DRINK MORE WINE. HAVE MORE FUN.
This self-proclaimed neighborhood sommelier is a connoisseur of the $8, or less, bottle of wine found at your local grocery store, bodega or corner store. Because sometimes you just gotta be cheap and easy.

1
Pacifico Sur Carmenere Rosé 2014
2
Dupeuble Beaujolais 2013
3
Feeling Rosé
4
Domaine De Pajot, Les Quatre Cépages 2013
5
‘Hood Eats: Asian-y (Hey Vouvray!)
6
‘Hood eats: Lebanese
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Sterling Vintners Collection Meritage 2012
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Ali Toscana Sangiovese 2013
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Ciconia Touriga Nacional 2012
10
Souverain Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Pacifico Sur Carmenere Rosé 2014

Central Valley, Chile
$8.00
It was the last of the unfinished bottles of wine purchased for the Fourth of July weekend. It was the one I was least enthused about trying, and most skeptical about. And like all wines of its ilk, it took a little time, but ultimately found its way to my gullet.

One sip-bite-slurp at a time.

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Dupeuble Beaujolais 2013

France
$14
There are times when edgy, mind-expanding contrast between food and wine is what feels right for you in that moment, with that meal, during that experience — whatever. And there are times when what feels good is a perfectly harmonious moment that pleasantly swaddles you comfortably.

That was the realization I had in between slices of pizza — while finishing off a bottle of Tempranillo Rioja — and the ecstatic cork popping of a newly opened bottle of Beaujolais. Two experiences, one pizza.

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Feeling Rosé

The morning snow flurries had stopped, the clouds cleared completely — they just seemed to disappear. While I read the newspaper and contemplated my “spring forward” Sunday, just outside the window behind me, a fleeting whisper of the coming Spring was springing.

Suspicious of the buzz of activity outside on the street I reached for my iPad, entered the code to unlock it, flicked my fingers around the screen in an expert blur of perfectly choreographed movement and launched the weather app. It was 40 degrees! Flooded with hope that the winter might actually soon end I jumped off the sofa to the sound of the fluttering newspaper pages I was abandoning there.

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Domaine De Pajot, Les Quatre Cépages 2013

France
$10
I’ve been spending more money per bottle lately. Now, either my tastes in wine have changed, or it’s the cost of living increase in the state I now call home. It’s possible that it’s both.

I do have to admit that the $8 a bottle target that I have imposed upon myself has been more difficult to hit since my tastes have grown along with my curiosity. I will continue to aim for $8 but it may end up more around $10, or $12. I just can’t be bound by the price any longer! Well, within reason.

Despite that, I will continue to strive for thrift AND quality.

That said, this latest bottle was a delicious $10 accident. I was returning home from “Mission: Kimchi,” having located a jar at the neighborhood Whole Paycheck, I mean Foods. Between the kimchi pick-up and home I spotted the cute little corner wine shop I only visited once before, Streetcar Wine & Beers, and thought, hey, what goes with spicy pickled cabbage? As one does. So I bee-lined it.

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‘Hood Eats: Asian-y (Hey Vouvray!)

So many fresh discoveries await my eager-beaver attitude towards this cool little neighborhood where I now live. Effervescent with my ever-growing fondness, and with a brunch buzz, I thought up a new blog feature, ‘Hood Eats, where I visit all the many dining establishments not far outside my doorstep and pair with them wines for delicious take-out feasts. 
Bernard Fouquet Vouvray 2013
Super Splurge-y
$19.99
Could this be? Is this already the next installment of ‘Hood Eats?! Why yes, yes it is.

I couldn’t wait. It’s cold out there and I’m doing my best to fatten up for the winter.

After a not so pleasing earlier encounter with a surprisingly sticky-sweet Vouvray from the Loire Valley, I considered writing Chenin Blanc off, completely. But, oh, what a mistake that would have been.

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‘Hood eats: Lebanese

So many fresh discoveries await my eager-beaver attitude towards this cool little neighborhood where I now live. Effervescent with my ever-growing fondness, and with a brunch buzz, I thought up a new blog feature where I visit all the many dining establishments not far outside my doorstep and pair with them wines for delicious take-out feasts. Here’s the first one.

Cave de Saumur ‘Saumur Blanc’ Lieu-dit Les Pouches 2013
Loire, France
$12
Bodega Classica Hacienda Lopez De Haro Crianza Rioja
Spain
$10
Lightbulb! Brainstorm! Action! I was on the train returning home from playing tourist in the city I now call home and that sudden, lightening strike of hunger hit the very core of my belly.

The first thing that came to mind was easy, it was the dive-y little hole in the wall in my neighborhood serving up Lebanese fare that I could not stop thinking about. I oh-so desperately was just positively dying to give it a try. That night, I decided, was the night.

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Sterling Vintners Collection Meritage 2012

California, Central Coast
$7.99
And here I thought that Meritage was a fancy way of saying the wine was a blend. It’s actually so much more. Turns out there’s an alliance even!

The list of shit I don’t know seems to grow exponentially with every year that my wine-soaked liver allows me to live.

The Meritage labeling convention was born out of the frustrations of California wine vintner’s feeling strapped by laws stipulating that wines contain at least 75% of a specific grape be labeled as that varietal. Interest grew in producing Bordeaux-style wine, which are themselves a blend. And so a bunch of wino’s in Cali got together and made up a word by smashing together two other words and an alliance was born. Now, if you want to call a blend of wine a Meritage you just fork over some cash and voila! You have a Meritage wine.

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Ali Toscana Sangiovese 2013

Italy
$8.99
I was supposed to begin a macrobiotic cleanse. My recently stocked fridge was full of healthful foods of all sorts. So how is it that I found myself cooking pasta Bolognese while devouring mouthfuls of bread and cheese? This wasn’t how I expected it to go down.

I’m baaaaaaaack, bitches!

Healthy can wait until tomorrow. I’ve been absent from this blog far too long and I spontaneously decided that it was time for me to make a return to the bologosphere. And so here I am. Ready. A glass of my raison d’être in hand.

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Ciconia Touriga Nacional 2012

Portugal
$7.99
A nice, inexpensive Portuguese delight. I’ve heard great things about Portugal and I hope to visit soon. Until then I’ll enjoy this small little taste from that part of the world.

I’ll imagined I was enjoying bites of fried Portuguese sausage, Alheira, while I sipped, chugged, gulped down that pretty-darn-good-for-8-bucks bottle of wine.

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