With today being Christmas Eve, newer readers to this site might enjoy my April visit to the house where the classic holiday movie A Christmas Story was filmed.
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Columbia Crest produces many easy drinking, affordable wines made in Washington state. If you're new to wine it wouldn't hurt to work your way through their product line--their bottles are available everywhere and it's a great way to get started. I particularly like the Grand Estates wines and will try out the Horse Heaven Hills when I get the chance. On the bargain end of the product line are the Two Vines wines, so named after a method of trellising the plants in the vineyard.
2006 Two Vines Vineyard 10 White Wine. $8, 13% abv. It's made of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon. Aromas of peach and apple, with flowers as it warms up. It smells mostly like Chardonnay but the other grapes show up on the palate: the Sauvignon Blanc contributes a bright crispness and the Semillon adds a musky honey undertone. A good match for a tuna salad sandwich at lunch time. And while it's not quite the same, this is a good substitute for Columbia Crest's Semillon-Chardonnay of the mid-90s.
2007 Two Vines Vineyard 10 Rosé. $8, 12.5% abv. Mostly Syrah with a splash of Viognier. A little dark for a rosé. Whiff of orange peel on the nose. Tart and crisp, flavors of ripe strawberry and raspberry. This is an assertive rosé while still being dry. I paired it with a pulled pork BBQ sandwich, where the firm acidity helped cut through the grease.
With the economy being what it is, it's more important than ever to get good value from your wine dollars. This doesn't necessarily mean going for the cheapest bottle, but rather doing a bit of research or talking to the staff at your wine shop to find the hidden gems. Check out my archives or blogs like Good Wine Under $20 for further suggestions. There are also mumblings that prices on higher end wines might be coming down in order to move stock--keep an eye out for these bargains. The wine you've been lusting after at $60 could come down to an affordable $40.