“I really like wine. I might as well write about it.”

Issue # 1         April, 2019

My lovely daughter recently made the suggestion that on a regular basis, I put down some tips about really good but NOT PRICEY wines I know of or happen upon. And because the next best thing to drinking a wonderful glass of wine is talking about it, I decided to go with the suggestion.

So, drum roll please. Welcome to Jim’s Affordable Cellar. This will be a once a month bulletin, or maybe more often if something comes along that I just can’t wait to tell you about. Otherwise, every four weeks or so I will highlight one red, one white and an under the radar grape variety or wine from a region or country you may not have ventured to in your wine travels.

Affordable wine of course means very different things to different people. For instance, a silky, $50 Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa might be cheap and cheerful to a professional athlete or your friendly neighbourhood real estate agent. But my line in the sand is usually about $20.

I’ll be honest, now and then I jump well over that line but for the most part, a really good to excellent bottle for under $20 or even $15 is very findable and doubly rewarding. You get to enjoy it and you can afford to buy a few of them. 

So let’s get to the wine.

For this inaugural dispatch, I’d like to tell you about a wine I recently discovered from one of my favourite regions; Argentina.  Normally we think of beef-friendly Malbec when we think of wine from Argentina. However, this powerhouse wine-producing country is definitely no one-trick pony. Decero has all the silky, smooth ear-marks of Cabernet Sauvignon with Argentina’s signature splash of richness and intensity.

DECERO CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014
Mendoza, Argentina
750 mL bottle | VINTAGES# 195677
$19.95 

Although they may still seem distant, warm summer days are coming. Next to packing away your heavy sweaters, some effective post-winter therapy is stalking up on some crisp, refreshing sauvignon blanc to spend some time with on a warm June evening.

Two Rivers is big but refined. Every sip is like a cool, refreshing citrus shower. It might be worth getting in some practice for June now.

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TWO RIVERS CONVERGENCE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017
Marlborough, New Zealand 
750 mL bottle | VINTAGES# 277707
$19.95

My under the radar wine for this issue comes from one of the world’s great wine producing countries. Portugal. This country is one of the foundations of viniculture and has been at it for centuries. So they know a thing or two. Spain tends to overshadow Portugal in our quality perceptions of wine, however Portugal if given the chance certainly holds its own and will surprise you with what it has to offer.

Calem Curvo Tinto is quite a nice find. It’s rich and loaded with leather and wood smoke on the nose. And it has wonderful flavours of cherries and currants. Great with some cheese before dinner and also perfect with a hearty meal.

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CALEM CURVA TINTO 2016 
Douro, Portugal
750 mL bottle | VINTAGES# 631499
$15.95

That’s it for this issue of Jim’s Affordable Cellar. Hope you enjoy my picks.

Until next time, keep your glass of wine close and your friends closer.

Jim