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For the love of wine: Vino values

Part of my mission is to recommend good, reasonably priced locally available wines. Recently, I asked my wife Karen if she’d go on a hunt for wines that fit the bill. She is the best bargain hunter I know (except, maybe, for the insanely priced clothes that magically show up in our closet, and somehow don’t fit her usual “never pay full price” mantra).

That aside, she did come home with three great finds, the total cost of which was $51.08 after using a $5 coupon. Here they are.

2014 Pitch Cabernet
Washington State, $22 (and worth it)

At first, I wasn’t sure about this one, but as the wine began to open it was very good, with plenty of dark fruit. Let it breathe for 20-30 minutes and enjoy it with some pasta, like I did. A steak would work, too.

2015 Maysara 3 Degree Pinot Noir
Oregon, $20

I love Oregon Pinot Noir, and this one did not disappoint, with a nice balance of fruit and spice. It went great with salmon.

2015 Cricklewood Pinot Noir
Oregon, $20

I had never heard of this winery, but I won’t forget it now. This wine is delicious, especially for the price. I really liked the spice, fruit and balance of this wine.

Good wines for $25 and under

Here are some more good wines—all under $20—that I’ve tried recently, and recommend. All are available locally.

2016 Tenuta Vignega Valpolicella Ripasso
Sometimes wine comes to me in strange ways; one of my coworkers gave me this bottle to try. Her husband finds small wineries in Italy that are producing good wine at reasonable prices, and this was one of them. We popped the cork and swirled it in the glass for a couple of minutes. I was pleasantly surprised; it was very smooth, easy drinking with a great taste (lots of dark fruit) and a nice finish.

2016 Red on Black, Nemea
This may be the first Greek wine I’ve ever tasted, and it may also be one of the best deals I have seen lately. Well under $20, the wine—made from a grape called Agiorgitiko—is very easy to drink. A real bargain!

2015 La Cattura Toscana
Go out right now and buy this wine: I loved it and at under $15, it’s a steal. It drinks beautifully, with plenty of dark red fruits and a great finish. I even like the bunny on the label!

2016 Strangeways Pinot Noir
It’s not easy to find a decent California Pinot Noir under $20, but this one fill the bill. Light and easy drinking, it has some nice spice and light berries.

Screw tops and box wine

It wasn’t long ago that I wouldn’t buy a wine with a screw top, until I learned from some well-respected wine makers that screw tops are here to stay.

I felt the same about box wines until recently, when my wife brought home a 3-liter box of 2016 Les Temps Infini Malbec. Priced at $30 for the equivalent of four bottles, this was very easy drinking with plenty of dark fruit. I recommend it!

Warren T. Colville is publisher and president of The Buffalo News.

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