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Well, it has indeed been a while, ahem, since I last published a post. My very, very bad. No excuses, so no long stories. However, today in a sweat of activity I am writing about a  bunch of wines, because I always take a photo and some notes and we can now roll ’em.

Okay , Let’ start with the most expensive one. The 2010 Amarone della Valpolicella. It 2010-Amaronewas recommended to me by one of the staff at Trader Joe’s as being much in the style of Paso Robles, California wines; in other words, a robust, fruit forward wine. It does have these qualities, but it also has that Italian quality of the vines being quite ancient, with a more mature complexity without the heavy alcohol content. It has a lovely nose and of course the dark fruit flavors of dried raisins and black currants,  along with a good balance of herb and earth flavors, a strong tannin structure helps the wine sit up straight. This is wonderful with BBQ, meat stews, sausage and also hearty vegetarian dishes. $ 19.99

Marchigue-CarmenereThe 2012 Marchigüe Carménère Reserva from Chile was a nice surprise for a soft red from the Cochagua Valley. If you are unfamiliar with the Carménère grape this is a nice introduction to it. It is similar to Pinot Noir, in that it is lighter but with those good red ripe fruits, red berries and good balance of acidity. I though this one was a great deal at $7.99.

Next there is the family of Green Fin wines which Green-Fin-Merlotare made form organic grapes, always a plus in my book. My favorite is the Merlot, because it tastes delicious and has some complexity, along with good tannins that are not overpowering. The Red Table Wine is pretty Green-Fin-Red-Tablestraightforward, kind of like Le Juice de la Grape. Not at all complex. I would cook with this one, something like a Coq au Vin dish. Same goes for the Chardonnay (not pictured) from this brand. They each sell for a mere $3.99.

A good red blend is definitely something to savor and embrace and this 14 Hands 14-Hands-Red-BlendHot to Trot Red Blend fits the bill. It’s just delicious. Really flavorful, full bodied and rich with dark fruits. I really loved this one and have had it twice with much appreciation. It’s smooth yet rich and really well balanced. For $8.99 it is a fantastic deal.

Now for a lovely and affordable Sangiovese, by Grifone. This is a terrific wine, with the mouth watering flavors of ripe pomegranate, cherries and raspberries and violets,  alongside a respectable backbone of tannic structure. An unbelievable deal for $3.99.