The Frugal Wino – Issue No. 1: 2007 Sandra Zanzibar Cellars
Originally hailing from Bend, Oregon which is mostly known for its beautiful views and excellent skiing, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized Oregon had such a wonderful selection of local wines to choose from. Since the first time I tried a wine that I adored, 2008 Boedecker Cellars Grenache (yum!), I have been in love with local Oregon and Washington wines. Being in my mid-twenties, I find that I love drinking good wine, but sometimes the price tag can be a little bit high for me.
I initially got my exposure to many local and delicious wines through my job at Heidi Tunnell Catering Company, located in Creswell, Oregon, where I’m the front of house manager, and I also help pick out wines for our wine list that are almost exclusively from the Pacific Northwest. My favorite part of my job is finding affordable wines that everyone can enjoy; as well as, pairing them with foods that can bring out the best in each of those wines. This is in part why I chose to start writing about wine – I believe everyone, regardless of their budget, can enjoy wines from Oregon and Washington and get a real feel of the local flavors. My name is Sarah, and I call myself the Frugal Wino, and I’m here to bring you reviews of quality, affordable wines from the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
It is my personal challenge to find wines that are not only in my price range (under $20!), but to bring you wines that are approachable and delicious. I shop for these wines at many stores in the Eugene-Springfield area of Oregon, located in the heart of the southern Willamette Valley wine country. Some of my favorite wine shops in Eugene are Sundance Wine Cellars, Market of Choice, and The Broadway – all three offer a great selection of wines. For us frugal winos, Sundance offers complimentary tastings from 5-7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and they have an extensive selection of local wines from all over the Pacific Northwest. The Broadway also has complimentary tastings on Fridays from 5-7 pm, and they occasionally host fantastic, affordable wine dinners ($25!).
Whenever I do my regular grocery store trip to Market of Choice, I always pass through their excellent wine selection. They have wines from all over the world at every price range, but mixed in between you can find some local gems at very affordable prices. This past week I found a wine from Zanzibar Cellars, which caught my eye: 2007 Sandra. Zanzibar Cellars is based in Portland, Oregon, and primarily produces their wines with grapes from the Columbia and Yakima Valley in southern Washington.
The ’07 Sandra is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Syrah all from the Aldercreek Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA near Yakima Valley. It was aged for 12 months in french oak barrels and is best to drink between 2011 and 2016. On the nose, this wine smelled of dark berries and oak. It had a smooth mouthfeel with flavors of tar and plum. While I drank this on it’s own on a chilly Tuesday evening, this wine would also pair very well with food. In fact, its slightly acidic finish was calling for a delicious meal to pair with it and not just the handful of cheez-its I had on hand. I would highly recommend this wine for anyone who loves a bold, robust red blend. Affordable at just $16.99.
Please join me – the Frugal Wino – right here on WineJulia.com. I plan to introduce you to an under $20 dollar Pacific Northwest wine on a weekly basis – everyone deserves a delicious glass of wine that won’t break the bank!