Fantastic Wines and Where to Find Them
Tired of beer? Freaked out by Franzia? According to a class-action lawsuit filed last Thursday, student favorites Franzia and Charles Shaw may have up to five times the amount of arsenic the EPA allows in drinking water. So given the alternatives, now seems like a better time than ever to highlight some of top low-cost bottles available at the local Spec’s, HEB and even Target.
Good red wines can be tough to find on a budget. Cheaper reds tend to be either one-dimensional and uninteresting, or too heavy, sweet and tannic. The Chateau d’Ampuis Côtes du Rhône, however, escapes all of these pitfalls. The light-bodied blend of Syrah and Grenache exhibits perfume-like notes of leather, cherries and raisins. For a little more money, 99 West Pinot Noir is also an excellent light red. Made in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the wine is full of fruity cranberry and chocolate flavors. For a heavier red, Bogle Vineyards’ Essential Blend is a great example of a complex yet inexpensive red with layered notes of ripe cherries, molasses and baking spices.
Chateau d’Ampuis Côtes du Rhône, E. Guigal, $14 at Spec’s
99 West Pinot Noir, $17 at Specs
Essential Red Blend, Bogle Vineyards, $9 at Spec’s
Spring is always a great time for a cold glass (or cup, or bag) of white wine. Less-renowned regions like New Zealand, Spain and Central California have experienced booms in production of quality white wine over the past few years, making their output both excellent and affordable. The McManis Family Viognier from River Junction, California is a great example of a cheap off-dry white. With a full body and sweet notes of pear, caramel and vanilla, the wine is an incredible value. Looking across the globe to New Zealand, Mohua Sauvignon Blanc could be the total opposite of the McManis Viongier, but is just as refreshing. The wine has a lean, acidic body and flavors like melon, cucumber and honey that are fruity and wholly refreshing.
McManis Family Viognier, $9 at HEB
Mohua Sauvignon Blanc, Peregrine, $13 at Spec’s
Sparkling Wines & Other
For those looking for something a bit different, sparkling rosé and lambic (technically a kind of beer) are unique and inexpensive options compared to their better-known counterparts, champagne and mainstream Belgian beer. Makers of Korbel’s Brut Rosé apply the same traditional methods used in Champagne, France, on a blend of Pinot Noir, Gamay and Sangiovese to make its rosé. The result is a light, sparkling wine with the red-hued look and flavor of strawberries, cherries and raspberries.
Of the many styles of lambic — a Belgian beer brewed with wild yeast that collects on the wheat and barley — Lindeman’s Framboise is the best place to start. As the name suggests, Lindeman’s Framboise is blended with sweet raspberry juice after brewing to give it a tart, sweet flavor far different from the wit beers and Trappist ales that Belgium is known for.
Korbel Brut Rosé, $12 at Target
Lindeman’s Framboise, $11 at HEB or Spec’s
More from The Rice Thresher
A new paid and audition-only student pep band will replace the Marching Owl Band at men’s and women’s basketball games and some volleyball matches, according to Rick Mello, Rice’s deputy athletics director. Mello said Rice athletics hopes to have a band of 30 students in place for the first basketball game in November.
Rice University experienced a series of thefts this past week. Six laptops and two iPads were stolen from a Duncan College suite and Duncan Hall respectively, according to the Rice University Police Department in a campus-wide email sent out last Wednesday morning.
As prices for various goods and services continue to rise nationally, student-run businesses and Rice departments such as Housing & Dining and Facilities Engineering & Planning are among those on campus implementing changes to handle this inflationary spike, while also working to keep prices reasonable for students.