I’ve been wanting to do an article like this for years, to list some wines I enjoy that won’t break the bank. I’m not a wine connoisseur at all and I really can’t tell you about a hint of this and a fragrance of that and whatever, whatever, but I do enjoy what I think of as a good wine every so often. Problem is, I’m not going to buy a wine to impress anyone else, I’m going to buy it because I think it tastes good and honestly, I just don’t have the money to go around buying expensive wines and then especially so if I don’t know whether I’m going to enjoy it or not.
Back in 2000 in Australia a few of us at the office got into the habit of going curry tasting on a Tuesday night and there the guys introduced me to the first wine in Australia that I specifically started asking for by name. It was a Penfold Bin 187, I think and not certain whether it was a Shiraz or what. Anyway, it was a nice, tasty wine with ample flavour, but without that strong, dark red-wine flavour that I don’t really like. Sorry, I don’t know how you describe these things, but it was a good wine. I don’t think it was particularly expensive, but I had no reserves recommending it to anyone.
I’ve been looking around here in New Zealand for something similar and I’ve found a few wines that have been okay at the $20 mark, but nothing that’s really made me sit down and write this article… until now!
For Secret Santa at our office we played that “Dirty Santa” game, also called Yankee swap. Where everyone gets a chance to pick a present or “steal” a present from someone who’s already opened one and each present may only be stolen twice etc. etc. Well, as it turns out we play this game at our house every year and while I got a pretty bad deal at our house this year, I think I got the best deal at the office. “Stole” a present which was two bottles of wine from a poor, unsuspecting colleague and thus far, 5 years in New Zealand now, this is my favourite affordable wine around here!
Selaks Reserve 2014 Merlot Cabernet and Selaks Reserve 2015 Chardonnay
Lovely stuff!!! The Merlot Cabernet fits the same description as I gave the Penfold above, it’s got a lot of taste, but not that dark, dry taste that you often find in red wines that leave you more thirsty than you started.
Now I have mixed feelings about white wine. I’m probably more inclined to drink a cheap red wine than a cheap white wine. I don’t like a fruity white wine and I don’t like that sour taste of a very cheap white. So I drank the red wine first and being very impressed with that, I thought the white that goes with it will be disappointing (we had a $20 limit on the Secret Santa gifts, so these were not meant to be expensive wines – though I think this present may have gone over the $20 mark). Well turns out the Chardonnay is a pretty damn good white wine as well!
Looks like you can get the Selaks Reserve Merlot Cabernet for around $12 and the 2014 one for around $17. So not very expensive at all, but by my standards well worth it!!
My intention is to taste different wines and update this article with some feedback and to keep things fair and clean I’m not going to make this statement again once I’ve listed other wine names on here, but for right now the Selaks Reserve 2015 Chardonnay is my favourite white wine and the Selaks Reserve 2014 Merlot Cabernet is my favourite red and favourite overall wine in New Zealand.