Roederer Estate Brut

This non-vintage sparkling wine comes in at about $20 when purchased locally. I really prefer a Brut to any other kind of sparkling wine or champagne. This particular sparkling wine really exemplifies the crisp dryness of a quality brut. While it’s not nearly as good as Veuve Clicquot, which is my all time favorite non-vintage bubbly, it’s a good choice for ballin on a budget as it’s simple, enjoyable and refreshing.

Like other other quality sparkling wines it’s blended with oak-aged reserve wines for one to three years. The grapes are grown in Anderson Valley. Look out for a rich bold flavor, very crisp, dry, spice, cinnamon and apple aromas.

A good non-vintage sparkling wine.

A good non-vintage sparkling wine.

Francis Ford Cappola Winery – Director’s Cut Zinfandel 2009

This Zinfandel hails from the Dry Creek valley of Sonoma County. I would describe this particular wine as a classic example of a Zinfandel from Sonoma County, and very representative of a quality American red wine. There are lots of rich flavors of blackberries and plums. I’m also detecting a hint of vanilla and espresso with some very light wood flavor. It’s very smooth and not overbearing at all. At $20 per bottle in early 2012, this wine is a pretty decent deal. It’s not as good as my favorite Zinfandel from Talty Estates, but it’s not >$30 either and it’s very very good. If you want to try a good first Zinfandel that is representative of the breed, try this one!

This Zinfandel is representative of the breed!

This Zinfandel is representative of the breed!