I focus on value wine because that’s what most of us are buying for our weeknight vino choices. When searching for a nice Cabernet, Zinfandel, or Syrah it’s tough looking at the $12 choices and wondering if any will deliver some bang for the buck.

I was very pleasantly surprised with a recent bottle of Columbia Crest 2006 Grand Estates Shiraz from Washington State. This wine sells $10-13 and is found in many Indiana wine shops. I bought this bottle at Kahn’s on Keystone in Indianapolis.

The wine had a fresh fruit nose of black cherry but enough power to make it really enjoyable with a grilled filet mignon. It was silky smooth and really enjoyable. The wine gets a combination of French and American oak during the one-year aging process.

The winemaker also puts in a little bit of Viognier to add some interesting nuance to the wine.

I’ve become a big fan of Washington State wines and this one just adds to that impression. Columbia Crest is easy to find. They have a line called “Two Vines’ that retails $5-$7 with the Grand Estates line just a few dollars more.

If the Shiraz is any indication, I’ll be trying more of the Grand Estates label!

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