u Les Jamelles 2011 Syrah — It can be found in lots of wine shops and liquor stores. A simple wine doesn’t have to be bad. Not everything in your glass requires 4-5 adjectives to enjoy it. Sometimes plain and simple suffices. It’s got a little fruit and some spice. Not bad for $9.
u Huber’s Winery Vignoles — The Indy International Wine Competition Wine of The Year represents a movement among several Indiana winemakers to reduce residual sugar while maintaining the fresh fruit. The Vignoles is an outstanding summer sipper but would also be good with creamy cheeses or salty meats. $14.99.
u David Hill 2011 Estate Pinot Gris — It has bright and pronounced acidity with aromas of stone fruit. Try this with some grilled shrimp. It’s great white wine from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. $18.
u Tenuta Frescobaldi Di Castiglioni 2010 — Toscana is a really bold wine perfect for steaks, roasts, and hearty pasta. The Tuscan blend is 50 percent Cabernet, 30 percent Merlot, 12 percent Cabernet Franc, and 8 percent Sangiovese. Has notes of currant, plum and dark fruit. Dynamite wine for around $20.
u Chateau Recougne, 2009 — This is a Superior which is the largest classification in Bordeaux. The wines are quite a bargain. This particular wine had a fresh palate from its 75 percent Merlot, 15 percent Cabernet, and 10 percent Cabernet Franc blend. A Bordeaux bargain at $10-$19.
And … drum roll, please … the worst wine of the year:
u Evil Pinot Noir — This red juice made its way to the U.S. for Octavin’s boxed wines, many of which are pretty good. This $6.99 bottle enjoyed a big display in a high-end Indianapolis market that called to me like a siren’s song. Downside? Don’t buy wines with monkeys on the label! Evil just begins to describe it.
Next column: Looking forward!
Howard W. Hewitt, Crawfordsville, In., writes about value wine every other week for 23 midwestern newspapers. www.howardhewitt.net