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This month's haul from The Wine House in West LA

Pei Aug 22, 2006 09:00 PM

The Wine House has become a monthly stop for me, and this month I decided to explore the $10 selections (in the spirit of last week's LA Times roundup of $10 and under wines http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...).

I am still looking for a great vinho verde, if anyone has a recommendation available at The Wine House or nearby. And I would love to hear what people have to say about any of the wines below!

2005 Bio-Weingut h.u.m. Hofer Grüner Veltliner. As recommended by the Los Angeles Times: "Crisp, minerally and delicious, this dry Grüner from Austria comes in a distinctive, fat, green one-liter bottle with a pop-top." Yes, this liter of wine comes with a beer cap. I guess that means you have to drink the whole thing once you open it. No cork to close it back up with! Shouldn't be a problem. I have yet to meet a gruner veltiner I didn't like. $11

Bitch 2004. Yes, the wine's name is Bitch. How could I not buy it? It's an Australian grenache, and the wine clerk told me it's actually pretty darned good for the price point. Spicy, like a bitch should be. $9

Thomas Fogarty 2004 Monterey Gewürztraminer. I've liked Fogarty wines in the past, and the wine shop described it as transcendently fragrant so I had to give it a try. Websites seem to tout its acidity and fruitiness, and someone even calls its minerality remniscent of Pop Rocks! $15

Lois Loimer Grüner Veltliner 2005. Austria is known for grüner veltiner, and this one is packaged in such a pretty green bottle! The wine itself probably isn't this green. More like a white wine that's green around the edges. I've actually been looking for a Portuguese style wine called vinho verde (green wine), but I didn't find any today. $11

Marquis Philips 2004 Vintage Holly's Blend. This is one of J's favorite white wines in any price point, but I first bought it at a $10 sale. This kind of bargain is why I continue to buy $10 wine. I would say eight out of ten $10 wines are drinkable but not worth buying again; one is be truly terrible, and one (if you're lucky) is wonderful. Holly's blend is intensely fragrant, light on the tongue, with a smooth finish. No funky sourness, no bite, just smooth. Unfortunately, the two entities (Marquis and Philips) who joined to make this wine are going their separate ways, so I got the last bottle at the store for a bargain $8, but was told there would be no more. I think Marquis figured out they (husband and wife) could make better wine, because their new wine (Marie something or other) is going for closer to $20. Good for them, bad for me.

PS. I didn't know this until today, but The Wine House will pay you your CRV for wine bottles, beer bottles, soda cans, and plastic water bottles.

And because photos are fun: http://www.latimes.com/features/food/... (I love the packaging for Lois and Bitch).

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  1. PolarBear RE: Pei Aug 22, 2006 09:36 PM

    Pei, in case you didn't see it I posted a similar request (albeit for central-northern CA) recently.

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

    I'd be interested in hearing what you find in the southland, as well as the 05 Lois GV you picked up. I scored a couple of the 04s but haven't had the chance to try them yet.

    Cheers,

    Dave

    1. m
      MagneticTeeth RE: Pei Aug 24, 2006 10:33 PM

      I have been getting the Fogarty Gewurtz for a few years now. Just had a bottle of the '04 last night. Very smooth and drinkable.

      If you like that one, at Mission Wines they have one from Sineann. It's a little more ($20,) but great flavor and clarity.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MagneticTeeth
        PolarBear RE: MagneticTeeth Aug 25, 2006 10:40 PM

        Have you tried Fogarty's Skyline? They call it a Bordeaux style blend, mighty fine red table wine for around $10.

      2. m
        MagneticTeeth RE: Pei Aug 24, 2006 10:36 PM

        OH, if you want to try something different at the Wine House, they have a sparkling shiraz from Paringa. I think it's only like $8, but bring it to a party and get a lot of comments. Most people haven't had a lot of sparkling red and it's right tasty as well.

        4 Replies
        1. re: MagneticTeeth
          PolarBear RE: MagneticTeeth Aug 24, 2006 11:59 PM

          I waltzed into my local purveyor (Old Doc's) just as a salesman was pouring some Paringa yesterday for the owner and his manager. The latter's comment was "it tastes like Cold Duck". Had to agree, but without the sweetness. My take was it is something that those who don't care for traditional red wines might like.

          1. re: PolarBear
            Pei RE: PolarBear Aug 25, 2006 10:30 PM

            I think I have that bottle of sparkling shiraz in my cabinet. I've been waiting for a party to bring it out because I haven't ever liked sparkling reds in the past.

            Magnetic Teeth, can you describe "tasty" for me? The sparkling wines I've had are all from Italy, whether or not they're lambrusco. They all seem big on fizz but low on flavor to me. Maybe the shiraz is different? I tend to like low end Australian wine more than low end Italian wines.

            1. re: Pei
              m
              MagneticTeeth RE: Pei Aug 28, 2006 04:21 PM

              I would not describe it as bold or full, but it is crisp and there is still some good spice from the Shiraz. We serve it as a starter in the summer. It is refreshing and not overpowering, so that you can move on to a heavier wine easily. I usually put it out with a wine/cheese plate.

              1. re: MagneticTeeth
                Dommy RE: MagneticTeeth Nov 15, 2006 09:30 PM

                Yup! I served the Sparkling Shiraz at a dinner party two weeks ago and it was a TOTAL hit. We started dinner of French Onion Soup with it. It was refreshing, yet cut through the soup. We got our bottle at Surfas for about $9.00...

                --Dommy!

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