Does Practice Make Perfect?


If you look around, you’d notice wine is getting better. 

When I say better, I’m referring foremost to taste and in many cases value and price.

Overall, wine consumption is also growing.  It is surpassing other alcoholic beverages in overall sales and becoming the beverage of choice enjoyed by many during meals with family and friends. 

When I look around the supermarket there are plenty of available bottles below the $10 price range. These wines are being purchased in larger proportions all over the U.S. and elsewhere.  More so than even five years ago.

Amazingly, these value wines are GOOD!  New and different winemaking technology has allowed winemakers to craft large quantities of favorable tasting wine while keeping costs low.  This wasn’t always possible.

However, it is important to say there are many wine connoisseurs who balk at these new-found technologies which do not follow traditional winemaking practices.  Techniques such as aging wine in stainless steel and using oak chips to impart flavor instead of traditional barrel aging are often viewed as unacceptable.  Many of these practices are even illegal in some European countries where strict winemaking laws must be followed.

The greatest benefactor of better wine at better prices is obviously us, the consumers.  There are so many available wines at value prices, it’s hard to choose just one or even a few.  This often leads to buying a lot of wine which then defeats the whole, “saving money by purchasing value wine argument”.  But that’s a story for another day.

Anyway, I would like to share with you a great value wine with an incredible taste.  I do believe this wine is unparalleled in comparison to many other wines in this price range.  It is that good.  This wine is extremely enjoyable and has garnered many great reviews and ratings from professional wine folk and amateur wine enthusiasts along the way.


2005 Razor’s Edge Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia $9

I think many would agree the Australians have been able to consistently produce exceptional wine at value prices.  This is one of those great bargains.

When pouring this wine, its dark purple color is enough to make you take this wine seriously.  However it’s the subtle blackberry aromas with hints of licorice that stimulate your senses when tasting.  This medium-bodied wine is well balanced with forward spicy, dark fruit flavors.  The finish is dry and brief.

Overall, this is not a big, overpowering wine but it is elegant and graceful in many ways.

This wine should be very easy to find.  I hope you try it.

Did you have any value wine last night?  Or did you have something expensive you want to show off?  I’ll listen.

*As always, this wine has been added to the wine shopping list over to the left.  Yes, right over there.

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26 Comments

  1. I’m of the “boring Chardonnay” crowd – but have been enjoying Yellow Tail Chardonnay (Australia) which has been an incredible 5.99 sale price for 2 weeks at my grocery so I have a lot of it! I tend to enjoy a glass or 2 before dinner – on the front porch – and then water or ginger ale with dinner so paring with food is not necessary usually.

  2. Yay! I love Shiraz…thanks for another great rec. Have a great day!

  3. Lorena 3

    Sounds delicious! Would love to try it! Am in Australia! But, sadly no sign of it. Another export… *sigh*

    Still, I’m in a good Shiraz producing area, so no complaints!

    I agree with Ann -Yellowtail is a great quaffing wine, but here? It’s $9 to $11. How does that work out??

    Oh, did I have value wine? Ahem. I have a confession. I drank wine out of a carton last night. Well, out of a glass, but you know… It was a litre carton. Like milk. Banrock Station is a decent winery. But out of a carton? It’s just wrong, wrong, wrong…

  4. Will you smack me if I confess to actually buying and liking Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joes….*runs and hides*

  5. I’ve become a fan of Australian wines, especially the reds. Rosemount is one of my faves. I’ll have to give this one a try. Thanks!

  6. Oh Gawd, the farmer will be out immediately scouring the country for this one. Must admit we like to by Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joes as well as the other good stuff that is a little more pricey.

  7. This would be great at a screening of Sweeny Todd.

    I’m such a label geek.

  8. I love the label!
    I did not drink wine last night, but I did enjoy my usual pint of cider.

  9. Hey Cathy,
    I went out with my daughter for a birthday glass of wine and had a fabulous New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc…It’s made by Tohu (pronounced Tor-hoo. It’s the 2007 and is a product of the first Maori owned winery in New Zealand. It was so so good..grassy, (of course) with a bit of grapefruit. Delish!!!! Of course, I don’t have a clue how much the bottle was..I’m researching that now. I’m a Sancerre freak and finding something different is always fun.
    This Razor’s Edge sounds perfect for a summer night by the grill.

  10. I don’t drink wine but I use it in cooking all the time and my favorite is the Yellow Tail, however, my exposure is extremely limited! When your winery gets up and running, are you going to use the more traditional methods or the more modern ones, or a mixture of the two? Or is that too personal a question? If so, I apologize:)

  11. Tammy 11

    Okay, I’m not a big wine drinker. I did try a Pinot Grigio after you had suggested it and it wasn’t bad. I still prefer Crown and Coke though. Guess I’m just a whiskey girl.

    However, when YOU start making YOUR OWN wine, I will be one of the first in line to buy some!

  12. Barbie with a T 12

    About the wine entry. Your description makes me want to go right out and buy that bottle of wine! We happened to visit Chile a couple of years ago and visited a winery there called Concha Y Toro, fell in love with their wine. We were surprised to find we were able to buy it at Wal Mart when we got back home. So that is usually our choice of wine most of the time. However, I just build a home and established a “wine corner” in the dining room and I have purchased a few inexpensive bottles that I have not tried yet. (Bohemian Highway, Fish Eye, Barefoot…all really really inexpensive wines, but mostly for their attractive names.) When I open them up, if I do not like to drink them, I will use them in cooking. I use wine in a lot of shrimp dishes and mushroom sauces. I will definitely try the wine you mentioned my next trip to the spirit store. The berry taste made my palate tingle just thinking about it! Thanks for the info.
    Barbara with a T

  13. Jules 13

    Who designed the lable……Jack the Ripper?!!!!lol

  14. Stacy 14

    Wow, what an interesting bottle.

    Last night I had half a bottle of Barboursville Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc. Couldn’t keep my hands (or lips) off it.

  15. Actually I had no wine last night. I’m more of a very cheap wine person…and don’t venture out a lot..I’m stuck in a box…or well I’m just plain intimidated by wine, I’m not sure why, I’m not intimidated by liquors of any kind I’ll try anything once, but wine for some reason intimidates me. I will though see if I can find this cause your description of it is wonderful…see I try to live out of the box! lol

  16. ALF 16

    I didn’t have any wine last night. I had 2 Long Island Iced Teas. Delicious.

    Is that your pool in the background? Can I jump in it?

  17. I love Australian Shiraz! This label reminds me of Jack the Ripper or that other movie Johnny Depp appeared in recently about the deranged barber. That said, an Australian Shiraz that’s good, inexpensive AND reminds me of Johnny Depp is definitely going on the must try list.

  18. PNW Cook 18

    Try the Waterbrook Melange from Washington State. It’s a great wine for the price.

  19. Maureen 19

    I love the Razor’s Edge Shiraz. I didn’t know it was only $9 per bottle. I always get it when we go to one of our favorite restaurants.

    Last night I had the Kris Pinot Grigio for my first glass, and the Sterling Reserve Cab for my second. Both were delicious!

  20. When I read your descriptions of wines I almost wish I drank.

  21. Ruthanne (in Seattle) 21

    I truly am loving your site Cathy! Thanks for the wit and the wisdom regarding wine! I am lately drinking a french rose from Trader Joe’s (can’t remember label right now) and I also love N.Zealand sauvignon blancs – giesen and nobilo come to mind right now. . . I look forward to getting some noble pig wine when the time comes!

  22. annbb 22

    My very amateur palate loved the petite sirah (spelling??) I had the other day…is this the same or a different taste? I sound so winely uneducated, and I am! You are a font of welcome knowledge, Cathy.

  23. I’ve seen the razors edge Shiraz written about before by critics but your recommendation will go a long way in my trying it…eventually.

    Other readers should note however that 9$ is the best price for said wine. An internet search shows that retailers are charging $10 & $11 for it.

    As to a “budget” (value) wine I’ve recently tried, I got a deal on 4 Louis Latour “Duets”. It is a Chard/Viognier blend. It was the 2003 that I picked up and upon tasting it the other night it just seemed somewhat dull and past its peak. I can imagine that in its youth it was a fresher and nicer wine, but now…not so much.

  24. Cathy C 25

    I have found (I purchase by the case) a great value wine called Santa Ema it is a Cab and retails for under $10.00. This one is a winner – great flavor, smooth and wonderful finish. People are very surprised to hear the price – was also rated highly by wine spectator.

    Cheers
    Cathy – http://www.wheresmydamnanswer.com

  25. Deb 26

    I must say, Australian wines are on the top of my list! Of course to be replaced by your wines once you are up and running!