I don't usually write about $20 wines but this week is an exception. It marks a first-ever in this part of the wine world so I must tell you about it.
The first ever really good, under $20 Pinot Noir has hit the shelves. For Pinot fans this is a dream come true.
In case you're not up on Pinot, it's a lovely, lightish red that, until now, you were best off forgetting about because of its two major drawbacks - limited availability and high price. Sure, you may have seen inexpensive Pinots on the shelves but they are poor understudies. The New Zealand producer Stoneleigh is changing that.
So what are the features of a good Pinot? Delicacy, vitality and delicious strawberry fruitiness combined to charm your socks off. It's the sweetheart, young cousin of Cabernet, Shiraz and all the other dark, manly reds.
Stoneleigh's Pinot has a little Beaujolais-style lightheartedness and gulpability. A feeling that makes me long for summer evenings on the patio with a side of salmon sizzling on the BBQ, when I'll delay supper for one more glass from this utterly delightful bottle.