Don’t just walk past those brands you see everywhere, because some are really worth your hard-earned dollars.

Ravenswood Zinfandel has seemingly been around forever. You can seemingly find it in groceries, liquor stores, and most wine shops. Ravenswood has a nice line of value wines and and even better line of vineyard designate and higher priced bottles.

Ravenswood 2009 Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel – This is a step up from Ravenswood basic entry level Zin and it’s dynamite wine for the money.

It’s rich, smoky, big fruit and nicely balanced red wine. You’ll get the dark fruit, maybe chocolate, and other rich flavors from this wine. It is like most California Zins in that it will hit you with 14.9 percent alcohol. But the fruit does a nice job holding up on the front of the palate. This $15.99 bottle doesn’t quite have the peppery finish I love of slightly higher priced Zins, but it will be a great pairing with your BBQ or pulled pork.

Ravenswood 2009 Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel, $15.99 SRP, trade sample, Recommended.

Kokomo Winery 2007 Cabernet Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma – Indiana native Erik Miller has made a name for himself in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley with Cab, Zin, and even his ever-improving white wines.

His 3007 is a nice Cabernet that you will find priced a bit all over the ballpark. I found it ranging from $31 to into the $40s on a net search; but I picked it up on one of the flash internets sites for just under $20 a bottle.

The wine is a big fruity, spicy Cabernet that may not be complex as some but very satisfying. I enjoyed the Cab with a ribeye off the grill and found myself quickly ‘quaffing’ down the Cabernet.

It does have a nice long finish and one you could decant and serve to most wine fans. Serve it with a well-peppered steak and its sure to be a hit.

I liked this wine a lot for what I paid for it and think it’s still a good buy at just over $31.

Kokomo Winery 2007 Cabernet Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, $32 avg price on net, Highly Recommended as value buy for California Cab.

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