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Posted by Marcia Frost

When I started writing about wine, I took a seminar with the owner of a winery called How to Taste Like a Sommelier. The first thing that stuck with me was in his opening remarks. He told us that what we liked was more important than many consider great wine.

I always remember that when people ask me what wine they should buy. I won’t give any suggestions until I find out what they like. Whether it’s red or white, dry or sweet, fruity or peppery, there’s a wine out there for everyone.  

Once you determine the type of wine you want, the next step is to find one within your budget. We all want to drink good wine, but we don’t all want to pay a fortune for it.  The trick is to think out of the Napa or Bordeaux box.

It’s not that difficult to find good wine at a cheap price if you know which regions make it better for less.

Impressive Italian Wine

Alexandra Vincent/The Penny Hoarder

Italy, especially Sicily, is filled with reasonably priced wine, especially reds. Marsala is probably best known for its namesake wine, which has become more popular in the chicken dish than the glass, but it’s far from the only thing to drink in the region.

From Marsala to Ragusa to Ragaleali, and through the small Mediterranean island of Pantelleria, delicious and inexpensive red wine comes from Sicilian grapes such as Nero D’Avola, Primitivo and Nerello Mascalese.

Try Donnafugata Sedara (under $15), which is made from Nero D’Avola. It’s an easy-drinking red filled with black berries and just a tiny bit of spice.

Frugal French Wine

Alexandra Vincent/The Penny Hoarder

Bordeaux may be a bit out of your budget, but it’s worth exploring the wines of Languedoc-Roussillon, France. This region lies between the Pyrenees Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, and offers some unique, inexpensive wines.

The most popular wines here are made with Grenache and Muscat. Muscat is the same grape used in the sweet Moscato you’re used to drinking, but it’s also used in a variety of whites and reds from this region.

Try Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas (about $13). This Grenache that is full-bodied to stand up to everything from a roasted chicken to a steak dinner. You can also try Fortant Coast Select Muscat, which is a floral white with just a touch of sweetness.

Stay Close to Home With Willamette Valley Wine

Some have compared Oregon wines to those in Napa, but you won’t find the same price tag in Willamette Valley.

This wine region has won over critics with its reds, most notably the Pinot Noirs.  Bringing a bottle from Willamette Valley to the table will impress your guests.

Try Row 503 Pinot Noir (under $20). In addition to being half the price, it’s a bit gentler than its Napa cousin, and you can sip it with or without food.

Amazing Australian Wine

Alexandra Vincent/The Penny Hoarder

If you like your wine light and white, Australia has plenty of cheap wines that taste like award-winners.

You may have already tried Yellow Tail, which is available everywhere for as little as $5. It’s actually decent wine, but if you want something a little better, you don’t have to spend a lot more for an Australian treat.

Try La Bossa Sauvignon Blanc (under $10). It’s light and fresh, and perfect for a summer day.

Hola Rioja Wine!

Rioja is a must for red wine lovers. This Spanish region produces many bottles around $10 that you’d be proud to bring to a special occasion.

The wines from Rioja are rich and full-bodied, but you’ll taste more red fruit than you are used to, keeping it from being super-dry. Tempranillo is your best bet for a good, inexpensive Spanish wine.

Try Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Reserva (about $12). It’s fruity and nutty at the same time, making it something you’ll drink with or without food.

Try Dave Phinney Locations

Alexandra Vincent/The Penny Hoarder

If you’re looking for more value on what’s in the bottle rather than what’s on the label, Dave Phinney’s Locations wines are perfect options. This brand focuses on the fact that you can find great, inexpensive wine all over the world as long as you have a great winemaker (in this case, Dave Phinney).

These wines have plain white labels with big letters indicating their origins, e.g., “F” for France or “AR” for Argentina. The majority are under $20 and are red or white blends.

Marcia Frost is a lifestyle journalist who has been writing about wine for eight years. When she’s not tasting for work, she’ll always choose a Sauvignon Blanc.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites. We help millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. In 2016, Inc. 500 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the No. 1 fastest-growing private media company in the U.S.

08/21/17 PHD comic: 'Eclipse'

Aug. 21st, 2017 04:10 am
[syndicated profile] phd_comics_feed
Piled Higher & Deeper by Jorge Cham
Click on the title below to read the comic
title: "Eclipse" - originally published 8/21/2017

For the latest news in PHD Comics, CLICK HERE!

(no subject)

Aug. 21st, 2017 05:22 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Sarah is raising funds to help save her family's house, where they are facing eviction. They are dealing with her mother's illness and recent unemployment, and they are trying to raise $100K to cover hospital bills and mortgage payments. You can read more and support the fundraiser here.

Anon linked to a fundraiser for the legal fees for protestors in Durham, who pulled down the Confederate statue. You can read more and support their legal defense here.

[personal profile] spasticat has been unemployed since October of last year, and while she's been actively looking for work, her benefits and savings have run out; she's raising funds for utilities, medication, and rent. At the end of September she is also moving back home, and needs funds to cover the move. You can read more and support her YouCaring here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[tumblr.com profile] magpiesmiscellany has a selection of tree-of-life pendants in various shapes, colors, and sizes for sale, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, and the National Immigration Law Center. You can read more and purchase them here.


[personal profile] in_the_bottle is looking for a new housemate in London, in Fulham SW6, bordering Hammersmith. Two professional females, at least one fandom friendly. You can read more and get in touch here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

Writing and watching

Aug. 21st, 2017 07:51 am
shallowness: Margaret Hale of North and South adaptation sitting at desk writing (Margaret North and South writing)
[personal profile] shallowness
Over the past few days, I've posted Dream Outfits NCIS: Los Angeles. PG. Nell Jones/Eric Beale. (358 words.) Summary: Dreams mean nothing. Set during early season 4.

This was originally meant to be the first part of a ‘five times Nell dreams about Eric’ fic, but I never got much further than this and the not great first line of the next section. When I started writing another Eric/Nell fic (ahem), I was reminded of this, typed it up, et voila. I envy Nell’s ability to find the Pi pyjamas I was envisaging.

I also posted Energy Conservation Push.
PG. Cassie/Nick. (727 words.) Summary: While worrying about her future, again, Cassie receives a piece of advice.

I wrote the first draft after seeing the prompt – as I said in the author's notes, of course I thought Push when I saw it !? I’m not one who wants babyfic for Cassie and Nick, for what I think are obvious reasons, although I do refer to Cassie’s mother issues. Anyway, the encounter got fleshed out a little in the redrafting. This is the first Push fic I've written in six years.

I rewatched Crazy, Stupid Love over the weekend. Five-ish things.

Read more... )

Lilith Faire Amnesty Day

Aug. 21st, 2017 02:29 am
bookblather: Gentleman in a turquoise sombrero staring at camera. (mighty mod chapeau)
[personal profile] bookblather posting in [community profile] rainbowlounge
Today, post a fic for any of the previous songs that maybe you didn't quite get done in time. Or select a song of your own (must be by a woman or female-led band) and write a fic for that.

Have fun!


Aug. 20th, 2017 10:37 pm
dousing: (Default)
[personal profile] dousing posting in [community profile] bakerstreet


Say you're in a war. Whichever side you're on, you want out. Either your side is losing or your beliefs have changed or you're trying to get close to the people important so you can get rid of them and end everything, you're going to switch sides. Maybe you end up having to kill people who used to be your comrades, your friends. Maybe you're acting as a spy. Maybe you're acting as a double triple agent? Calm down there, buddy. Maybe you just want to run away entirely.

This doesn't only have to apply to wars, of course. Maybe your friends are arguing and you changed your mind about who you agree with. Maybe you're trying to decide what to have for dinner and originally you wanted pizza but now you want a burger and everyone is pissed at you. The point is, things have changed. You have changed. What are you going to do now?

• Top level your character. Include any details you might think are relevant. Or don't. As always, we're not the cops.
• Reply to other people's top levels!
• Have fun!

a weekend of social stuff & spending

Aug. 20th, 2017 09:35 pm
sistawendy: (contemplative red)
[personal profile] sistawendy
Friday: Dressed cute because a party that I thought was that night was in fact the following night, thereby conflicting with a date. Arg!

Saturday: The Goth garage sale by consummate saleslady [personal profile] cupcake_goth et al. including the visiting [personal profile] kambriel. They did indeed sell me things - nice plates, a little black ruffly skirt, an art nouveau necklace, spider web hose, earrings, an Art With Latex necklace that I'd wanted for years - that were Good To Have. I spent exactly my budget, i.e. all the cash I brought.

On to the apartment of the Siberian Siren, where her bouncy young dog destroyed the beaded necklace I was wearing. Le sigh. But at least she & I have reserved an AirBNB and bought plane tickets for our trip to the Folsom Street Fair. We have committed. This is totally happening and I. Am. Psyched. The SS needed to hunt for deals, and she taught me a useful thing or two.

Date with the Tickler! Lovely dinner at Itto's, followed by a few minutes of ahem, then a couple of hours of the Tickler's stomach going to hell. Yes, again. It was bad: plumbing fixtures were involved. It might be worth mentioning that whatever affected her did not affect me, and we split a gazillion tapas; this isn't any reflection on Itto's, which is a fave of ours. She noted that we partook of members of the nightshade family (i.e. tomatoes), which may be yet another food allergy for her. Poor Tickler. There were cuddles and reasonable sleep.

Today: After the Tickler's deluxe oatmeal, we tried to hit the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum with the Tickler this morning, but when we got there at 0930, half an hour before opening time, the line was already around the block. The tickler looked for parking for a bit, but then bailed, for which I don't blame her. I still want to see the exhibit, though. It looks way cool.

Slacking, walking around Green Lake, then eetz with J & R, which I always love. I just finished making a rock-bottom-tech pinhole camera for the eclipse tomorrow.


Aug. 21st, 2017 12:47 am
lauramoon: (gods: freak like me)
[personal profile] lauramoon
"Rainbow" is a perfect album, and it is giving me life. Kesha is the voice of my generation, and I've missed her like hell.

Done last week (20170813Su - 19Sa)

Aug. 20th, 2017 09:44 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

The last pod has been emptied -- it will be hauled off on Wednesday -- so I guess that means we're officially moved in. So many things we really shouldn't have taken! (And a few we should have, but gave away instead...)

We decided not to go to Oregon to see the eclipse. Just didn't start soon enough; maybe we can get to 2024? Tough decision, but we hadn't planned far enough ahead; with the expected traffic we probably wouldn't have made it, we would have had to scramble to find someone to care for the cats, and the room was expensive.

A lot of overload/stress/depression/anxiety problems, especially Monday and yesterday. Yesterday was particularly bad -- I felt drained pretty much all day after a morning meltdown. I probably need to bunny more.

There are continuing problems with the cats. Bronx is still pretty sick, and Ticia spent much of the week hiding under the bed. We finally set Colleen up in the brown recliner, with her usual bowls of water and treats. That seems to have worked, or at least helped. She's still awfully skittish. May have to do with the kittens. Especially Bronx.

Notes & links, as usual )

darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
This was a very interesting read. Several of the things mentioned in the article made me think of my niece, who was born in 1995; things which I thought were simply traits of hers, but which may be more general traits of her generation.

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

beneath the skin

Aug. 21st, 2017 12:21 am
lauramoon: (carly: this motherfucker here)
[personal profile] lauramoon
Sibs and I are supposed to 100% going to get our Deathly Hallows tattoos this week (they swear. This is why I am in charge of scheduling and planning absolutely everything else, but Ashley insists on her lame, overpriced, hipster bs artist, so.) The base price at this guy's shop is $50, which means no matter how small your design, it costs $50 for them to take the needle out of the package. Because our tattoos are not worth that, my brother and sister are both going to have something else done or touched up while we're there. My brother is paying for my resurrection stone tattoo because he always owes me money, but for maybe $50-$60 of my money on top, I could get an o captain, my captain Robin Williams memorial tattoo. I am so cash poor for the next few months because of my trip, so I should just be responsible and skip it, but seriously, you guys, where on my body am I getting this tattoo?
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