I'll admit that when I first decided to write about wine, I was quite intimidated. I felt I lacked authority because I had not experienced, at least not to the point of being an expert, rare, fine wines. My knowledge, while broad, was not necessarily deep. I'll now agree with so many that have come before in stating that wine is about the enjoyment, the adventure, the ride. To quote the poster omnipresent in middle school classrooms: "Success is a journey, not a destination." Such is wine. 

All of that said, we drink inexpensive wine and we're quite happy with it. I suspect most of our audience also drinks fairly inexpensive wine. So, please allow me to share five of our recent favorites under $15 whilst I introduce this regular department to the blog. Hopefully you will try these and those to come and find some reliable go-to wines. If you don't... well, keep trying. That's half the fun.

Bogle Petite Sirah: No joke, this was the red we served at our wedding. It was a go-to long before that, though. It has a wonderful aroma full of fruit and packs a punch of a mouthfeel. Overall it is just a full, lush and warm wine. It simply doesn't disappoint. We served it alongside beef with horseradish cream and chicken in artichoke cream sauce on the big day (the wedding meal was NOT egg, gluten or dairy-free). However, we often drink it on its own next to the fire. It's versatile and affordable. 

Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel: We picked up a bottle of this about 10 days ago, and we've had several bottles since. We chose it because it's from Bogle and we trust the name... and totally lucked out. This Zin definitely has the fullness and spice you'd expect, but there is also a brightness to it that makes it very interesting. 

Evodia Old Vines Garnacha: This 100% Garnacha comes from high elevation in Spain. The nose is blueberry-dominant, it is smooth throughout, and fruit-full. Year after year, it receives scores between 88-90 -- not bad for an $8 wine.  

Menage a Trois Midnight Dark Red Blend: This blend from California contains some of my favorite things: Merlot, Cab, Petite Sirah and a little Petit Verdot. It's swirling with notes of plum, coffee and spice -- it's  lush, juicy and sultry, and unfortunately, a limited release. Get it while you can. 

Piccini "Memoro" Vino Rosso D'Italia: This blend pulls grapes from different regions of Italy: Abruzzo, Puglia, Sicily and Veneto. It needs a little time to itself after you open it up, but then you will get full black cherry flavor and a hint of licorice. This pairs really well with any red sauce and anything with spice to it. We like it with chili. 

Have a favorite bottle under $15? Tell us about it in the comments! Cin Cin!

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