When I first started this blog, my goal was to document delicious yet affordable wines. This generally meant bottles in the $10-$16 range. As my salary increased and I was able to justify spending money on wine “for educational purposes,” that range got a little higher. But now that I am working for myself as a freelance translator, I am back on the lookout for amazing wine deals. Whenever I find a winner, I immediately classify it mentally in my Wines-To-Tell-Nana-About list.
My Nana is almost 93 years old and of Scottish heritage (i.e. in her own words, frugal), and rarely spends a lot of money on herself. Whenever I go to her house, I know I can always find a bottle of Chilean Santa Carolina or South African Beachhouse in the fridge, her go-to house whites.
Have you ever noticed it’s easier to find a tasty, affordable white than it is to find a tasty, affordable red? This is probably because lighter bodied unoaked white wines are generally easier to make at lower costs because they don’t need to age as long, and therefore don’t have the added cost of expensive barrels and storage space incorporated into their pricetags.
In any case, Nana, these ones are for you!
Te Henga Sauvignon Blanc ($12.95)
I have bought several bottles of this wine this summer and just can’t get over how delicious it is—and at this fabulous price point no less! All the key elements of a typical Marlborough sauvignon blanc are right on the nose: lime, grapefruit, passion fruit, slight herbaceousness and a hint of minerality. Then, you take a sip, and it packs a mighty flavour explosion, with such complexity (and mouthwatering acidity) that you just have to go back for another taste. And maybe another. Then somehow your glass is empty. I don’t know how they do it but it happens every time. This steal of a bottle comes from the talented winemakers at Babich, one of the oldest family-run wineries in New Zealand. This wine is dangerously sippable on its own, but would also pair nicely with shellfish dishes, fish or salad, and would complement a cream sauce beautifully.
Lastly, their label is quite beautiful (I’m a sucker for shiny things).
Who am I kidding, I should just buy the case already.
Félix & Lucie Sauvignon Blanc ($13.85)
This wine is a bit of a mystery to me. It’s made by Arterra Wines, the Canadian division of wine giant Constellation Brands, but there is very little information available about this wine. I even tried to contact Arterra directly, but got no response.
So what do we know about this wine? It’s a blend of sauvignon blanc and muscat, both sourced from the Languedoc region of southwestern France. The sauvignon blanc provides good acidity and some citrus-y flavours, while the muscat offers a rounder mouthfeel and sweeter notes of honey and melon, making for a nicely balanced wine. Pair with a nice summer salad (the sweetness from the muscat would offset any tartness from a vinaigrette) or roasted chicken with sweet potatoes. Also pairs nicely with a cozy flannel shirt on those cooler end-of-summer evenings.
What delicious wines under $14 have you brought home lately?
Stay tuned for the Red edition!
Happy wining and hope you had a great long weekend!