Beer is cool as hell – we all know that. But wine is pretty cool too. The ancient Romans didn’t drink it like water for no reason.
Today, however, we’ve put together a collection of great wines (don’t worry, we’re skipping over the cloying Moscatos, boring Chardonnays and grocery store-quality Rosé’s) for your perusal. Let’s focus on a handful of tasty, classy bottles of the good stuff. Shall we?
7. Noble Vines Cabernet Sauvignon (2012)
This Cab smells of dark fruits, fresh herbs and coffee grounds with the taste of blackberries and black cherries along with hints of woodsey oak and the zest of fresh ground black pepper.
From: Lodi, California
ABV: Clocks in at a tidy 14.5%
Best paired with: Lean meats like roasted pork loin, baked chicken or grilled steak.
Suggested retail: $14.99
6. Fontodi Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo (2004)
This is a strong, acidic wine with a powerful taste of Chinese five spices, dark fruit, menthol, licorice and flowers that will best work with a rich, Italian meal.
From: The Chianti region of Italy
Best paired with: Comfort foods, Italian dishes such as pasta Bolognese or veal marsala.
Suggested retail: $69
5. Hogue Riesling Columbia Valley (2011)
The Riesling that emerges from the temperate soil of Washington’s Columbia Valley is known for its trademark summer fruit flavors. This one has the aromas of apricot, peaches, melon and citrus, all drizzled with honey. Tasting notes are a blend of tangerine and apricot with a crisp, mineral-like acidity.
From: Columbia Valley, Washington
ABV: A day-drinking appropriate alcohol content of 11.6%.
Best paired with: Mild grilled fish (such as grouper or halibut), spring rolls, seafood curries.
Suggested retail: $10
4. Gewurztraminer HUGEL (2012)
This is a foodies wine in the truest sense; it goes well with a range of foods of and both mild and strong flavor profiles from all over the world. Dry, but intensely aromatic, this Gewurztraminer smells and tastes of exotic fruits (lychee and passion fruit), and exotic spices (cardamom and saffron), as well as jasmine and rose.
From: The Alsace region of France
Pairs well with: Stiry fry, shellfish, white meats, game birds, curries, strong cheeses.
Suggested retail: $20
3. Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz (2011)
Medium-bodied and dry, yet sweet and tart with hints of bran, vanilla and oak, this fruity and complex wine is one of the most popular Hunter Valley, Australia variants out there. Perfect for a winter night’s dinner of slow-cooked meats and hearty vegetable stews.
From: Hunter Valley, Australia
ABV: Lucky number 13(%)
Pairs well with: Veal osso bucco, braised lamb shank, short ribs, stews.
Suggested retail price: $45
2. Bodegas O. Fournier Urban Ribera (2009)
This Urban Ribera is known for its deep purple color, floral, spicy and fruity bouquet, and tart, peppery, floral and juicy dark fruit taste. And the sheer amount of adjectives needed to describe it.
From: Ribera del Duero, Spain
Pairs well with: Roasted chicken, pork chops, gourmet pizza or a good burger.
Suggested retail price: $18.99
1. Sledgehammer El Gaucho Malbec (2012)
“El Gaucho” is inspired by the Argentinean Cowboy, and celebrated for a flavor that perfectly complements beef dishes. It has the aroma of both fruit and roasted game, with the taste of ripe, juicy fruit and blooming violets.
From: Mendoza, Argentina
Pairs well with: Beef chili, barbecued beef ribs, grilled steak.
Suggested retail: $9.99