Wine Welfare’s Most Popular Posts of 2010

Yet Another Top 10 Wine ListI’ve been watching you. All of you. Reading your comments, following you as you go travelling through this brown beauty I call Wine Welfare. I’ve been noticing the cheap wines you gravitate towards and the ones you stay away from. Forget Janet Napolitano with her TSA body scans and agents analyzing your undies, I’m the real deal. So you’d better watch your step.

Just kidding. I’m just out to show you cheap wines you may not know about and how to find them. However, as some of you may or may not have realized, this is a website, and when you run a website you should always track what your users do. I’ve been paying attention to what posts and pages people visit the most, and I wanted to give you a breakdown of the most popular posts of 2010 for WineWelfare.com. I’m not saying this will be awesome, just interesting.

Behold the majesty of 2010 cheap wine reviews:

10. La Granja 360° Tempranillo 2008

This was a Trader Joe’s find, if I remember correctly, and Trader Joe’s can be a baffling wine ordeal. The majority of their wine stock are labels you’ve never heard of before (and can rarely find anywhere online, dammit) so every little bit helps. The La Granja was a cheap Tempranillo, which is a find to begin with, and for under $10, I’m not surprised this was  a popular review. Plus, there’s a giant friggin’ pig on the label!

9. BV Coastal Estates Pinot Noir

BV Coastal Estates wines are synonymous with “I don’t know what to bring to this party but this label looks fancy.” Generally solid offerings for under $10 from a house that also produces some of the best Napa Cabernet ever bottled? Yes, please.

8. Zynthesis Zinfandel 2007

An extremely popular Zinfandel immortalized in the BevMo! 5¢ Wine Sale. Seriously, this thing is always included in that sale. I don’t even know how they make any money. It’s old vine Zin, deep and chewy. I reviewed in time for the 4th of July holiday, and it was perfect for a BBQ. One of those wines that is straight-up enjoyable.

7. Liberty School 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

From the Hope Family Wines portfolio, a great producer that’s been around for quite some time in Paso Robles, CA. Granted I kissed a lot of ass when it came to their wines, but come on folks, they read a review I wrote and wanted more so they sent me some more of their wines. I’m not made of stone!

6. Challis Lane 2008 Sauvignon Blanc

This one was huge during the BevMo! 5¢ Wine Sale. It’s another producer that always has at least 3 varietals on offer there. The thing is, like most wines on special during BevMo’s sales, you can’t find any info about them online. Only reviews. I think it’s a conspiracy. I think those poor BevMo bastards in the green shirts are stomping Sauv Blanc grapes in the back instead of helping us out up front. That’s why there is only ever 1 person running a register.

5. What Wine Goes With Tacos?

I tried out a new post style this year for those of you looking to find wines that go with hard-to-pair foods. I tried to choose common foods that we all eat yet when the time comes we draw a blank as to what wine might go with it. It turned out to be a pretty successful group of posts. So why did I stop (for now)? Laziness. For this taco post, I broke it down by taco-type: Chicken, beef, pork and fish, then suggested 3 or 4 varietals that would work well with each. Seems that Mexican food is a notoriously difficult food to pair wine with, and I hope my post helped.

4. What Wine Goes With Chinese Food?

Another notoriously difficult food to pair wine with. The combination of salty and sweet sauces, oil and a huge variety of ingredients in each dish led me to break this post into 3 parts based on 3 of the most popular Chinese dishes: Fried rice, Lo Mein, and Moo Shu Pork. I received some complaints about not including things like Orange Chicken. Sorry folks, but that’s not exactly Chinese food. In fact, Lo Mein is barely Chinese food (but that didn’t stop it from being one of the most popular keywords my site appeared for in Google).

3. What Wine Goes With Chili?

The “What Wine Goes With” posts kept going strong right up to the end of the year, with chili coming in as the food most in need of wine pairing aid. The real traffic to this post didn’t kick in until Autumn, which makes complete sense. Cool weather, rain on the way; what could be better than a hot bowl of chili and a glass of wine. I suggested mainly reds, but was helped out by a commenter who suggested I treat it more like spicy Thai foods and pair it with a cool, slightly sweet white. Touche, commenters. Touche.

2. Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages

Beaujolais is one of the most popular wines enjoyed by Americans for the holidays. It’s cheap, tasty, slightly sweet and goes well with the big bird: Turkey. The Louis Jadot label is also already such a well-known brand that this post served as a real slam dunk. Still, I was surprised by the number of people who visited this post. Thank you, broken economy.

1. Merkin Vineyards Chupacabra and Arizona Wine

Easily the most popular post of the year, and it didn’t even appear until March. Maynard James Keenan, lead singer of Tool and A Perfect Circle, grew his wine brands Caduceus, Merkin Vineyards and Arizona Stronghold Vineyards even more in 2010, complete with a great documentary about the burgeoning Arizona wine industry called “Blood Into Wine.” To put it bluntly, the wine is delicious and Tool is my favorite band which makes this post being the most popular of 2010 a real score for me. I’m so proud! (wipes tear)

Pretty killer list, if you ask me. Thank you to everyone who reads and I look forward to creating more for you in 2011!

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