Sometimes I have thought about what to open that night before 8am...

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Best Under 10 I have found in a long, long time!

My mom was not much of a drinker.  She never had alcohol in the house unless my grandfather was coming to town, and then there was usually a bottle of wine, chablis to be exact.  Now Ray enjoyed a good bottle of wine, I believe there was a bottle of Opus One on his 70th birthday, but he was also unafraid to say he liked something if it was cheap.  Maybe I get my love of good cheap wine from him.  But this post is about my mom.  Or maybe it is really about both of them, and me.

Every year Ray would fly out to see us on December 26th.  The anticipation for his arrival, put Christmas to shame.  Mom's Daddy was the light of her life, and of ours.  He always brought mom a box of Godiva Chocolates (the big one), we always went by the water (the beach), and sometimes we would stop at the liquor store and he would buy Mom a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape.  Ray said it was her favorite.

I never had the opportunity to share a glass of wine with my mom.  She was taken far to young by a beast called Melanoma.  But when I completed my college degree I found myself working in a field that required knowledge of wine.  That knowledge led to a life long love affair, and funny enough my favorite is Chateauneuf du Pape.

Most Chateauneuf du Papes average well above my $15 everyday wine cap ($30+).  They are collectors.  Savey-Saveys as we call them in our house.  Usually, Santa is generous and I find one in my stocking.  It is placed with it's brothers to sleep and wait until such time as we have gathered a group of good, wine loving friends, and it is ready.

So imagine my surprise a couple of weeks ago, as I was doing my Thanksgiving shopping at Trader Joe's and I came around a corner to see, "Chateauneuf du Pape, The wine of Thanksgiving, $9.99" 

$9.99?!  Are you kidding?  Shocked as I was, $9.99 was worth the gamble.  We opened it a few days after Thanksgiving, and to my surprise it is quite good.  Don't get me wrong, it will not be resting with it's brothers, waiting for just the right time to be opened. 


So far I have enjoyed it while cooking dinner and wrapping presents.  I have given it as a hostess gift and a Christmas gift. 

It is light, yet still has that bigness I expect when I drink Chateauneuf du Pape, and I swear there is a slight pepper on the finish, but that just might be me.

Regardless, I highly recommend it.  It is hands down, the best under $10 I have found in a very, very long time!

I swear these aren't all for me!
Val de la Pierre
Chateneuf du Pape
Found at Trader Joe's

Maybe tonight I will raise a glass to Mom and Ray. 

Maybe I better go buy another bottle first!


  1. Thanks for the post. I shared it with a friend who had shared a bottle of Chateneuf du Pape, Val de la Pierre with us the other night. She tasted it at TJ's, bought some, got to her car, and turned around and went back for more.

    What do you think of Black Mt. Zin as a value wine?

  2. I haven't had it! I'll add it to my shopping list. Did you pick it up at Trader Joe's or is it readily available other places?

    Thanks for the tip. Nothing is better than sharing the love of a good (cheap) wine!

  3. The Black Mt. label is not exclusive to TJ's, but I don't see it many other places. As to be expected with a mass-produced wine, the quality varies across the varietals and vintages but I have always be able to find something I like for an every-day wine. I cellar them for 3-5 yrs. as recommended. For about $6, I'm quite pleased with the '06 Zin.

  4. I'm in. I'll be at TJ's later this week and pick some up. I love a Zin, so at $6 totally worth the gamble. Oh, and if you are willing to spend a little more, for $11 the Sterling Zin (I had the '08) is pretty darn good as well.


  5. Had it! Loved it! Thank you!