Figured it was about time to do a post on food or drink, and lucky me, there was cheap wine to be sampled.
The past few weeks, every time we’ve been at Wal-Mart, The Husband and I have found ourselves debating the merits of the Oak Leaf Vineyards wine that’s always on a display shelf and priced at $2.97 a bottle.
“Should we?” I wonder aloud and reach for a bottle.
“We might go blind,” says The Husband while also reaching for a bottle.
“Honey, if the family spring water* didn’t make you blind, this certainly won’t.”
The final decision came down to the fact that if it sucked, it was only $3.00 for the bottle, and so we figured we’d give it a try.
Whenever I try a new wine label, I like to start with White Zinfandel. I am aware that this makes me hopelessly American and also gives you a picture of a woman in rollers, a tattered terry bath robe, and a box of wine tucked under one arm like a teddy bear. Get your chuckle out of the way and understand my reasoning:
White Zinfandel has always been produced to be an “everything, everywhere” wine. A good Zinfandel tastes good with anything you put in front of it, whether it be chicken, fish, steak, pasta, nachos, burgers, or dessert. It is a universal wine, and thus, tastes fairly universal. There are people who will tell you that White Zinfandel doesn’t count as wine because it’s so easy to match. I say to hell with them. Wine is meant to be enjoyed, and what’s more enjoyable than a wine that goes with everything?
So, how was this $2.97 bottle of Zinfandel? Light, sweet, and with a very soft end note. It was enjoyable and well-balanced. I’ve tasted quite a few Zinfandels, and I think this one is one of the most enjoyable. I found out, after the fact, that Gallo Wine produces the Oak Leaf label, and I’m not surprised, as the White Zinfandel under the Gallo label is just as enjoyable.
There are people who tell you that the difference between a $3.00 bottle of wine and a $30.00 bottle of wine is immense. They’ll bury their nose in their glass and go on about flavors and bouquets and how you can taste the barrel in the top note. They’ll go on about the importance of a cork made of <I>cork</i> [as opposed to plastic or a screw-on top] and swear that they can tell the difference between two wines with a price difference because the more expensive ones with taste better or cleaner or more like grapes.
To them, I say “shaddup”. Wine is meant to taste like <I>wine</i>. I don’t give a lick about oakiness or top notes. I want to drink something pleasant and enjoyable. If I can find it for $3.00 a bottle, that’s just a bonus.
The Husband and I are headed out tonight to run a few errands; I may splurge a whole $20 and buy the entire like of Oak Leaf to see how the others shape up. I’m always on the look out for a new Chardonnay.