South African Sauvignon Blanc, Two Oceans.  Never mind that if you have too much those two oceans will be crashing between your ears in the morning…like here; Don’t let this happen to you…

 girls night
Girls’ Night kereoke

In all fairness this was a girls’ night where the wine bottle becomes the microphone for impromptu kereoke. I think I was singing an ABBA song.  Does it matter?

For $10.99 a bottle, Two Oceans is pretty smooth with just the right amount of fruit.  Sometimes I crave something a little more substantial and full bodied in which case I drink Lindeman’s Bin 65 Chardonnay.  At only $11.99 a bottle, it’s reasonably buttery.  Pinot Grigio is one white grape that doesn’t translate into cheap.   If you want to enjoy this grape you’ll have to spend a little more to get a decent tasting bottle and p.s. no one does Pinot Grigio like the Italians.  Try Italy’s Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio for $18-20 a bottle.

My ‘go to’ red is a Chilean Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon.  It just went up in price to $14.99 a bottle.  It was 12.00 a bottle for a long time and very smooth and tasty.  You can sip a glass or two with simple cheese and crackers and it’s not too heavy.  I also like a Shiraz and Australia’s Yellow Label is quite nice.  Pinot Noir is a lighter red which is great for sipping without food.  Chianti is a red you can find for reasonable price and true to form, great with pasta.  This is the wine pig in the house;

wine pig small

With these recommendations and if you’re drinking 2 bottles per week you’ll be spending $24/week as opposed to say, $30 at $60/week.  For the monthly stash you’re looking at $96 vs. $240.  See how fast that expensive taste adds up?

In spite of our budget, life does call for a more pricey bottle on occasion.  When I go to a friend’s for dinner and they’re cooking a nice meal for me, I like to bring something a little better than my ‘go to’ bottles.  B.C.’s  Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay is very nice at $20/bottle.  California’s J Lohr Shiraz is quite decadent at $22/bottle.

Wine and music go together nicely, no?  What happens when your favorite musician  gets involved in wine making?  Dreaming Tree Vineyards is one such winemaker …  How a song is like wine…

Want more?  This clip is more about the wine making…check out the beautiful property of Dreaming Tree Vineyards…their wines are reasonably priced as well…


Dave Matthews said…””There has been this snobbery around wine that makes it seem exclusive.  It’s not true.  It isn’t, because wine is for everybody and it’s fantastic stuff.”

Yes, Dave pitches me a strike again.  I’ve crushed on him since Under the Table and Dreaming and now, he makes wine….what’s a girl to do?

Turns out there are lots of nice wines for every budget, even a divorce budget.  The trick is finding reasonably priced  bottles that are still worthy of your palette.  Try some of my recommendations and I am definitely going to try yours.  Who needs a $65 bottle to say we’re drinking nice wine? Not us and not Dave.

Are you a Pinner?  Me too.  Let’s Pin together!  Check out my VINO board

I need some recommendations from you, my friends.  What’s your favorite ‘go to’ red or white?

Leave a comment, I LOVE ’em!

Before you go,  my blogging friend Mike Vogler of Past My Curfew is having a giveaway on his site this week!  Hop over to check out his fun and entertaining blog and leave a comment for a chance to win $200!

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9 Replies to “The Wine Diaries-Budget or Splurge”

  1. That picture of you laughing at kereoke made me smile, Lisa! I grew up in the California Central Valley surrounded by some of the best wine people in the state (Lodi). It was always friend’s parents or friends of friends. It wasn’t until a few years later I met my bio mom at Harrah’s Steak House. She was very involved gourmet cook and wine taster. She paired a Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc with a Filet Mignon for me. They were literally insanely, outrageously perfect!! I rarely ever drink wine anymore but I do like my whites and blushes. You are spot on that you do NOT have to spend a lot of money to get a very good tasting, quality wine. I’m still smiling about that picture of you LOL 🙂

    1. Fume Blanc and filet mignon… delicious. Your mom sounds like a superb wine taster! California is so beautiful!! I wanted to post some of the other girls from that night but they would probably kill me. Thanks, Mike.

  2. Couldn’t resist popping in here when your She Writes link showed up in my email, yes it was the W word. I don’t have a super sophisticated palette, but through my in-laws have been treated to some great wines and I know what I like. I found a great little red wine at Trader Joe’s–Monte Ducay, Reserva 2008–for under $10. Cheers!

  3. Wine is an adventure. At least that’s what I’ve always thought. So many grapes. So many styles. So many countries to visit–even if it’s only through the liquid in your glass.So when one of my favorite addictions–er, on-line retailers– Garagiste up in Seattle offered a three-pack of Slovenian whites to try, I jumped at the opportunity. The three-pack cost around $45, which meant there was a $15 investment per bottle for a Riesling, a Chardonnay, and a Sauvignon Blanc. Recently, I opened up the Sauvignon Blanc and was extremely pleased at my first foray into Slovenian wine.You might not think “Slovenia” and “Sauvignon Blanc” in the same breath, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do so. Most parts of the globe have a history of wine-making, and that includes central Europe. I had some amazing Merlot when I visited Prague, and have enjoyed some wonderful Romanian wine here on the blog, and one of my all-time-favorite wines from Trader Joe’s comes from Hungary . As for Slovenia, they have a venerable viticultural tradition that goes back to pre-Roman times ( check this site for more information ). So don’t be afraid to try wine from regions you may be unfamiliar with, as they often represent very good value, as in this very good QPR example.2008 Marof Sauvignon Blanc ( purchased in a three-pack from Garagiste; available in the market for around $11 ) This terrific Sauvignon Blanc had tart lemon pith, gooseberry, and lemongrass aromas and flavors. It was very clean and precise, without being overly herbaceous. A nice balance of fruit and acidity made it an ideal partner for food, and you can’t complain about the price! It would be excellent with all kinds of dishes, from salads, to fish, to roasted chicken with lemon. We had it with a soup made with ancient grains and vegetables , and the lively acidity was a lovely counterpoint to the earthiness of the kamut and lentils, and picked out the bright tarragon herbal notes.

    1. I believe Pinot Grigio is an Italian grape while Gris is French. Essentially they’re very similar in taste. Wine conniseurs, feel free to correct me 🙂

  4. I too love J Lohr Shiraz. These days, I’m drinking rose wines, which I’m sure makes wine experts cringe. As much as I love reds, they aren’t loving me right now. Too much tannin they say. Most of my favourite wines are from the Naramata Bench. Every time I open I bottle, I get transported. Nothin’ better.

    Thanks so much for popping by my blog and saying Hi Lisa! You’ve got a lovely webite/bog(s). Right on!

    1. Thanks, Sue. Thank you for stopping by! Yes, isn’t the Naramata Bench beautiful? I just can’t get enough of that wine country here in B.C. I love Reds as well but am prone to a headaches from it, too. 🙂

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