Fine Wine for ≤ $9.99 – Redtree Pinot Grigio

As this is the inaugural edition of what will be an ongoing series, allow me a brief explanation…though it’s probably not all that hard to figure out.  I’m a bit of an aspiring wine ponce, but my budget doesn’t allow for poncey extravagance.  I do really enjoy all aspects of wine and am always trying to learn more.  I don’t know a lot, but I know what I like.  Unfortunately, the really fantastic wine is often fantastically expensive.  There are, however,  some very good wines that can be had for less than $10.  It’s been a rule of mine for the last three years that, if it’s more than $9.99, I ain’t buyin’.  The least I can do is share what I find with my destitute wino brethren.  I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoy drinking it.

Redtree Pinot Grigio 2010 - St. Helena, CA

After a couple of weeks of exceedingly pleasant SoCal weather, Mother Nature decided to turn on the blast furnace today.  Hot weather always calls for white wine and pinot grigio has always been a favorite.  I spotted tonight’s bottle at BevMo while perusing their “buy one, get one for a nickel” racks.  This little number is already regularly $9.99.  So for $10.04, I got two bottles.  And I would buy it again at regular price.

The label is attractive and if you can get past the screw cap and lack of cork, you’ll notice the color is a bit darker than a typical pinot grigio.  It has an attractive pinkish/peachy hue and the bouquet does suggest a hint of peach and apricot.  It has the usual bright pinot grigio smell to it, but it’s not at all sharp in the mouth. In fact, it’s quite smooth, round and luscious.

Redtree is a good example of why I am such a fan of California wines– you get what you’re looking for plus a kick in the pants for less than ten bucks.  As is the case with all wines once thought of as exclusively European, the California wine makers have given it their own little twist, and I suspect a bit of a middle finger thrown in for good measure.  I’d put this up against any Italian pinot grigio in the same price range and rate it above a few I’ve had that I’ve paid more for.  12.5% alcohol by volume assures you’ll have a nice buzz going before you finish your first glass.  4/5 stars.  Yummy, crisp and refreshing.

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