The Playoffs and A Winning Wine Rotation for Under $20

Major League Baseball’s 2011 postseason is off and running with the Texas Rangers already advancing to the ALCS. Detroit and New York are set for a deciding Game 5, Philly leads St. Louis, and Milwaukee is ahead of Arizona.

With the shortened series to start the playoffs, and games being so important, each manager has each of their pitchers on a short leash and must utilize players effectively in different situations.
If you are hosting a playoff party for wine drinkers, here’s a decent lineup card, and potential situations you can manage like a true skipper.

"Get your wine here! Wine under 20 bucks here!"

The Starter:
The bottle that will get you through at least five innings, appetizers, and lead into the main course

Babich Hawkes Bay Unoaked Chardonnay 2008 
Chardonnay from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Supple, silky and refined, showing lovely pear and honey character, with a touch of golden raisin, as the finish sails on. This is creamy at the end. Drink now through 2013.

Wine Spectator: 90 Points
Price: $8.29

Good with chicken, salmon, popcorn, and stuffed mushrooms

Buy Babich Hawkes Bay Unoaked Chardonnay 2008

Middle Relief 1:
The bottle that will muscle through the 5th & 6th innings, main course, or second helping of food

Sebastiani Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2008 
Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California

Juicy and focused on the fruitiness of fresh wild berries and sweet spices in the nose and kissed by a dollop of creamy, vanillin oak, this very likeable Zinfandel trades bombast for manners in its aromas and repeats the favor on the palate. Medium-full to full in body and just tannic enough for a useful bit of grip, this one will serve brilliantly today with dishes like pasta Bolognese. It demands little by way of cellaring yet has the depth to hold for a few years and is a great buy at the price.

Connoisseurs’ Guide: 91 Points
Price: $19.99

Good with guacamole, pepperoni pizza, bbq beef, and pastas

Buy Sebastiani Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2008

Middle Relief 2:
The bottle to strategically get outs for the 7th and 8th inning, or while you digest and stretch a bit before dessert

Rosemount Grenache-Syrah-Mouvedre G.S.M. 2006 
Rhone Red Blend from McLaren Vale, Australia

The 2006 GSM Show Reserve (47% Grenache, 47% Shiraz, and 6% Mourvedre) was raised in a mix of new and seasoned oak (70%) and tank (30%). Dark ruby-colored, it sports a complex perfume of smoke, Asian spices, underbrush, kirsch, and blueberry. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, cinnamon and licorice notes emerge along with plenty of spicy, layered fruit and enough fine-grained tannin to ensure 2-3 years of further development. This savory, pleasure-bent wine will drink well though 2018.

The Wine Advocate: 90 points
Price: $19.99

Good to sip and enjoy the red blend, or pick at some Edam or Asiago cheese

Buy Rosemount Grenache-Syrah-Mouvedre G.S.M. 2006

The Closer:
Time to shut it down, and sink your teeth into something sweet…like a win

Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port 2005 
Port from Portugal

Initially the tannins dominate, but then ripe, sweet jelly and juicy fruit shows through, giving the wine its main character. There is some firm tannin, but the wine enjoys generous sweetness.

Wine Enthusiast: 90 Points
Price: $17.49 

Good with dark chocolate, mint chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, and brownies

Buy Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port 2005



Hello Vino