What We're Drinking: Top 5 wines from our cellar (July)

The focus of this blog is for us to select the five best bottles of wine we opened from the previous month.

We buy, drink and collect a lot of wine each month, and we enjoy sharing our finds with you, our readers. We’re not all North Carolina wine like others out there, but we try to include a local wine or two in the mix each month as we sip and taste our way through our collection of wines.

July was a very busy month for us, including a couple dining out events, a concert, a convention, a wine/food pairing – as well as the loss of our beloved cat, Sleestak. We also sampled some very nice California wines at The Capital Grille, which you can see below.

Related Story: The Generous Pour – Summer wine Event at The Capital Grille

Without further ado – we bring to you are cellar picks for the month of July.

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2018 CASA MATEO ROSE – CENTRAL VALLEY

This Rosé from the central valley of Chile was surprisingly dry. As part of our “Lazy Days and Rosé” series, we opened up this wine to enjoy on one of these hot July nights. Like most Rosé wines, we got that taste of strawberry on the palate – even though we both thought the wine didn’t have much of a nose. A great wine to give someone who thinks all Rosé wines are sweet in both taste and smell.

Average price: $9.99

Location purchased: Wine & Beer 101, Wake Forest

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GOOD HARBOR VINEYARDS’ HARBOR RED

We love it when we can stumble upon a good “drinking” wine that doesn’t cost a lot of money. And this along with its counterpart (you’ll see shortly), have been great finds for us. Good Harbor is a vineyard we visited many years ago while on vacation in northern Michigan. Its Harbor Red is a table wine which is a blend of Marechal Foch, Leon Millot and Chancellor (grapes you don’t hear about much here in North Carolina). On the nose you get jammy cherries and a small hint of cocoa. The palate is semi-sweet with tastes of bramble fruits. This wine is not available in North Carolina, but distributed all over stores and bottle shops throughout Michigan.

Average price: $10.00

Location purchased: Kroger, Shelby Township, Michigan

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GOOD HARBOR VINEYARDS’ FISHTOWN WHITE

The tasty sister wine of the aforementioned, the Fishtown White, in our opinion, is our favorite of the two (and that’s saying a lot, because we aren’t big white wine drinkers). This wine is a blend of some of the most famous white grapes, which might explain why its one of the wineries most popular wines. Imagine a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Riesling all blended into one wine! And imagine all that great taste in a bottle that will set you back $10 plus tax! Spending almost all its time in stainless steel, the fruit flavors keep this wine crisp on the palate

Average price: $10

Location Purchased: Kroger, Shelby Township, Michigan

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PICCIONE VINEYARDS 2014 L’OTTIMO

We know a lot of people still believe that NC wines are all sweet. But that’s not the case. Here, this “Super Tuscan” blend made with Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot is an incredible wine. The day we opened up this wine we just came back from a wine tasting where we sampled 5 red wines from Italy and California … and we both agreed that this by far beat out all those wines … hand’s down! And getting a “Super Tuscan” for under $25 is a great deal!

Average price: $21

Location Purchased: Piccione Vineyards

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JONES VON DREHLE 2014 ESTATE MERLOT

People these days still like to turn their noses up when it comes to Merlot – but not us. Especially when it comes from one of our top wineries in the state. JvD’s 2014 Merlot’s taste hits you with cherry, plum, spice and some tobacco. The finish is just as good as the nose, with a fruit finish, especially of ripe plums. If you pick out your wines by the number of awards they’ve won, this wine has won 15 awards – not too shabby.

Average cost: $24

Location purchased: Jones Von Drehle Vineyards