$10 Wine Tasting Winner: Beringer California Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Our 8 economical bottles, ordered from highest score to lowest.

I am very happy to report that last night, a good time was had by all.  We hosted our very first $10 wine tasting, which I hope is only the first of many variations on that theme.

The rules were: you must bring 2 bottles of your favourite $10 wine (red or white), one for tasting and one for the prize basket. The bottles for tasting were wrapped in brown paper bags and were sampled “blind,” ordered from white to red and randomly numbered.  The bottles were scored out of 20 (5 for nose, 5 for taste, 5 for finish and 5 for overall impression). We picked the basics: how does it smell, do you like the taste, how does it leave your mouth, and what do you think of it overall? Here is a copy of the $10 wine tasting score sheet for those who want to host a similar event. The score sheet is certainly not designed for wine snobs and sommeliers, but for ordinary folk who might not be thinking of uppity terms like balance, complexity and bouquet.

Last night we had 13 attendees and 8 bottles (5 white and 3 red). The winner was Beringer California Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, $9.95. Sadly it was not my entry, but a wine I’ve reviewed in the past and been very pleased with regarding quality at its price point. Good choice, Eve & Tomek. Congrats on winning 8 bottles of wine, and thanks for sharing a few with your hosts!

Kevin and I entered our latest favourite white, Sogrape Gazela Vinho Verde 2009, $8.95. Unfortunately it was not a fan favourite, and we came in 6th. I think our crowd enjoyed off-dry whites the most, and weren’t into its crisp dry spritzy quality.  But I still love it!

Here is a list of the 8 wines and where they fell in the ranks:

1. 2008 Beringer California Collection Cabernet Sauvignon, $9.95. LCBO# 113001. (California)

-Soft vanilla and oak flavours, very smooth finish and medium-full body.

2. 2009 Deinhard Green Label Riesling, $11.95. LCBO# 8094. (Germany)

-Off-dry, fruity and fresh.

3. 2009 Ruffino Orvieto Classico, $11.75. LCBO# 31062. (Italy)

-Slightly off-dry, clean and crisp with flavours of apple and pear.

4. 2009 Copper Moon Moonlight Harvest Pinot Grigio, $9.45. LCBO# 158303. (Ontario, Canada)

-Off-dry with flavours of citrus and melon.

5. 2009 Argento Chardonnay, $9.95. LCBO# 591701. (Argentina)

-Fruity with a sweet, almost maple syrup finish.

6. 2009 Sogrape Gazela Vinho Verde, $8.95. LCBO# 141432. (Portugal)

Dry, light and effervescent. Flavours of citrus and tomato leaf.

7. 2008 Finca Flichman Misterio Malbec, $7.95. LCBO# 28803.  (Argentina)

-Oaky nose and blackberry flavours. Medium-bodied, fruity and toasty.

8. 2009 Funky Llama Shiraz, $9.90. LCBO# 614685. (Argentina)

Black currant flavours with a hint of oak, medium-bodied.

All the bottles were enjoyed and represented great quality for price. My personal top 3 were the Beringer Cab-Sav (17.5/20), Gazela Vinho Verde (16/20) and Ruffino Orvieto Classico (16/20). Funnily enough they are all wines I have reviewed before and really enjoyed.  Even with a “blind” tasting, I still like what I like!

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