Key Lime & Coconut

My adventures in the world of food & wine

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cheap but Disappointing Wines

So I've been detoxing this week, which normally means no wine. However, as anyone who has had any contact with me in the last 3 days can attest, I have been stressed out and exhausted and just generally cranky. The combination of mounting schoolwork, the desire to get a job this summer (and perhaps even an internship this spring), and a lack of sleep has made one unhappy Becky. Today was another long day: two back-to-back classes (3 hours' worth), then a 90-minute long debate on Massachusetts v. EPA (I don't have time to discuss this right now but it's an extremely interesting upcoming Supreme Court case) and, finally, my 2-hour-long climate change reading group. When I got home, I was more than ready to pop the cork on a bottle of wine and relax a little bit.

Now, I'm not generally a wine snob, in the sense that if a bottle of wine tastes good to me, I don't care how much it costs - I don't discriminate needlessly against cheap wines. I
do believe, as a rule of thumb, that the quality of wine increases as you move from a cheaper to a pricier bottle, other factors being the same (which, honestly, they rarely are). However, I am always more than willing to give dirt-cheap wines a try because, let's face it, I'm a student and I don't have unlimited funds.

Tonight I opened a $5 bottle of wine. That's even cheaper than I'll usually allow myself to go, but it was on special at my local wine shop, so I decided to give it a try. Sadly, I found myself let down. I was
really hoping that this would be decent - imagine how excited you would be to find a great bottle of wine for $5! - but alas, my hopes have been dashed.

The wine's a 2005 Cerejeiras, a red wine from the Estremadura region of Portugal. It's a mixture of Castellao, Aragonez, and Tinta Miuda varietals. The wine shops calls it delicious, but I beg to differ. In fact, I am not alone in disliking it. The Boston Globe said of this wine, "Unpleasant enough to leave the impression (hope?) this was a faulty bottle." Ouch. I haven't been able to find any other review of it, and at first I thought it was because this wine is too young to drink. 2005 is fine for white wines, and for a lot of reds as well. But this wine is just too rough around the edges, and I figured that had to do with too little aging. It doesn't smell all that nice - kind of dirty, almost sulphurous, and the taste is a little too bitter.

However, it seems as if the other vintages from the same winemaker have similar qualities: I found one review of the 2003 Cerejeiras that calls it muddy, unfocused, and "lacking pleasure." So maybe it's not the youngness at all, but just poor quality. Hmm, too bad. Oh well - at least it helped me to drown my sorrows this evening.

Do you have any favorite inexpensive bottles of wine? Or, in the alternative, have any promising-looking cheap bottles let you down recently?


Blogger Maureen said...

Last year we got a case of Red Bud Shiraz at World Market. I think it was $4.99 per bottle. It was exceptional- definately drank like a $15-20 bottle of shiraz. Bummer than we can't find it anymore.

Honeymoon Viognier at Trader Joes is a great value Viognier.

Just my 2 cents...

7:51 PM  

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