Sometimes I wander around the wine shop with a mission: to find a bottle recommended by a friend or a wine of a variety or a specific region of which I’m not familiar. More often than not, though, I’ve perused the shelves from left to right as I look for something affordable and simply fun to sip on the back porch, share with friends at a lively gathering, or pair with (or before I enjoy) a favorite meal. I bet you’ve done all the above, too.

Fortunately for us all, I was sent samples of wines, each of which boasts an eye-catching label, a name that enticed me to think “I need to open this wine NOW”, and a budget friendly price. These are wines meant for fun and relaxed enjoyment – does anyone want to play?

Jellybean Wines

Who doesn’t love the gorgeous colors and flavors of an array of jellybeans? The Jellybean Wines selections ($10 each) answer our need to have a delightful time doing what we love: sip wine without busting the budget! And the flavors in each sip are just as approachable as those in the yummy jellybeans we crave.

Your next book club, girls’ night out, or porch pounding session will be much more satisfying (and entertaining) with a few pours of Jellybean Pinot Grigio. I found aromas of juicy green apples, honey, and white peaches that led to flavors of bright orchard fruit with zesty acidity, and a refreshing finish. Jellybean Moscato was a light, slightly sweet wine that offered aromas and flavors of citrus, stone fruit, lime, and orange peel. From Moscato and Raboso grapes from Spain, gentle bubbles danced in my glass of Jellybean Moscato Rosé as I discovered aromas and flavors of apricot, ripe peach, and red berries, mouthwatering acidity, and a brisk finish.

Jellybean wine - Fun!
Red wine lovers will appreciate an easy drinking choice, Jellybean Cabernet Sauvignon. Notes of dark berries, vanilla, chocolate, and cherries on the nose and palate along with soft tannins, and medium acidity led to a finish that will pair quite nicely with your favorite burger still sizzling from the grill.

Jellybean wine - Fun!

Snowbirds Wines

Award-winning chef, Jamie McFadden, was inspired to create Snowbirds Wines. His love for food and wine combined with family adventures in sunny Florida to escape bitter winters prompted McFadden to produce wines for fun (think vacation!) as well as serious enjoyment. Vegan and gluten free, the wines are cultivated using sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. A portion of the proceeds from the purchase of Snowbirds wines gives back to a variety of charities including The PEAS Foundation, a local non-profit organization that provides fresh produce to those in need.

 The wines under the Snowbirds label, is for anyone dreaming of a delicious, well-priced ($18 each) wine and a sunny, warm location when you’re in the throes of winter (like I’ll be in a few months). And you can count on each of these wines being food friendly…a brilliant chef was in charge!

Snowbirds wine - Fun!
The first wine I tasted was Snowbirds Gruner Veltliner 2015 sourced from Lake Chelan, Washington, a beautiful wine region that I visited a few years ago. Zesty and crisp, aromas and flavors of juicy green apples, stone fruit, touch of lime zest, and tropical fruit were braided with minerality, bright acidity, and a finish that complemented the wide variety of appetizers my friends brought and our enlightening conversation. Equally enticing, was Snowbirds Rosé 2016 of Syrah, Mourvedre, and Grenache from Columbia Valley, Washington. Intended to be enjoyed anytime and anywhere, I craved each whiff of raspberries, strawberries, peach flesh, hint of white pepper, and minerality. Dry and crisp, this refreshing Rosé showered my palate with red fruit, spice, mouthwatering acidity, and offered a lasting finish. Although the wine could be paired with any of your favorite dishes, fried chicken and buttered biscuits were my choice.

Fun was clearly the word with each pour of Snowbirds Merlot 2013 from Monterey County, California. Easy drinking with notes of light cherries, black raspberries, anise, earth, and vanilla on both nose and palate, soft tannins and food friendly acidity allowed the wine to be a terrific pairing with our grilled salmon under a bed of aioli sauce, herbed couscous, and roasted vegetables.

You love to have fun? I do, too…find these wines and let’s play.

Cheers! ~ Cindy

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