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These warm and sunny months of the year are the perfect time for firing up the grill and busting out your secret (or store bought) BBQ sauce.  And, of course, what better than a rich, hearty red wine to enhance the meal?  Here are a handful of bargains (under $20) our tasting panel has discovered so you can keep your  guests and, more importantly, your wallet happy.

 

Tait “Ball Buster” 2014 Ball Buster

Grape(s): 78% Shiraz, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, & 8% Merlot,

Region: Barossa Valley, Australia

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Plums, blueberries, and blackberries interweave with mocha and spice on the nose. Rich dark fruit comes together with coffee and spice on the palate. Round with lush fruit and vibrant accents, pair this with your favorite BBQ.

Rating: 90

 

Frei Brothers Sonoma Reserve 2015 Zinfandel

Grape(s): Zinfandel

Region: Dry Creek Valley, Ca

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Lots of blackberries, boysenberries, and strawberries combine with expressions of sweet spice and toasty oak on the nose. Waves of plum, bramble berry, and strawberry are complimented  by suggestions of clove, brown sugar, and oak on the palate. A pulled pork sandwich would do very nicely with a glass.

Rating: 90

 

Insurrection 2015 Red Blend

Grape(s): 75% Shiraz & 25% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Barossa Valley, Australia

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

The nose weaves together equal parts of fruit and spice. A rush of red berries, pepper, and mocha comes forth on the palate. Plush tannins but lively flavors make this wine a fine pairing for pork ribs.

Rating: 90

Wild Thing 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel

Grape(s): 80% Zinfandel, 10% Carignane, 9% Petite Sirah, & 1% Alicante Bouschet

Region: Mendicino County, Ca

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Lovely aromas of ripe strawberry, plums, earth, and vanilla greet one from a glass. Smooth, lush fruit flavors of strawberries dominate the palate, accented by minerals and sweet spice. An easy going, fruit-driven Zin, it’s a very approachable wine.

Rating: 90