Thursday, December 9, 2010

Frugal Wine Tips: Montepulciano D'Abruzzo

In my (Mel) twenties I developed a taste for wine.  My former job had me constantly putting together menus, choosing food and needing to pair wine with it.  I was blessed to "have" to take a 12-week wine course so I could keep up with my job responsibilities!

Since then I've enjoyed trying to find low cost wines.  I like drinking them occasionally, and I like to give wine as a gift.  I can appreciate the incredible amount of work and expertise that go into making great wine, therefore justifying the cost of a bottle.  But I've never had a high budget for wine.  Up to that challenge, I'd like to start sharing some of my favorites here at RU.  My sister-in-law has been bugging me about this wine, so I hope she can find it in the store!

First things first.  I shop for wine at Trader Joe's.  Yes, this means that's another store in my 6-stop tour each month.  Yes, it's out of the way.  But I just haven't found wines at prices competitive with TJ's.  If you have one near you, try it sometime!

Second, I have a maximum budget of $5 per bottle.  I know, that sounds so low! But there are truly some good options at that price point. 

The wine pictured above is a 2009 Montepulciano D'Abruzzo from Villa Cerrina.  It's an Italian red wine that is medium-bodied and fruity with a slight hint of spice flavor.  It has been my running favorite for well over a year.  I've only seen it at Trader Joe's, and at my local store it's a Manager's Pick.  I spoke with the manager about it once and he raved about it - so I'm not the only one who loves it! I'm not a wine writer, so there's a more detailed review here.

If you're a cabernet sauvignon fan, this one is lighter on the alcohol taste.  Many cabernets have wood flavors, and this one doesn't.  Give it a try!

Price: $4.99 in the metro D.C. area, $3.99 in CA
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