Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cheap Wine Challenge!

Are you cheap? Do you shampoo with dish soap? Have you ever taken a date to an "Early Bird Special" at the local cafeteria? How 'bout ten bucks? Is a sawbuck enough to quench your insatiable thirst for the bounty of Bacchus' teat?

(Bacchus' teat?! It's been a long week.)

Anyway, thanks to Raelinn Schmitt ( @raelinn_wine on Twitter and head honcho of Wine Ophelia), the simplistically brilliant idea of the Cheap Wine Challenge was created. The rules were minimal:

1) The wine can be found nationwide
2) The wine retails under $10

And so, the gauntlet was thrown down. I wanted in on this action. I was raised on the mean skreets of Carlo Rossi, son! But the Central Valley of California was not where I suspected to find gold dust. These days, when I think of value, I go straight to the Iberian peninsula, otherwise known as Spain and Portugal.

My pick- less by choice and more by necessity (I was out of town, but desired Iberian wine)- was 2007 Bodegas Luzon Jumilla. Jumilla is a region in southeast Spain. The red wines are most likely made from Monastrell (otherwise known as Mourvèdre), Cencibel (otherwise known as Tempranillo), and Garnacha (otherwise known as Grenache). This wine (otherwise known as vino) was purchased at an impressive Columbus, GA package store (otherwise known as southwest Georgia) while I was traveling for work (otherwise known as being a sucker). It retailed for $8.99 (otherwise known as 899 cents).

The nose was an all-out Battle Royale of raspberries, smoke, olives, chocolate, pepper, veggies, licorice, and mint. But the madness spilled out of the ring and into the crowd, aka, my mouth (what a terrible wrestling metaphor, but screw it, it's late). Decent, subtle fruit, earthiness, and acidity led to a smooth finish with a little bit of heat from the alcohol. I managed to acquire a nasty stuffed nose right after I opened the wine, so my senses were a little off. That being said, it tasted like it drank beyond the meager $9 pricetag.

In the end, it was nothing earth-shattering, but for $8.99, I will proudly submit it for approval in the Inaugural Cheap Wine Challenge. And, like a wrestler hopped up on too many performance enhancers, "I CHALLENGE YOU, BROTHER, TO BRING YOUR WINE TO THE TABLE AND SEE IT EXPERIENCE THE PAIN AND HUMILIATION OF THE 'DESTEMMER', BROTHER!"

Okay. I'm going to bed. This is ridiculous.
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