As wine is a daily staple around our house, finding truly decent ones in a price bracket that won’t empty your coffers is something of an undertaking. And unfortunately it’s even more difficult if you’re seeking locally grown and produced. Our industry is too new and the cost of agricultural land too high to compete with wineries in Europe that started centuries ago. And quite honestly, as wine has been viewed in many Old World cultures as a “food product” and part of their daily lifestyle, they’ve become very skilled at making high quality table wines for very little money. In any case, wines such as these are a great introduction to grapes and wine styles produced in other places, ie; Macabeo, Castelão, Camarate and Carignan.
Read on to see about such wines available for purchase on the Sunshine Coast. It should be clarified that these are all below $15 pre-tax and bottle deposit. They might creep over after. That said, they all seriously deliver in this price point.
First let’s start with Cava, a Spanish sparkling wine, typically value priced and made in the same method as Champagne. In the Spanish case, the grapes used are most often Macabeo, Parellada and Xarelo.
Bonaval hails from the Extremadura region in Western Spain where it’s produced in a Cava dedicated winery owned by Bogegas Lopez Morenas, circa 1943. Produced predominantly from Macabeo and a small percentage of Parellada, Bonaval is “Zero Dosage” which in Joe Normal speak translates to bone dry. Floral notes can be picked up on the nose with flavours of apple, peach and citrus. Pairs well with sushi, sheep cheeses and almonds.
AN OUTSTANDING PICK FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON (albeit a conservative one for 2020).
Available at the Blackfish Liquor Store. $13.40 before tax and deposit.
“Cuvee Flore” producedby Domaines Barsalou is from the Languedoc region in the south of France. Produced from the grape varietals Carignan and Grenache, Cuvee Flore is unusually a “non-vintage” red wine. What this means is the winery blends different harvests together to maintain as consistent a wine as possible.
Medium bodied with flavours of red berry fruit and a bright floral character, Flore would pair well with poultry, dishes featuring roasted peppers and Mediterranean style cuisine.
Available at the Blackfish Liquor Store. $12.25 before tax and deposit.
Year in and year out the Saint Desirat from the Northern Rhone over delivers. Produced from 100% Syrah, the Desirat is made from grapes grown in the Ardeche area nearby Saint Joseph, one of the most noteworthy appellations in this area of France. The winery is a cooperative utilizing grapes grown by more than 350 growers providing an ample selection of high quality fruit for the production of this consistently award winning wine.
Black cherry and white pepper are the two main characteristics in this medium bodied red. An ideal accompaniment to grilled meat.
$13.49 at the BCLDB. Gibsons, Sechelt and Madeira Park government stores all stock it. Also available through the private liquor stores on the Sunshine Coast though specific pricing may vary. Contact them independently.
“Bon Ventos” from Casa Santos Lima is essentially a people pleasing juice bomb. the Santos Lima family has been producing wines predominantly in the regions around Lisboa (Lisbon) for the last 5 generations and are responsible for approximately 40% of all the wines made in that area. Produced from the indigenous grape varietals Castelão , Camarate, Tinta Miúda & Touriga Nacional, the Bon Ventos is bright and medium bodied with a variety of berry flavours leading into spice and licorice notes. Extremely quaffable.
Available at both the Blackfish Liquor Store and Lighthouse Liquor Store. There may be slight differences in price between the 2 stores but both are charging between $14 & $15 pre-tax and deposit.