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Favorite Wines Under $25

Fave Vino Under $25 | Covet Living

Listen yo, I’m no sommelier… when all else fails and I’m in a hurry, sometimes I pick a bottle out at the grocery store based on pretty the label is (whoops)… in the same manner that whenever I’ve had to pick fantasy teams, I’ll pick the gaggle of dudes with the best weaves, etc.  That said, I know enough about what I like & what I don’t about wine: don’t like whites that are too sweet (Riesling might as well be a Shirley Temple, IMO), prefer a California Sauvignon Blanc over a New Zealand one b/c I love citrus-y vs. grassy… love big jammy reds that aren’t too battery-acid tannic or too earthy (yack). Don’t need anything that costs an ovary per glass, either. I’d almost always rather drink red – except for the fact that it turns my teeth purple, and except in the summertime when it’s hotter than hades.  You get my jam – anyhow…  This year, I’ve taken stock of the wines I’ve run across that were REALLY great – and relatively reasonable.  SO, here are my faves under $25 (most around $15)… because I’m sure we all need to restock before NYE.  And because I’m sure THIS reality is probably setting in for just about everyone right about now:

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REDS

La Atalaya del Camino 2013 ($17)… I buy it locally (in LA) at Lincoln Fine Wines.  Superb.  Tasting notes: “Suggestive aromas of juicy black fruit and red fruit, alongside creamy notions of spices, vanilla, toffee and moka over a fresh, balsamic background.”

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Piatelli Vineyards Premium Reserve Malbec, $14.  Kudos to Mountain Spirits on Elk for always hand-picking and stocking $15 bottles of wine that taste like $100 bottles of wine.  One of my all-time faves.  Tasting notes: “Decadent aromas of meat, blueberry and mineral. Slate too. Full-bodied, tight and chewy with a lovely texture and freshness. Just a hint of toasted oak and walnuts.”

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True Myth Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, $18 at Trader Joe’s.  I’ve been loving Paso wines this year; this one might be my fave from there.  Grabbed this a few nights ago for dinner at my Mom’s.  Plus look how pretty the bottle is?  Slap a taper candle in that bad boy when you’re done and light er up.  Tasting notes: “…abundance of blue and black fruit to sweeten, the chalky tannins and earth “soil” play up the savory and mineral tones of this rustic red… serious big oak-caramel and black cherry coming in from the mid-palate to finish… straightforward feel in its red currants, licorice and spice.”

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Daou Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, $23.  Daou never disappoints.  Fun fact: Nick – my cabinet guy I design custom cabs for (kitchens & baths & built-ins) did all the custom cabinetry for their winery this year. #baller.  Tasting notes: “Rich deep dark berry color with creamy mocha-espresso flavors is the first impression of this wine. The tannins are well integrated with the fruit and create a long finish that keeps going. It’s full bodied with a saturated finish while accompanied by bright acidity and infused by black current and cooked blueberry fruit.”

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Chateau Thomas-Laurent Bordeaux 2014, $12.  I think a good Bordeaux is hard to find… and it’s not always the first varietal I reach for, but this is a find.  Another Mountain Spirits score.  Tasting notes: “…initial scent reveals fresh fruits and whiffs of earth, flavors follow with the same notes, adding plums and herbs.”

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Pali Bluffs Russian River Pinot Noir 2014, $23.  I ordered this for the table when my mom was in San Diego last Spring, and it was $75 at George’s at the Cove (most overpriced place ever with the best view of the water at sunset).  Don’t tell them I said this, but it was worth every penny there, so it’s like highway robbery at $23.  Tasting notes: “…oak present from the start, adding to the plushness of the tannin and taste of vanilla and spice. Plum jam gives way to juicier cherry and berry, with an underlying yeastiness that presents like baked bread.”

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Santa Barbara Valley Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 2012, $20.  Tasting notes: “…flavors of white pepper and lavender, with a jammier full fruit character.”

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WHITES

Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier 2014, $12.  I buy mine at Trader Joe’s.  Light & on the sweeter, peachier (but not too sweet) side.  Tasting notes: “…from crisp white peach, honeyed pear and sweet mango, to touches of fresh jasmine blossom and white chai tea.”

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Pedroncelli Sauvignon Blanc 2015, $12.  TWELVE DOLLAH BILLS and this stuff is DUL-LICIOUS.  Hands-down my favorite white; everyone I have poured it for raves about it.  Tasting notes: “refreshing with rich, lingering layers of citrus, honeydew melon and pineapple.”

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Burgans Albarino 2014, $13.  Hate to be a one-trick pony but kudos again to the sommelier at Mountain Spirits.  Found this one this summer and it went down REAL EASY.  Pedronelli is still my fave, but this is a goodie.  Really tough to find though – I also snap it up from Lincoln Wines in LA.  Tasting notes: “Powerful scents of pineapple, mango and white flowers, with a chalky overtone. Supple and round in the mouth, offering juicy tropical fruit avors and a bracing note of lemon zest.”

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La Crema Chardonnay 2014, $20.  This one goes out to my girl KP, who has a mini-fridge in her sweet Malibu beach studio, and fills up 3/4 of it with bottles of this. Tasting notes: “…opens with layered aromas of fresh Meyer lemon, shortbread and ripe pear. On the palate are flavors of baked, locally grown, Gravenstein apple framed by hints of sweet spice and white peach.”

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Bottoms up & Merry Christmas!!!

xoxo,

Steph's Scanned Signature

Listen. Eat. Wear. Read. See. Repeat.

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Currently listening to this on rotation, from Usher’s brand new album:

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Chili Pot Pie With Cornbread Crust

Move over, pumpkin spiced lattes and burgundy color nails: These chili pot pies with cornbread crust s-c-r-e-a-m Fall. I have a feeling that if you spoon this in your mouth temporarily, just temporarily, all will seem right in the world.

 

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Messy Hair, Don’t Care. How fuh-reakin’ cute is this? A friend sent it to me for my hair. Don’t mind if I do.

Covet Living

The Nix by Nathan Hill

Meryl Streep and JJ Abrams just signed on to do the movie adaptation of this book, which people are touting as one of the best books in a long time. Like, from page 1-kind of good. Read about it here.

Covet Living

Amanda Knox:  A Documentary

If you thought you had a shred of knowledge of what happened in the Amanda Knox murder case, think again. I myself got sucked into the media frenzy eight years ago and believed she’d been wrapped up in a wild sex party that went awry, that she’d murdered her roommate. And that’s because, as you’ll see in this documentary, the media created a great, juicy story they knew would bring in eyeballs and keep the world transfixed. But all was not as was presented, ohhhhh no – and this documentary lays it bare beautifully, with Amanda Knox describing everything she went through. So compelling.

Have a rad weekend everyone!

xoxo,

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