A Cheap Bottle of Wine: Villa Cerrina’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

May 26, 2010 at 3:06 AM (Musings) (, , , )

While reviewing the recipe for a “Quick Ragù Bolognese” (details in next post), I saw that I would need some red wine.  Given that I’m a college graduate who is still surviving off a part-time hourly wage, I was in no way going to waste any of my precious $10+ wine on an experimental recipe.  Clearly I would have to buy more wine for this particular purpose.  You know, a two-buck chuck deal.

It wasn’t that simple, though.

I easily could have bought a box o’ wine and called it a day, but given how little I cook with wine (where I actually use it in the food, anyway), most of it would likely go to waste.  I wanted to find something that would serve as both an ingredient and as a palatable beverage.  As much as I love the kind people of Best Cellars, I knew I would have to sojourn elsewhere to find a wine within my budget of $6.00, so I went to Trader Joe’s (home of my favourite $4 bottle of wine, but unfortunately, it’s a white and therefore useless in this scenario).

Villa Cerrina Montepulciano d’Abruzzo red wine labelI walked into Joe’s not entirely sure of how I would select my first bottle of cheap wine.  Luckily, the store sorts its wines by region.  I figured that since it was an Italian recipe, what better place to start?  Apart from that the search was uneventful.  I went with the second cheapest red I found: Villa Cerrina’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2008 ($4.99+tax – score!).

I brought it home and used it to make my bolognese, which turned out tasty enough.  After I got the stove fires under control, I poured a small glass to see if I had found my “best of both worlds” wine.  The verdict?

I’m going to keep looking.  It wasn’t awful, but if I plan on an extended wine night, this won’t be the first bottle I open.  It’s pretty light, a little juicy at the start, and I’m not crazy about the dryness that hits me in the back of the throat.  In addition, I don’t really notice any really distinct flavours. Granted, I am far from having wine connoisseur taste buds, but even I notice when the wine is lacking in such a defining characteristic.

On the bright side, I did find an interesting-looking site looking for the picture of the label. CheapWineRatings.com may hopefully save me the effort of making a bigger mistake in the future.  Regardless, the search continues . . .

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