Good weeknight winter red. 2013 E. Guigal Côtes Du Rhône

Time for a little Wine 101.

Here at Pat The Wine Guy, we’ll make frequent reference to & recommendations of Côtes du Rhône because it’s easy to find and usually delivers a decent bang for the buck.  We’re always on the lookout for a good “weeknight” wine.  Côtes du Rhône falls into that category.

What is Côtes du Rhône anyway?  Two things: it’s a place…a wine-producing area in southern France… and it’s also a wine…either a white or red blend typically featuring Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and possibly several other grapes.

You could look at it as a wine “stew”.  Imagine a large collection of wineries in a sizable geographical area using a wide variety of grapes all coming up with a product that bears the same name.

While no two Côtes du Rhônes are alike, they do share some characteristics in common. They are usually sturdy wines (we’re referring to the reds) that pair well with hearty foods and rich cheese.   And while it is a basic wine with nowhere near the quality or caché of its nearby neighbors, Gigondas or Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône will always be less expensive.

Guigal’s 2013 Rouge (red)  is a prototypical Côtes du Rhône.  Dark red with spicy berry flavors, it’s well balanced.  The tannins aren’t overpowering the fruit or vice versa.

For the many wet, rainy weeknights that we have coming up, Guigal’s Côtes du Rhône would be a nice winter warmer.

Trader Joe’s has it cheaper than anyone else in town.  As of November 27, we found Guigal 2013 Côtes du Rhône at:


Trader Joe’s NE 41st & Halsey      $12.99           Fred Meyer Hawthorne        $15.79

Fred Meyer   Hollywood               $15.79           QFC  NE 56th & Burnside     $15.99

Safeway NE 69th & Sandy           $16.99           Safeway   SE Hawthorne         $16.99


Trader Joe’s     NW Glisan          $12.99             Trader Joe’s Beaverton              $12.99

Fred Meyer  Stadium                 $15.79             Fred Meyer  Walker Road          $15.79

Fred Meyer Beaverton               $15.79              QFC  NW Barnes & Miller        $15.99

Safeway NW Cornell                  $16.99


Trader Joe’s   Lake Oswego      $12.99            Fred Meyer  Tualatin             $15.79

New Seasons  Mountain Park LO   $15.99       Safeway  SW Barbur              $16.99

Safeway  Downtown LO              $16.99