I have to admit I don't come across a whole lot of non-vintage blends except those that come in a giant 5L box. And, on the polar opposite of that scale, ones called Champagne that, to my extreme regret, are priced out of reach for daily consumption. So collect all your pennies and ten dollar bill, and behold Sherman & Hooker Shebang! The red and white wine from Shebang come out of a project by Morgan Twain-Peterson of Bedrock Wine Compnay. The red is an aytpical blend of 60% Zinfandel along with Carignan, Alicante Bouchet, Syrah and a few other grapes along for the ride. The Zin is of the old-vine variety and the oak is of the barrel-kind (yay!) rather than a bunch of cheaply tossed-in wood chips (boo!). It's a juicy and spicy wine that's burger-friendly. The white has a similarly fun profile, a mix of 60% Pinot Gris, 25% Muscadelle/Semillon, and 15% Sauvignon Blanc. It's enticingly aromatic from the Muscadelle, which also provides for a softer profile and, though it drinks dry, a suggestion of ever-so-slight sweetness. It's definitely a crowd-pleaser, and I don't mean that in a perjorative way. I'm thinking of a thirsty, t-shirt and jeans, laid-back wine-loving crowd.
So while I aspire to have non-vintage Champagne in my regular wine-drinking rotation, I can console myself with a couple of fresh and festive bottles of Shebang. And not have to put too big a dent in my penny collection.
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Jameson Fink has been working in the wine industry and blogging about wine since 2004. Saveur Magazine nominated his site, jamesonfink.com, for a 2013 Best Food Blog Award in the Wine/Beer Category. He is a tireless advocate for year-round rosé consumption and enjoys a glass of Champagne alongside a bowl of popcorn.