Problem: You are in a generic government liquor store. You have $20. Not $20 and ten cents, to cover the deposit on a $19.99 bottle, but $20, so your ceiling is $19.89, a price that almost no wine is priced at. You are buying a wine to match a not too spicy pork goulash. If money was no object you’d pick up a cru Beaujolais or, if money was really no object, you’d pick up one of those pricey Austrian Gruner Vetliner’s. But price is an object. Maybe a mild California Zin. What? They’re all over 14% alcohol? How did that happen Robert Parker? Shurely shome mishtake… So you settle on an unknown blend that is a pocket-pleasing $16.99.
In the end this red blend (that was apparently Syrah, Merlot and Zin, but tasted pretty Merlot-y to us) was smooth and easy to drink but ridiculously floral. It really had a boudoir kick. Yes, it paired well with the Hungarian paprika notes in the goulash but none of us liked it as a sipper. The aroma reminded me of those rose guest soaps that you’d sometimes see in the bathroom of spinsters, growing up, when they did a fancy touch up for guests. Still, better than a lot of plonk in that price range and not too high in the alcohol content, which, in California, must be radical in and of itself. On a budget and for the right meal it’s not a bad choice, just not our first.
Price: $16.99 at BC Liquor.
Market Liquidity: You could do worse.