I have been a wine aficionado for the past thirteen years, so when I see a bottle of wine with an attractive label, my first impression is if this is a gimmick to sell a mediocre wine or not.
When I go to Costco, I always browse the wine area, more as a habit than anything. Sometimes if my wine collection is low, I will purchase some wines. As I was browsing the aisles, the Tuck Beckstoffer wine’s label caught my attention. As you can see from the label, this is an attractive bottle to look at.
I have not heard of this wine producer before, so I did some investigative work. As it turns out, the wine received a score of 93/100 from Wine Spectator (the most widely read wine magazine in the world) and a 90.6 score from cellartracker. Believe me, since cellartracker posts multiple reviews, an average score of 90.6 is a very respectable score. The winery has been around since 1975.
To give you some background, Grenache is one of the grapes used for making wine in the Southern Rhone region of France. As far as I know, Grenache is never used alone, and it is always blended with other grapes. The “blue chip” blend for the Rhone wines is Syrah, Mouvedre, and Grenache (not necessarily equal mix of all three). In other countries such as Spain, Australia, and the United States, however, Grenache, as a primary grape, has been used with impressive results. As of yet, I have not tasted a high quality Grenache wine which has not been delicious. This is the type of wine which will please almost anyone in the room (let’s face it; some people are just not into wine!)
The 2010 Melee Grenache is 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah. It is a delicious wine, full of black and red berries and a pure, silky finish. The label is attractive, and the bottle looks and feels imposing (hint: it will make a great gift!) and looks expensive. If you want to impress a wine enthusiast, this will make a great gift.
The wine cells for $25 per bottle at Costco. Hitime Wine Cellar in Costa Mesa and Wine Exchange in Orange sell it for $26-27 per bottle. Granted, $25 for a bottle of wine is not considered “house wine” price, but this wine should not be treated as such. Honestly, there are many wines of this quality which sell for 2-3 times as much. The price certainly will not set anyone back. The average American household income is $50,000/year ($4166/month). $25 is 0.5% of a family’s monthly income!
This wine requires a great steak or any high quality red meat or chicken with a heavy red based sauce. It will not go well with a heavy white sauce such as Alfredo sauce.
If you are new to wine, do not serve this wine too cold (out of the refrigerator) or too warm. A good temperature range for most red wines is 65-70 degrees, and 50-55 degrees for white wines.
If you are looking for a reasonably priced wine for a special occasion such as New Year’s Eve celebration (assuming the world does not end on 12/21!), I highly recommend this wine.
If you do try it, please let me know your thoughts!
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