Winking Owl Vineyards Shiraz – $2.99!!!
It is 62 degrees on the deck as I watch the sun set behind Hogback and Melrose mountain tonight. In the background a local college radio station is playing and birds are serenading me. Hard to believe it was 33 degrees this morning, 70 degrees at noon, we’ve almost had a summer day today. Now my favorite mountain getaway tradition: happy hour! Not quite so happy when you are alone. I would rather be here with my better half, but after a day of vacation home projects this is quite the nice reward to myself, even if it includes wine I found today for only $2.99!!!
I discovered this wine today at a local branch of an ALDI grocery store. This low-end or I should probably describe it as low price retailer from Germany is expanding throughout the U.S. Some compare it to Trader Joe’s because they sell their own brand name products or product names you would not recognize. Like their european counterpart grocery stores there is a 25 cent [refundable] fee to rent carts and you are expected to bring your own bags for the merchandise you buy or pay for the plastic/paper bags needed at checkout. It is a concept I wish we had closer to home.
Upon opening and decanting the first aroma to hit me was vinegar, not a good sign :). Like magic and within seconds I started to detect mild notes of leather and oak opening to fruit: raspberry and strawberry. This austere wine accompanied my garlic ziti dinner for one and I must say I rather enjoyed it at the time. Unfortunately I must report that soon afterwards I developed sinus congestion that drove me batty for hours and even worse a harsh headache overnight. Both conditions not ones I usually suffer from when drinking wine. May just be a coincidence and I must admit I would give it another chance mostly because of the price but………
Internet research although not verified points to the fact that this California wine is produced by E&J Gallo for Aldi grocery stores. This producer is obviously well-known and has been around for decades. That said, they can be a high quantity low price producer with that as one of their niche markets. I love my deals and finding great value wines but unfortunately after having another similarly produced wine last year, I am starting to detect a low priced pattern. Note to self; I am not becoming a wine snob, I am not becoming a wine snob…….