Monday, January 31, 2011

2007 Henry's Drive Vignerons "Pillar Box Red" Padthaway, Australia

There are a lot of very inexpensive Aussie reds on the market, but I think this one is near the top of the heap. This shiraz (65%), cabernet sauvignon and merlot blend is an easy-drinking red. Medium-full in body with ripe flavors and soft tannins, this wine matches well with BBQ, stews and hamburgers. The price should be around $10 at your favorite store and the wine enjoys very wide distribution. By the way, according to the back label, a "pillar box" is an Australian mail posting box. Red became tne standard color in 1874.

2009 Yalumba viognier, South Australia

Although you may be up to your knees in snow right now, spring and summer surely will arrive someday, and this is the perfect pool-side sipper. Yalumba makes wines to meet all price points and the lowest priced ones (like this one) do not disappoint. Clean, fragrant, flowery aromas are followed by crisp flavors. Balanced acidity is something that is lacking in many inexpensive viogniers, but no problem here. The price ($9) makes this an easy case-purchase wine. This wine has wide distribution so you should be able to find it at any well-stocked store.