Tag Archives: Value Wines

Thanksgiving Wine Picks

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, from the sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie to the turkey and wine, I am lucky enough to sit back and enjoy it all.  However, for most shoppers, it’s a hectic scramble through the aisles of Nino’s as they grab all of the appropriate turkey day complements. Well, here are my picks for the big day to help ease your wine worries.  Whether you’re on a budget or looking to splurge, Nino’s has the wine to suit your needs.

Drink on a dime – These wines are easy drinking crowd pleasers that won’t bust your budget!

Castle Rock Pinot Noir California Cuvee 2009 – Regularly $12.99 Now $8.99

What an overachiever! Even at $12.99, this is a great value.  Cooked plum, forest floor, and ripe cranberry with a nice dry finish.

PKNT Pinot Noir Itata Valley, Chile 2009 – $6.99

A very nice little Pinot Noir that’s fruity, with black cherry and spice notes.

Conde De Alicante Rosé Alicante, Spain – $6.99

Bright strawberry and raspberry fruit with a clean, dry finish.

Columbia Crest Riesling Two Vines Columbia Valley, Washington – $7.99

Sweet, with zippy acidity. Pear, honey and apricot round out this clean finishing Riesling.

For The Savvy Sipper – Good everyday values for the more sophisticated palates.


Georges Deboeuf Morgon Beaujolais, France 2009$11.99

There has been a big buzz around the 2009 Beaujolais and this little gem did not let me down! Strawberry and Bing cherry in the nose, with lovely floral notes.  Black currant and blackberry, with a chocolaty richness and supple mid-palate.  Not overly dry, but has a little tannic grip that leaves you wanting more.

Maipe Rosé of Malbec Mendoza, Argentina 2010 – $10.99

Last February I was able to go to a trade tasting in Virginia, where I tried nearly 200 wines. Out of the lot, the most memorable was this little Rosé from Argentina.  The color is bright Magenta, the nose is full of bright strawberry and pomegranate fruit, and the taste is a burst of watermelon and strawberry. There’s enough fruit to keep the White Zin drinker happy and enough complexity and acidity for everyone else.

Helfrich Pinot Gris Alsace, France 2007$11.99

Fresh and clean with cooked pear, apple, and just a touch of grapefruit. This wine is not too sweet, just lightly juicy to complement an assortment of flavorful dishes.

Valley of the Moon Pinot Blanc Sonoma County, California 2008 – $16.99

Ripe juicy pear with citrus notes. Round and fleshy. Nice acidity on the finish makes this a great palate cleanser.

Serious Snobbery – If you have guests coming over that love to lament about the do’s and don’ts of wine, here are my picks to impress the self proclaimed sommelier in your life.

Apolloni Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, Oregon 2006 – $32.99

Soft and complex, this wine integrates toasty oak with black cherry and spice. A ripe, round, and stylistically classic Oregon Pinot Noir. Aerate or open at least an hour before dinner.

Celani Family Vineyards Rosé Napa Valley, California 2009 – $17.99

Crisp and clean, the acidity in this rose will cut through the heavy potatoes and creamy dishes. Bright strawberry and pomegranate flavors.

Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France 2007 – $69.99

Vieux Telegraphe is a favorite of Wine Spectator, Robert Parker, and yours truly. The 2007 is highly sought after for its ripe complexity and cellaring ability. However, with a little aeration this will make your cranberries sing and your Turkey dance! Herbs, ground pepper, and stoney in the nose, the palate is ripe with cooked cranberry, fig, currant, and a touch of licorice on the finish.

Champalou Vouvray, France 2007 – $19.99

Made from 100% Chenin Blanc grapes, this wine expresses ripe stone fruits like peaches and apricot intertwined with notes of white flowers. The creamy, fruity mid-palate will complement golden raisin in stuffing, cooked apples, and the turkey.

Now of course, we have many, many more wines to choose from and everyone’s tastes are different.  Think of this as a starting point.  If one of these wines intrigued you but you want something a little different, Nino’s wine team will be here to help find the perfect bottle for your Thanksgiving feast!


– Jennifer Laurie

Value Wines: Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

Acacia Chardonnay  2008

<PRE>Acacia Vineyard Chardonnay Carneros 07</PRE>
Those of you who chat about wine with me know that I tend to like a crisp refreshing white wine as opposed to a rich, silky, bold white.  A couple of nights ago I tried the 2008 Acacia Chardonnay and wow.  Talk about a game changer! Upon first sip I was not thrilled, the wine seemed a little too acidic and over blown.  However, as the bottle opened up, the flavors of crème Brule, ripe mango, and buttery, rich toffee unveiled themselves. Very silky in the mid-palate, the finish still had nice acidity that would complement a
rich lobster or scallop dish.
To be honest, this is not your everyday Chardonnay.  It’s the classic California style that so many in recent years have shied away from – myself included.  The Acacia, however, made me remember how very versatile chardonnay can be, and has me craving for my next butter ball chard!

Reg. $24.99
Now $21.99

Acacia Pinot Noir 2007

<PRE>Acacia Vineyard Pinot Noir Carneros 07</PRE>

I had high hopes for this bottle after I tasted the chardonnay.  Like the chardonnay, this wine changed dramatically after being allowed to breathe for a bit.  When first opened, it was nothing special.  Light cherry and strawberry fruit, good acidity.  So, hoping to coax a bit more out of it, I let the wine sit and took sips approximately every 15 minutes. Boy, did this bottle bloom!  Toasty oak and ripe strawberry jam with touches of earthy forest floor developed.  The acid became more rounded, making this wine great for grilled salmon or a hearty lamb stew.  Remember, if you want to get the most from this gem, give it about an hour to open up.  You won’t be sorry.

Reg. $32.99

Now $21.99

– Jennifer Laurie

Value Wines: Rutherford Ranch Reserve

Rutherford Ranch Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

REG – $59.99

NOW – $29.99

About two weeks ago one of my distributors came to me with a terrific deal.  I could sell a $60 bottle of Rutherford Ranch Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon for $30.  I had never really carried the Rutherford Ranch line before, but I’d always heard good things about the wines and this seemed like a deal that I couldn’t pass up.  I was still a bit skeptical.  I’m well aware of the “California Wine Glut” and have already taken advantage of these types of deals, but the proof is in the pudding right?  To be sure, I had to try the wine.  Later that night I while enjoying a bacon wrapped fillet, I found out that absolutely nothing was wrong with this wine – in fact, it was delicious!  Big, ripe raspberry fruit was the first thing I tasted, and as the wine developed, flavors of chocolate cake rounded out the finish.  The 2 years of French Barrel oak aging are apparent in the rich vanillin nuances and silky tannins. We got in 10 six packs of this “half-off” gem, and they are flying fast!