With a winter that just won’t go away I am still turning to reds to warm the soul, with a white for good measure and unfortunately a Malbec that you probably don’t need to try – for the ‘One and Done’ pile. Here is some of what we have been drinking lately.

Oggi Botter Primativo – $9.25
 We will start with a  couple of cheapies, the first that came highly recommended by one of the LCBO representatives that offered to help me out while looking for another low priced red that they were sold out of.  I told her that I was looking to add such wines to the column on a regular basis – just because you should know.

For the price it did not disappoint and if you are having pizza, pasta or a burger this one will do!

What the Experts say:  Medium ruby colour; aromas of earth, ripe black cherry, and perfume; dry, medium-full bodied, spicy, mineral and black fruit flavours.

What do I think:  Bang for the buck!  Simple solid red and black berry flavors. Guessing whomever thinks it has earthy aromas has never played football and had some earth in their mouth. Sorry no perfume either and tell me who really wants to drink something perfumed!

Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon – $11.95
Chili 2015

One of my surprising little Christmas gifts from my niece and nephew…

What the Experts say: A classic Chilean red that pours deep ruby and offers aromas of dark cherry, blackberry, and vanilla on the nose. The palate is full and dry with low acid and big fruit characters of Cassis, cherry, and vanilla followed by a medium length, lightly spiced finish.

What do I think:  Anyone who likes red cabs should try this one!  This is a perfect example of why I rarely buy Canadian wines as this quality would run you $30 plus. Chilean Wine Guide Descorchados has in 2005, 2008 and 2014 awarded this little gem 92 points.  Real big bang for your buck!

The Prisoner – Zinfandel Blend – $54.95
California USA, 2016

Just like what you might find in jail – a blend of personalities here is a wonderful mish-mash of bold flavours!  Take no prisoners, keep no prisoners – just drink!

What the Experts say: This bold blend combines Zinfandel with Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Charbono to create a robust, ripe, smooth salute to the ‘mixed-blacks’ field blends of early Italian immigrants to California. Named for and featuring the 1807 etching by Francisco de Goya on the label, this is a wine that will deliver dark chocolate and clove alongside rich dark fruit tones. A powerhouse wine that calls for a grilled steak.

What do I think:  Enjoyed this wine very much!  Don’t know that it is worth the 50 bucks so I would have to say that I will take no more prisoners.  Too much other great wine between the $20 – $50 range that is every bit as good or better.

J. Lohr South Ridge Syrah 2015 – Shiraz/Syrah – $23.95
California USA

Something new for me from one of my favorite wine brands…arriving with a friend for a dinner party!  A very pleasant surprise.

What the Experts say: Rich and generous, the 2015 Syrah South Ridge Vineyard reveals aromas and flavors of smoky black fruit and licorice. It’s medium to full-bodied, supple and open-knit.

What do I think: As mentioned, a very pleasant surprise, to me it was full bodied, smooth, dry, a nice aroma to the nose and unlike most Shiraz / Syrah type wines that leave that empty non finishing feel – this one did nicely!

Catena Chardonnay 2017 – $19.95

It must have been time for one of my blackened trout dinners so the mind automatically turns to thoughts of something white!

What the Experts say: Some high-mountain character in the appealing pear nose. Just a hint of pineapple, too. Crisp acidity and fruit freshness on the medium-full palate. Good length.

What do I think:  It is pretty easy for me to turn to just about anything Catena, a big fan of their reds!  Refreshing with a nice bold mouth filling flavours!  Great value!

And here is one that you really should just avoid.  Thankfully or maybe not it was just left over from a dinner party!  It was going to be an alcohol free night but what the hell it was my job to try since it was there.  Actually drank a glass and a half before dumping the rest.

One and Done 

Argento Seleccion Malbec  – $11.00

What the Experts say: Bright ruby red colour; fresh raspberry, cherry, sweet plum compote and milk chocolate aromas with hints of violets and herbs; dry, medium bodied, with balanced acidity and silky tannins supporting flavours of ripe black fruits.

What do I think: Beware of what the experts say!  I think I would prefer Ocean Spray’s Cranberry Concord Grape Juice blend over this one!  If you have ever had 2 Buck Chuck it would rank alongside except that, Chuck is only 2 Bucks!