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Bottlenek’s reviews of the best wines for $20ish and under. You’ll hear from Caren and then from Mark, or from Mark and then from Caren.  Call it the wine lovers version of Men are Mars/ Women are from Venus.

Or…. Siskel and Ebert meet in the wine cellar.

Or…. Jekyll and Hyde….no, that won’t work.

For as long as I can remember ( which is getting shorter and shorter ) Mark and I have been on a quest for the best wines for the least amount of money. Our kids ( who are probably wincing reading this ) might call us cheap. Our raised-by-depression-era-conscious parents would call us wise. We like to think that we are reasonable ( who doesn’t? ).

It is easy to find a great bottle of wine for $50, $60, or $100, but we set out on a more challenging mission. Could we find a good bottle of wine for $25? Yes. $20? Yes. $15? 

This was oenophile limbo…how low could we go and still get the quality that we wanted?

For everyone’s sake we will not go to rock bottom prices. College is over and no one wants to go back to those memories. We will NOT be reviewing two buck chuck( with all due respect to Trader Joe’s ). We will review good wines that have a “reasonable” price tag. 

Since we love a variety of wines our reviews will cover Chardonnay ( my favorite in the summer), Sauvignon Blanc ( one of Mark’s favorites), Cabernet Sauvignon ( my favorite during the winter), Pinots and assorted others. To assist us, we will be consulting Mark’s wine journal that our kids bought for him years ago and that he has used to record EVERY WINE WE HAVE TASTED. No kidding. There is a benefit to being obsessive compulsive -  or thorough as we call it in our house. In either case, we have enough material to blog long into the future.

As this blog is housed within the Bottlenek website, you should check out the beautiful bottleneks created by yours truly and my niece, Halle Unger. The name was bestowed on us by Mark probably after a few glasses of wine.

The next time you are giving a bottle of wine as a gift, bag the wine bag! Give your friends a useful and beautiful gift.instead. The bottlenek not only stops the drops from the bottle, but also beautifully dresses up that gift bottle, or the bottle you are serving to your friends.Wine is best when shared with others. We will tell you our opinions and we would love to hear yours. What do you think of the wine being reviewed? Have you tasted the same wine from a different year that was remarkably better? Which wine (s) would you recommend with the same ground rules: $20 ish or so?

But please, for the everyone’s sake, do not divert into political rants. There are plenty of other sites that cater to that need. Do not use words your mom wouldn't like. In general, think of all of us being at one big, lovely wine tasting. No one wants to be with a bore who drones on and on like a know-it-all or who has had one too many and HAS to share his/her thoughts about EVERYTHING. 

So without further ado, here we go! 

I hope you enjoy reading He Said/ She Said meet at the Bottlenek Wine Tasting!


Caren Woodruff