Skank Wine of the Month | Wine Reviews

Respectable budget wines and loveable stank-ass swill that belongs in a brown paper bag. It’ll be our little secret.

Three Thieves Red Wine

Cost: Average price $10

Where buy now: Costco

Grapes: 52% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Zinfandel, 4% Syrah

Region: California

Vintage: 2010

Three Thieves Red Wine Blend

‘Tis the season of hustle and bustle, shopping and gift giving, eating and drinking. If you’re like most people, you’re probably going to holiday parties and/or hosting a holiday party or two. Either way, booze is involved and it can get, well, pretty freakin’ expensive.

I’ve waxed poetic about the miracle of Bota Box RedVolution Box RedVolution and my quest for big, inexpensive party wine continued. I’ve found it: a mighty 1.5 liter bottle of Three Thieves Red Wine.

Here’s the “Cliff Notes” rundown: Three Thieves = Joel Gott, Charles Bieler and Roger Scommegna. Three hipster dudes whose philosophy is that wine is made to be enjoyed by all people, not just upper crusters [insert appropriate percentage here]. Their spin is that they represent modern day wine Robin Hoods- “stealing” expensive wines and repackaging to make it affordable for the masses. They make a few different wines, if you want to know more, check ‘em out: Thieves

Admittedly, when I first saw this big ol’ bottle in all it’s glory, I thought I was picking up the American version of “Yellow Tail” [*snap!*]. Ahhhh, what I do in the name of research. I less than confidently put this hooch in my cart with a sigh.

The garnet juice emits scents of cherry, alcohol and light tannins. The taste echoes all the above with a silky punch that coats your mouth, leaving a light zingy aftertaste. I don’t get strong flavors or scents one way or another. It’s simple goodness up in your glass. No need to decant, breath or age this big dog. Pop it, pour it, pass it around, polish it off.

It’s terrific party wine. (At least, any party I’d willingly attend.) If you’re a fan of Menage é Trois, you might even dig this more. PS – it’s a 1.5 liter for $10 and my “Skank wine of the month”. PPS – I better see this at one of the holiday parties I’m attending. PPPS – you know who you are!

Flaco Tempranillo

Cost: Average price $9

Where buy now: Solo Vino, Zipps Liquors, Sorella Wines & Spirits, Stinson Wines & Spirits

Grapes: Tempranillo

Region: Spain

Vintage: 2011

Flaco Tempranillo

Not only do I have a great Skank pick this month, but I can also tell you how to get your hands on a FREE bottle on November 1st or 2nd!

First, let me talk about Tempranillo. It’s the best goof-proof, budget-friendly wine out there. And by no means is it a one trick pony.  Spain is the largest producer of Tempranillo. These thick-skinned grapes are grown in regions that have hot days followed by cool evenings. This creates a concentrated, yet balanced flavor.

These burly skins make for a tannic wine (tannins = presence of skins, seeds and stems).  It is aged in oak, giving other nuances of flavor, such as vanilla, smoke and wood tannin.

So, pop the Flaco Tempranillo then give it a few to breath. Aromas of plum and earth emerge. Take a sip and you’ll further enjoy not only the plummy, earthy flavors but you’ll also taste a hint of toasty vanilla, green pepper and spice. It’s an agreeable little number.

Tempranillo is typically food-friendly, and this one really benefits from a food pairing. Don’t get me wrong, you can send this baby down the hatch by itself all night if you want. I just think this Flaco comes alive with food. Again: goof-proof.

As the temperatures get cold, more folks are cooking indoors, baking and using their slow-cooker. Drink this wine with your homemade enchiladas or slow-cooked pulled pork. This wine pairs well with BBQ ribs, and most things grilled or roasted. Due to the earthy quality, if you’re a veg, a mushroom risotto- or anything with mushrooms or mushroomy sauce, really- would work splendidly. I have to give my gal, Amanda, a shout out because this wine pairs well with her Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic Soup: Red Pepper Soup

You know how much I like a good sausage [*ahem*] and this wine pairs really swell with the Moroccan Lamb sausage from Kramarczyk’s. The smoky, earthy wine really compliments the garlicky, earthy lamb sausage. I’m imagining it in my mouth and I can’t think of anything better. I mean it.  


You may already be a winner! No, I’m not knocking at your door with this bottle and lamb sausage, BUT, I’ve partnered with Solo Vino in St. Paul to give you a sweet ass deal:

This Thursday, November 1, and Friday, November 2, stop in to Solo Vino Vino between 5:00-7:30 PM, buy a bottle of wine, any bottle (PS- it’s their Fall Sale where everything is 20% off). At check out, mention that “The Savvy Lush” sent you, and you’ll receive this bottle of Flaco Tempranillo for FREE! While you’re there, Solo Vino will also be tasting other delicious bottles.

So dig this: you’ll visit one of thee best wine shops in the Metro, sample wines, buy the one(s) you like at a discount AND get the Flaco Tempranillo for free! You’d be simply mad not to take advantage of this. Mad I tell you!

Well, that is, unless you hate fun.  I’ve heard about you pricks.

Finca Flichman

Cost: Average price $9

Where buy now: Sorella Wines & Spirits for $4.97

Grapes: Malbec

Region: Argentina

Vintage: 2011

Finca Flichman Malbec

Sometimes all you need is some hooch. You don’t need nor want the complexities of a fine wine. You just want something that tastes like wine and is palatable.

This month’s Skank of the month is a Malbec you can find on sale for $5, now through Oct. 15, at Sorella Wines & Spirits.

I opened the bottle last night and took a sip. Wow, this is simple grape juice. The label states it’s oak-aged for 3 months, a friend expressed it seemed more like 16 minutes. <> Let it breathe for about 15 minutes and then drink the bottle down. Well, that’s what I did in this case. If you’re looking to get your drunk on, need a cellar filler or just want a glass of red wine to satisfy the craving, for $5 – you can’t go wrong.

Buy one, drink one.