Wines of October: 11 different bottles under $25

CLEVELAND, Ohio – For the month of October, our palaces ventured into a variety of different areas. We tried 11 wines from six countries.

Note: Our monthly reviews focus on wines $25 and under, and all should be available on local store shelves. We list the flavors we detect and offer our favorite at the end.

Here is what we tasted:

fresh vine

fresh vine

fresh vine, Napa, Calif.; Cabernet Sauvignon, 2020, $21.95

Promoted as having low calories, carbohydrates, sugar and being gluten-free. This wine tastes warm – a little alcoholic – with hints of red licorice and cherry. Very fruity, bordering on sweet. Not written home about it, but a calorie-watching fruit lover’s delight – if that’s your thing.

We tried 11 different wines costing less than $25.

Windsor

Windsor

Windsor Vineyards, Alexander Valley, Calif.; Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019, $14

Definitive fusion of black fruits here: blackberry, blueberry, black cherry. Nice mouthfeel, good stand alone sipper to taste, great price.

We tried 11 different wines costing less than $25.

Angels and Cowboys

Angels and Cowboys

Wines of Angels and Cowboys, Sonoma County, Calif.; Pink, 2021, $15.99

Light, reminiscent of a Sweet Tart, with a little raspberry. Refreshing – good to sip on your porch or patio while we (?) still have a few warm days left. Note: A portion of the sales of this wine goes to World Central Cuisine.

We tried 11 different wines costing less than $25.

Mora de Roveto

Mora del Roveto Rosso

Usiglian del VescovoItaly, 2019, $19.99

Dry, the fruit is retained with some notes of cedar. This wine has improved with air. Think: pasta. (National Pasta Day is Monday, October 17, by the way.) The grapes are Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

We tried 11 different wines costing less than $25.

Casa Concha brands

Casa Concha brands

Concha and Toro, Cachapoal Valley, Chile; Carmenere, 2020, $24.99

Lots of flavors here at different sensory points: Mint on the nose. Cranberry, light milk chocolate with mocha on the palate. And green pepper – a common flavor in this varietal – comes out on the finish. The air contributed to it. Wine Folly has an excellent overview of this varietal. The gold standard for Carmenere, in my opinion, is Purple Angel.

We tried 11 different wines costing less than $25.

dove hunting dog

dove hunting dog

Scout and CaveTexas/California, Rosé, 2020, $19

For those of us who love pooches, the tag is a hook. It tastes a bit floral with hints of candy but not sweet. The cherry is dominant. (The Texas-based winery says it has notes of strawberry, blood orange and watermelon.) The wine comes from California grapes – 87% Grenache, 8% Syrah, 5% Gamay. Pleasant sip. Rosé shouldn’t be relegated to summer only, so we’ll keep trying them all year round.

We tried 11 different wines costing less than $25.

Intercept

Intercept Pinot Noir

Intercept the wines, Monterrey County, Calif.; Pinot Noir, 2019, $20

NFL Hall of Famer Charles Woodson’s wine has a smoky flavor, with rich cherry – definitely not sour cherry – and is delicious. Taste much more than its price. Good with salmon, good on its own. It’s getting hard to find a decent Pinot under $20. It’s a good.

We tried 11 different wines costing less than $25.

Domaine Bousquet

Domaine Bousquet Cabernet Sauvignon

Domaine Bousquet, Tupungato Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina; 2019, $13

The spiciness stands out well with hints of black cherry. The tannins stand out on the finish. Lots of wine for the price. The vineyard is organic.

We tried 11 different wines costing less than $25.

ancient peaks

Ancient Peaks Sauvignon Blanc

Ancient Peaks Winery, Paso Robles, Calif.; 2021, $18

Fresh tasting melon and citrus – a little orange and Meyer lemon – dominate in this lovely sip. Although Sauv Blancs aren’t my wine of choice, I enjoy California examples of the varietal. Winery suggests it is a good companion for shellfish.

We tried 11 different wines costing less than $25.

Mount Velho

Mount Velho Rose

Herdade do EsporaoPortugal, Pink, 2021, $12

I found this wine slightly creamy. My tasting buddy and I thought there was a bit of acid with pomegranate and strawberry on the nose and on the palate. This salmon-colored wine isn’t super acidic, but there’s enough to stand up to food if you want. The rosés have great versatility. They make good, often light, stand-alone drinks or can be paired with a variety of dishes. Grapes: Touriga Nacional, Aragonez, Tinta Caiada and others.

We tried 11 different wines costing less than $25.

Conde Valdemar

Conde Valdemar

Valdemar FamilySpain, 2021, $17.99

Peach flavors stand out with some floral notes. Not too acidic. The tasting notes evoke white fruits, melon, pear and tropical fruits – pineapple and lychee. We really didn’t detect any lychee, which is reserved almost exclusively for Gewurztraminer, but it’s a nice blend. It is made from 85% Viura, 10% Malvasía, 3% Sauvignon Blanc and 2% Tempranillo Blanco.

Favorites: Ancient Peaks, Intercept and Windsor.

Filmed wine: The 2012 documentary “Somm” takes viewers through the process of being an aspiring sommelier. It is available for rental or purchase on line.

Wine reviews 2022

September wines: 15 bottles from $7 to $25

Wines of the month of August: 13 foreign wines

Wines for July: A Dozen American-Made Wines

Wines for June: 9 wines to taste from Sicily to Spain

Wines of May: 11 different wines from 5 countries – $25 and under

Wines of the Month for April: 11 to consider sipping from Indiana (yes) to Italy

Wines for March: 10 wines for $10 to $25

Wines for February: A dozen different wines from 4 countries

January wines: 9 different wines from $9 to $22

Do you like wine? Options vary for purchasing wine. Online retailers provide the ability to choose what you want, manage cases, and find discounts. Here is a selection to consider:

brightcellars.com: The monthly club puts you in touch with wines after having answered a “quiz on the palate”.

caveswineclub.com: Allows you to choose the number of bottles required.

vinexotique.club.com: Offers subscription wine boxes from wineries located in less accessible markets.

splashwines.com: Choose an organized case or create your own.

winc.com: Four wines adapted to your tastes are sent monthly. Has a review component.

wine.com: A large online seller often offers discounts to new customers.

wineawesomeness.com: Organized shipments of three and six bottles.

wineenthusiast.com: Complete site of accessories – shelves, glasses, door openers, storage, gifts.

wineonsale.com: Allows you to select by grape variety or region.

zachys.com: Includes a variety of ways to search/buy, as well as auction information.

I am on cleveland.comfrom the Life and Culture team and covers topics related to food, beer, wine and sport. If you want to see my stories, here is a directory on cleveland.com. On Air: WTAM-1100’s Bill Wills and I talk food and drink usually at 8:20 a.m. Thursday mornings. Twitter: @mbona30.

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Shirley M. Pinder