Tuesday, April 20, 2010

$ 19.99 Brunello from T.J.'s.

Italian wine at Trader Joes is a crapshoot for the most part. Reliable bottles aren't that cheap and cheap bottles aren't that interesting. When I spotted this 2003 Bonacci Brunello di Montalcino for under $ 20 , I had to try it. Good Brunellos are a real treat and if you are having pasta they really compliment the food. The price range for these wines usually starts at $ 35 and can go over $ 100 for the top lables . I knew that '03 was a pretty good year ( '02 was a washout with rain ruining most of the crop.) but was wondering why the price was so low. Upon opening the wine I noticed a very subtle sulphury rotten egg smell for the first few sips.....not good but it did go away soon. I'm sure that decantering 1/2 hour before serving would help. After the first bad smells went away , the wine showed true Brunello character-dry , complex and really tasty. This is one you will want to take your time with and really appreciate every sip. I'll give it 8 1/2 swiggs......not the very best of its type but still a real classy weekend drink, as long as you can get past the initial smell.

Built in brown-bag bottle from Spain

Every once in awhile I'll see an odd bottle from Spain at Trader joes wrapped in something like foil or paper. While this added covering is supposed to indicate a reserve or special bottle of some sort , the inability to see what is in the bottle can be a little off-putting. Nevertheless I figured for $ 6.99 I would give this 2005 Mote Ducay a try , despite the brown paper exterior. Tasting notes: Some Spanish wines have strange tastes and the first two things I noticed when tipping the glass were bug spray and raspberries.....I'm not kidding. As dinner went on, the bug spray eased off and the berry and some earthier flavors took over. All in all, I thought that the Ducay was o.k. , not a bad weekday wine-odd but still pleasant after the initial insecticide hints wore off. I'll give it 5 swiggs.......I probably won't buy it again but it really wasn't that bad.