Home Other Categories Wine Blogging Wednesday Wine Blogging Wednesday 52 Announced – Value Reds from Chile

I am happy to announce and proud to be the host of the 52nd installment of Wine Blogging Wednesday.  If you are new to Wine Blogging Wednesday and don’t know what it’s about, it’s one day each month when wine bloggers from around the world all write about a common theme.  Lenn Thompson at Lenndevours started it all back in 2004 and it’s still going strong.

Wine Blogging WednesdayAnd our theme for December 2008 is Value Reds from Chile!  The rules are any red wine from Chile for $20 or less.  If you can find a really good one for closer to $10, better yet.

As anyone who has visited this site knows, I love a great deal.  Don’t we all?  Well… Chile is a region that I’ve become more and more interested in for great wines at reasonable prices.

Back in the early 1990’s I had my first experience with Chilean wine and it was a horrible experience.  I swore off all Chilean wine for years.  But late last year I started trying Chilean wine again and I was amazed with what I found.

Since the early 90’s Chile has been undergoing a wine revival.  Improvements in winemaking practices and knowledge have both grown significantly in the past 15 years and it’s showing in the quality of their wines.  This first drew wide public attention in 2004 at a now famous blind tasting in Berlin where 36 highly regarded European wine journalists, writers and buyers gave top honors to two Chilean wines: Viñedo Chadwick 2000 and Seña 2001.  Now while you won’t find these two wines on the bargain shelf, they do represent the improvements in quality coming from Chile in general.

Chile is sometimes referred to as a viticultural paradise.  I’ve heard some people refer to Colchagua Valley as the next Napa Valley due to the geography.  In reality, there is quite a bit of diversity in Chile’s wine making regions.  The Pacific coastline runs the length of the country.  Coastal hills lead into the Central Valley and the Andes boarder the east side of the valley, creating a variety of conditions.

The various climates, geography and governmental distinctions result in several regional designations.  Most wines that you’re likely to find will be from Aconcagua, Cachapoal, Casablanca, Colchagua, Curicó, Maipo and Maule.  But you’ll get extra points if you bring a wine to this event from one of the lesser known regions such as Bío Bío, Elqui, Itata, Limarí, Malleco or San Antonio.

Many of the red wines from Chile are big and bold!  Some argue that they are too big, but that is changing and we’re seeing more variety and experimentation with wine styles in recent years.  Most of what you’ll find in the value wine category will be Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere and Syrah.  You may also find some Pinot Noir and Malbec.  Other red varieties are being produced, but mostly on an experimental basis.

The Details

If you want to participate, just pick your Chilean red wine to review and write it up on Wednesday, December 10.  Then send an e-mail with a link to your review to wbw@cheapwineratings.com.  If you don’t have a blog but want to participate why not start a blog?  It’s free and easy to get started at http://wordpress.com or http://www.blogger.com.

More Info

If you want to do your homework on Chilean wine, here are a few resources.

35 replies to this post
  1. Value reds, huh? I saw “Value” and “Chile” and my mind immediately jumped to the Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc, one of my fav values!

    I’ll have to think about this one…can’t say I’ve had many reds from Chile.

  2. Cool theme.

    The way that Chilean wine prices are going, we’d better buy a bottle sooner rather than later to make sure it’s under $20! :)

  3. 1WineDude said “Cool theme.” +100 to that.

    Chilean wines are often overlooked and under-appreciated, so this will be a good opportunity to for folks to become reacquainted.

    Plus, it’s cool to find another wine blog! :-)

  4. Chile has been sending great stuff to England over the past few years so I can’t wait to pick something for WBW. I’d recommend searching out either syrah or pinot noir from Chile – fab! Since I’m in England does this mean my budget is 10 pounds or less?

  5. I’m not smart enough to know how to start a blog, but I am smart enough to tell you that without a doubt the greatest value in Chilean wine in Marques de Concha Casa Cabernet Sauvignon 2005. You can find it for $14.95 and it tastes like a $75-$100 bottle. The last time I tried it I gave it a 93.

  6. Thank you all for the comments. I’m glad to see some excitement behind this.

    Winesleuth: Good question about your price limit. Apparently I’m guilty of being a self-centered American pretending that our currency is the global standard. Oops. It looks like 14 pounds is about the equivalent (today anyway).

    Daver852: If you want to do a review, but don’t want to create a blog just write something up and send it to me. I’d be glad to post your review.

  7. Like winesleuth, I was going to ask about price guidelines for non US bloggers. £14 is a lot of money to spend on a wine (certainly wouldn’t qualify as cheap!) when the average UK consumer spends something like £4 on a bottle!!! A ‘cheap’ wine in the UK I’d put at under £7 but I know lots of people who’d say £7 for a bottle was extravagant …

  8. Alex, thanks for your comment. I expect that those living there would know the pricing the best and I’ll leave it up to you to choose what qualifies as a “value wine” in your region. Based on your comment and the one from Winesleuth I would assume that you should be OK between 5 & 10 pounds. The price range I gave is fairly broad in the US too. Many consumers consider $10 to be the most they would pay for a bottle. I made the limit $20 to be consistent with the limit I set for this blog. But I greatly appreciate good finds for $10 and less. I hope that helps.

  9. Oh, an exciting WBW for sure! And a great topic for me. I happen to love Chilean wines, and have been doing my best to try new ones over the summer. I am in “red mode”, so I picked up 3 yesterday that I’ll review over the weekend. All the same grape, so it’ll be a comparison review and blog post! Surely, we’ll have a good time with wine!

    -Matt

  10. […] is affordable red wines from Chile (South America).  Tim offers a nice overview of this theme in this post in his blog.  I enjoy reading Cheap Wine Ratings as it relates more to my wine-buying reality at […]

  11. I hope its not too late to comment on this post. I have to agree with you on wines from Chile! My first experience with them was less than satisfying, however one day on a whim I picked up an interesting looking Merlot from Chile at Whole Foods and now i’m a huge fan!

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