Perusing many of the aisles, I picked up a Chianti Classico for $14.49, which I consider to be $10 cheaper than what I have ever found elsewhere in the US. I pay that price for regular Chianti. Bolla Chianti is my signature wine, so I consider Chianti Classico an upgrade. I like the romantic picture on the label of this Banfi wine. The text underneath reads, "Incontro tra Federico III ed Eleonora d'Aragona alla presenza di Papa Pio II" which translates to "Meeting between Frederick III and Eleanor of Aragon in the presence of Pope Pius II." They became Holy Roman Emperor and Empress in 1452.
The back label says it is smooth with notes of cherry and plum. I will probably start to drink this first. I plan to pair it with my pasta specialty (pasta in a light tomato sauce with sauteed red pepper, zucchini, spinach and grape tomatoes, likely topped with chicken strips) this week, possibly as early as tomorrow evening.
Next, I spotted the earthy red wine that I mentioned I like for fall, Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. Sometimes they carry this at the wine shop (where I discovered it), but at $11.29, 70 cents cheaper than what I have paid at the other place, I promptly added it to my cart. I thought it was an excellent value before. I normally drank this type of wine when I studied abroad as it was the wine my region produced.
Knowing the wine shop only sold a single bottle of limoncello, I wanted to check out the warehouse's selection. It was large and I picked the smallest bottle, one imported from Italy at that! Probably the lowest price on the shelves, it was $11.79. The label features a romantic description which ends with, "...Caravella is enjoyed served straight from the freezer after a satisfying meal with family and friends..." I will have to store it in my freezer tonight, so I can try a taste after a pasta dinner this week. "To close the stomach" as Italians would say! My mom (an antique dealer) gave me a couple of stemmed cordial glasses that I plan to serve it in.
I spent $40.95 there. Knowing the rosé was probably going to be around $10 and the white around $30 at the wine shop, I thought I was doing fairly well, but was still thinking I would go over my $75 budget a bit.
My purchases from Total Wine & More.
Next, she drove us to my favorite wine shop, Bin 201, in Annapolis, a city I adore. I wanted a particular rosé that I saw described in one of their emails back in July. It's called Zaza Garnacha Rosé. It described this dry pink wine from Spain as "flavorful" and "cheerful." I also approved of the strawberry notes as well as the price point of $9.99. I paid that price as it wasn't one of the bottles on sale. We should still have hot summer days to enjoy this chilled as intended!
They had two Sancerres, which is the white wine I discovered at O Chateau in Paris. I didn't like one of the descriptions at all, but thought the other sounded delicious. Plus, this second option was the Sancerre on sale for $19 from the original $29.99. Made from Sauvignon Blanc, I like that this French wine is dry and crisp with hints of citrus. I'm not sure if I've had this one from Cédrick Bardin before... I look forward to trying it with my sun-dried tomato cream pasta dish, maybe later on in the week.
As a red wine drinker, it was kind of odd to be buying a rosé and a white, but I still had that budget in mind. My total at Bin 201 was $31.60. My total for all five bottles was $72.55. I was amazed to be just under budget!
My bottles from Bin 201.
I love all of my purchases. I ended up with exactly what I wanted. Inspired, I set a goal to fill up my wine cabinet and its wine rack (once) by the end of fall. I only have five empty spots to fill at the moment, but of course plan to transfer one to my kitchen counter soon! My friend kept reminding me that she could take me back to the warehouse. Plus, like I said, the location is so convenient for her, that I could give her some cash and make a request. I think I'm going to enjoy my fall already! Cheers! Cin cin!
The two of us ended our evening with dinner at Mission BBQ back in our hometown. I love their pulled pork sandwich! The establishment offers six sauces on each table and my favorite is Memphis Belle. I even treated myself to a rare side of french fries. My meal was delicious! The service at this chain is always outstanding as well. This company always seems to be expanding with new locations.
It was such a pleasure to go wine shopping and be out and about with a friend on a Saturday night.
After grocery shopping this morning, I patronized my local liquor store and bought a six pack of beer, Harp, to go with the burgers I was planning. The guy ringing me up asked, "No wine today?!" I just mumbled "No wine today" in reply and didn't mention my cheating on him! ...with no plans on ending the love affair too.