Yay, finally a wine under $10 worth writing about! Tonight, I had dinner with friends at Coalfire Pizza (you HAVE to go, if you live in Chicago – it’s super chill and offers delicious pizza) after a failed attempt to go to Piece (March Madness is STILL not over – argh!). We arrived at Coalfire to realize it was BYOB. My wine connoisseur friend, Chris, and his girlfriend Suzelle, immediately made a beeline for nearby Randolph Wine Cellars to pick something up. According to their account of the events, Chris headed to the fancy wines he knew. Suzelle, meanwhile struck up a conversation in the front of the shop. After she mentioned that she was dining with friends at Coalfire and asked for a suggestion, the staff recommended a 2004 Renwood Barbera.
Fast forward 20 minutes… With the wine open, we all toasted Suzelle’s birthday as Chris recounted the goings-on at Randolph Wine Cellars. He got to the point of the story I recounted above, when he stopped, and said, “Have a few more sips. Then I’ll tell you the rest of the story.”
So, we had a few more sips, deemed the wine delicious, and Chris continued triumphantly: “So, the last part of the story is that the wine cost $6 a bottle!” A little background: Chris does not skimp on quality when it comes to wine. The night before his birthday, he generously shared a couple bottles of Stag’s Leap Artemis with us. The Artemis averages about $50 a bottle, depending on the year. And it’s quite good.
I had tasted the Renwood’s Old Vine Zin on several past occasions, and it was not particularly memorable. But the Barbera was delicious – I’m not an expert at identifying tasting notes, but it had a lot a fruit, and almost a caramel-y, smooth finish. And just a touch of smokiness, probably from whatever oak whence it came.