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Being way behind on wine mentions/reviews, time to catch up.

Here are some thoughts on really easy to find California Cabernet and Italian Chianti. I’d argue these are two wines you should always have on hand. A nice, easy-to-drink Cab for beef and a nice Chianti for pasta of fava beans in case Anthony Hopkins is a dinner guest!

Robert Mondavi Central Coast 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon – This wine is available, most probably, in your supermarket. Frankly, for $11 or less, you can do much worse. This wine does not have strong Cabernet characteristics but its quite drinkable. And after all, isn’t that always the real test?

The wine is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Syrah, 3% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc from California’s Central Coast. It’s soft, It;s red. It tastes pretty good.

I drank this wine with some mildy spicy pasta and then with some chocolate and found it enjoyable. I love wines like this because they are easy to find and easy to drink.

Mondavi has repackaged this line with a focus on Central Coast fruit. The Mondavi Private Selection remains one of the best values for drinkability in the supermarket and elsewhere.

Robert Mondavi Central Coast 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon- SRP $11, (trade sample), Recomended. Try this wine for $9-$11. It works at that price point.

Banfi 2010 Chianti Superiore –  Wine Spectator gave this wine an 87 and that’s about right. This is much like the Mondavi above. Is it a true representative of great Sangiovese, well – not quite. Is it drinkable and enjoyable – well, yes it is!

It has some cherry and a little astringency but a drinkable bottle of wine. If you have some pasta with tomato sauce or tomato based it will work well.

This wine can be found really cheap and in lots of liquor stores and wine shops. There is nothing special about it other than its simple drinkablility without any negatives. For the price, go out and buy it.

Banfi 2010 Chianti Superiore – SRP $11, (trade sample), Recommended Look around and you might find this bottle at $9-$10.

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