When my husband heard I was willing to try some other red wines, he was thrilled. The next day he ran out and got several different bottles of his favorite wines. Again, these are all from Trader Joe’s and under $10.00.

We like to have a quick appetizer with a glass of wine before dinner. This is usually cheese, hummus, crackers, sausages, bread or whatever else we have in the house. It is our wind down time to make dinner and discuss the day’s events. Let me tell you, this is not necessarily a quiet time. Kids run in and out, the phone rings and dogs pace the floor, hoping for a crumb to drop. However, we have to take what we can get.

Over the past week, we have tried three different bottles. Surprisingly, I liked them all. The first one was a Sangiovese Di Toscana. It is an Old World Italian wine. There were gentle tannins and you could taste the oak, spices and anise in the wine. What I liked best about this wine is that I could drink it without food. For me, reds are so harsh that they need food to soften the flavor. With this one, you can drink it socially without dinner.

The next wine we tried was Abrazo Del Toro Reserva. This is a blended wine* – 60% Garnacha and 40% Tempranillo. It is a Spanish Wine. This wine had a velvety texture and the wine’s bouquet was very floral. You can taste the spices and cherries in the wine.

* A quick funny on blended wines. My Irish and non-wine drinking grandfather used to blend his own wine at the end of parties. His bar was full of leftover “rose” wines he made by mixing red and white. It was gross. He also boiled his coffee on the stove in a sauce pan, so he wasn’t a good judge of flavors.

The third wine we tried was a Malbec wine from Argentina. This is a VERY dry wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon, but softer. It had silky tannins, not overbearing like the Cabs. You could taste the oak, black currant and spice. My first taste of this wine was a big turnoff. Then, we tasted it with a Calabrese Salame and it really brought out the flavors. I would not suggest drinking this wine alone. It definitely needs to go with a meal. Here is more info on Malbec Wines.

This weekend we are going to another wine tasting. I’ll let you know if we found anything worth drinking. Let me know if you try any of these wines and what you think of them.