It's a blog for winelovers. It's a blog for slackers. It's the lazy drinker's reference for cheap, high value wines. You know, the bargain wines you just don't know if you should take a chance on; maybe in the supermarket or drug store. If you want advice on grand cru, well, everyone knows where to get that: get yourself one of those slick, expensive mags. This is a blog, man; prices and spellings are the best we can do, but, don't hold us to 'em. Photos are under copyright.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Gigondas was the home of wine making before the time of Jesus. In fact, according to Wikipedia, the name comes from a Latin term meaning a place for Roman soldiers to stop at for a good time. Vacqueyras is a commune between Gigondas and the village of Sablet. These happy spots lie in Southeastern France, in the Southern Rhone Valley. They are known for their intense red wines. The days are HOT and the nights cool and the weather and rocky soil push the Grenache grape to an intense ripeness. The wines that result are related to the intense and much prized Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the wine of the Avignon Popes.

Trader Joe's has managed to corral a winery (Du Peloux, 2007,) from these ancient yet little known (in the New World) AOC's to produce some rather lovely juice for their clientele at a lovely little price. The Wineslacker was leery. He has tried Trader Joe's proprietary labels many times and has been not so impressed, mostly. He has to say, though, that these two newcomers are a very, very nice surprise. Bold, intense but balanced, they are as advertised, fine examples of the wines of the region. Priced at $11.99 and $13.99, they will draw the admiration of the Summer grilling crowd now, and carry your reputation as a wine snob far into the Winter months. Look in the French wine section, the bottles have their crests moulded into the glass

And while you're contemplating barbecue reds, here's another winner from the Trader. He's got a nifty little Italian job that's been sliding under the 'slacker's radar for a while. At $5.99 a bottle, you cannot fail to pat your sweet self on the back if you can stash away a case of this La Dolce Vino. It's called "Trentatre", or 33, Rosso (Red) 2007, and, according to the label, it's 1/3 Cabernet, 1/3 Merlot, and 1/3 Montepulciano. We don't know much more than this, but, it appears that you'll only find it at T.J.'s and, for the price, it is eminently quaffable. Plus, the label is black on black; tre chic. Jump on it, this one's been out for a while. We saw it reviewed in the SFweekly, from back in April.


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