It can be a daunting task to find an affordable bottle of wine when you just want to have a glass with dinner and not break the bank. I refer to this particular type of bottle as an everyday wine, but the real problem is locating one that you don’t have to change with every vintage.
I recently tasted a Sauvignon Blanc at Magnum Wine & Tastings in Sarasota and was quite surprised to learn that the vintage was 2011 until I was informed that the wine came from Terra Andina, which is in Chile.
Since that country is south of the equator in the Southern Hemisphere, they harvest grapes between March and May, whereas in North America grapes are harvested between August and October.
Magnum Wine is a wine bar and shop where you can taste a number of different wines by the glass, with a list that is changed on a weekly basis.
Terra Andina produces 24 different wines, 14 of which are imported into the states. Their 2011 Sauvignon Blanc was quite refreshing and it had a notable amount of acidity, which is common for the varietal. This wine would pair well oysters on the half shell.
The 2009 Terra Andina Carmenere is quite soft on the palate with violet notes and some green pepper flavor on the finish. This Carmenere will complement just about any type of smoked or barbecued meats.
Both of these wines retail for less than $10 a bottle.
If you are looking for a wine to pair with red sauce made with fresh tomatoes, try the 2009 Terra Andina Reserva Pinot Noir. This Pinot is fruit forward, with nice acidity and sells for $12 a bottle.
Chile is 2,770 miles long and just 120 miles wide, with 700 miles in the middle comprising the Chilean Wine Region. Terra Andina uses grapes from 60 different vineyards that are located throughout 13 different valleys of the wine region in order to obtain the best flavor characteristics of the grapes grown in each valley.
Each of the wines tasted were well-balanced and quite good for the price point.
Finding an everyday wine can be a fun exercise. First try and pick varietals that you already like and purchase several in your price range, then invite some of your closest friends over for dinner.
On the other hand, you can go to a local wine bar such as Magnum Wine and try varietals by the glass that you’ve rarely tasted
In trying a number of new wines, it is amazing how quickly you put together a list that you can readily rely on.
Jim Rawe, a family attorney in Bradenton, is an avid collector of fine wines. His column appears weekly.