Where are they now?
It’s been one week since I first told you about our #TO100wines challenge, and I know you’re just dying to hear allll about the wines we’ve sampled. After all, I was dying to sample them.
Whamp-whamp. This has been so freakin’ difficult! Not the sampling. The finding. These wines are so bleeping hard to find that it’s 100% taken the fun out of the wine challenge. It’s not possible to sample 100 wines if some are no longer sold, some can only be found at obscure retailers, some have moved on to the next vintage, some sold out because they were featured on the list and everyone and their mother raced out to by them — you get what I’m saying. It’s just not possible to find them all. Grrrrr.
So, here’s the new game plan. We’re going to try as many of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Top 100 Wines Under $15 that we can, without special ordering or harassing every wine shop in Orlando. We’re going to try the ones that you, me and Joe Schmo can find on any normal day. It might be 20; it might be 50. Right now it’s looking closer to 20. But don’t think we’ve abandoned our quest! We’re still going to try 100 wines under $15 by the time the 2014 ball drops in Times Square. Only instead of solely following WE’s list, we’re going to visit some of our favorite wine proprietors and ask what their favorites under $15 are.
I mean, I didn’t think of this at first, but what if there was some schmoozing or palm-greasing on behalf of wine-makers to get their wines on WE’s list? Not that I’m saying that happened! But I think it’s kinda cool that we can see what “corporate America” considers the best, and what the “real,” everyday wine shop owners and bartenders consider the best.
So here’s update No. 1, featuring wines from “the list” and wines from one of my favorite local wine hangouts, Urban Flats in Downtown Winter Garden.
Wine Enthusiast Magazine Top 100 Wines Under $15
Diana (that would be me) tried three of the wines on WE’s list:
Mano A Mano 2010 Tempranillo — This was my least favorite of the three. But it’s a really strong Tempranillo, with bold flavor, so I can see why it made the list. I gave it an 82.
Trapiche 2010 Broquel Malbec — I love a good Malbec, and this is a great Malbec! It has all the easy flavors a Malbec should, but it’s even smoother than most. Gave it a 92.
Bodegas Atteca 2011 Honoro Vera Garnacha — My local wine shop owner/friend said it was amazing, and he was so right! It had great clarity, great flavor that really lasted but wasn’t overpowering, and it was really smooth. I loved it and gave it a 97. Here’s the catch. WE’s list features wines with an MSRP of $15. Because this wine is so fabulous, it retails for about $18.
Kate tried two of the wines on WE’s list:
Zolo 2011 Sustainably Farmed Estate Grown & Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon — Kate likes a good, strong cab, and her biggest frustration was the wine tasted oxidized and lacked that “freshness” you usually get with a new bottle of wine. She gave it an 83.
Hogue 2011 Merlot — Unless you’re dedicated to this winery, don’t bother. Not an awesome merlot. It got a 77.
Urban Flats in downtown Winter Garden
A popular Southwest Orlando wine spot, Jessica and I stopped by to try some of the bartender’s favorite retail-price-$15-under wines. Many thanks to her for being so awesome and giving such great recommendations!
Honora Vera Merlot 2012 — Super easy to drink and sweet for a merlot. Pretty much anyone who drinks wine would like it.
Vinaceous Snake Charmer Shiraz 2011 — It smelled sweet and wonderful, but had a really intense “bite.” LOL. Get it? It's really intense for a shiraz. Jess wasn’t a fan. At all.
Hogue Late Harvest Riesling 2012 — Unlike the merlot, this wine got high praises. It’s not super sweet like some Riesling. Very light with just a hint of a dry kick.
Block Nine Pinot Noir 2012 — Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! And only $15 a bottle.
Villa Rosa Moscato 2012 — It smells ridiculously good, and tastes really sweet, but not in a gross way. It’s Jess’ new absolute favorite.
*Our next update will be posted Thursday, Nov. 14. Wish us luck!