While we all agree that wines are a matter of individual taste, there are many publications that offer their take of the best wines of the year. Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator and even Forbes have thrown in their two cents on top 2014 vintages, but we wanted to showcase some great offerings that are easy to find and affordable, in case you missed them in 2014. (You will note that many 2009 vintages show up on this list.)
1.2009 Lindeman’s Bin 40 Merlot ($8)- This great vintage has character and features some robust tannins not typically found in value-priced red wines. It pairs perfectly with steaks and chops.
2.Valentin Bianchi 2010 Elsa Bianchi Malbec ($9)- This great Malbec with grapes from Dona Elsa vineyard was a winner with Food and Wine Magazine and showed up on a variety of other lists as well. It features spicy black cherry and has a strong, chocolate hint on the back end.
3.2009 Banfi Col di Sasso ($9)- This wine, which hails from Montalcino, Italy, is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese and is grown on the rocky slopes of the Banfi estate. It is fruity with a cherry scent and easy to drink with pork and beef dishes.
4.2012 Plunder Napa Pinot Noir ($35.99)- This is a medium-bodied wine with cherry, cranberry and plum characteristics. It finishes with the perfect amount of oak and can be drunk now or cellared for two to three years. Pair this red with roasted pork, oven-fired pizza or even pasta.
5.2008 Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel ($10)- You will find that the Vintners Blend Zinfandel features vanilla tones and heavy berry flavors that come from a year of aging in oak. This easy-to-drink red holds its own with hearty pasta dishes, steaks, ribs and chops.
6.Hill Napa Pinot Noir ($26)- This is a medium-bodied wine with cherry, cranberry and plum characteristics. It finishes with the perfect amount of oak and can be drunk now or cellared for two to three years. Pair this red with roasted pork, oven-fired pizza or even pasta.
7.2008 Kenwood Vineyards Zinfandel ($14)- This is a solid Zinfandel that has spicy notes of vanilla, pepper, berries and cloves, featuring smooth tannins and a hearty finish. It will improve even more with cellar aging.
8.2009 Foxglove Zinfandel ($15)- This is a great-value Zinfandel that has a tart, bold finish with wild berry and herb notes.
9.2010 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($87.99)- This wine has a deep garnet hue with a lively acidity and tannin structure. You will note aromas of blackberry, black cherry and cassis with hints of vanilla from oak aging.
10.2009 Silver Oak Napa Cabernet Sauvignon ($134.99)- This award-winning wine is complex and bursting with fruit. It features notes of cassis, violet, licorice, allspice and roasting coffee.
There’s no time to waste! Go to your favorite wine retailer and stock up while you can. Cheers to 2015!