Pattie’s Wine Club

Much to her chagrin, we have only let Pattie review wine under 1000 yen (approx. 10 dollars) on this page. All prices include tax. The bottles bought thus far come from a local specialist wine store (best option), Shizutetsu (good), Family Mart (OK), MaxValu (OK/poor) and Kaldi (hit and miss). Wines are listed alphabetically.

Number of bottles reviewed – 75
Number of countries covered – 10
Best buy – Chocolate Moose Cab Sauv
Worst buy – Piquitos Tempranillo

Alpaca Cab Sauv Merlot (Chile) – 590 yen
Barely drinkable swill. Avoid.
Drank with – Vegetable pasta
Buy again? – No chance
Rating – 1.5/5

Alpaca Carmenere (Chile) – 630 yen
The best of the herd, but that’s not saying much.
Drank with – Fried rice and vegetables
Buy again? – Maybe
Rating – 3.5/5

Alpaca Chardonnay Semillon (Chile) – 630 yen
A little quirky. The better of the Alpaca whites.
Drank with – Pineapple curry
Buy again? – Probably not
Rating – 3/5

Alpaca Pinot Noir (Chile) – 580 yen
Flat, slightly off Ribena. Unpleasant.
Drank with – Baguette dipped in creamy mushroom sauce
Buy again? – No
Rating – 1.5/5

Alpaca Rose (Chile) – 680 yen
Fairly average rose. Drinkable.
Drank with – Potatoes and radish
Buy again? – Maybe
Rating – 2.5/5

Alpaca Sauv Blanc (Chile) – 580 yen
More palatable than the Pinot. Lower to middling.
Drank with – Vegetable assortment
Buy again? – Probably not
Rating – 2.5/5

Aves Del Sur (Chile) – 930 yen
Clean, smooth taste. Worth a look.
Drank with – Soy milk tofu and mushroom soup
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Bio Mania Organic Riesling (Germany) – 950 yen
Funky design and a fresh flavour.
Drank with – Assorted vegetables and rice.
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Bio Mania Organic Tempranillo (Spain) – 950 yen
Started off very well but tailed off a little at the end.
Drank with – Aubergine and rice
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Bravino Tempranillo (Chile) – 530 yen
Fruity and fun. Unpretentious.
Drank with – Doenjjang jjigae
Buy again? – Sure
Rating – 4/5

Careo Blanco (Spain) – 440 yen
Like the red, good value for money.
Drank with – Vegetable risotto
Buy again? – Maybe
Rating – 3/5

Careo Tinto (Spain) – 440 yen
No world-beater, but decent for the price.
Drank with – Mushroom and spinach fettucine
Buy again? – Maybe
Rating – 3/5

C’est Chic Red (France) – 530 yen
It may be chic, but it’s barely drinkable.
Drank with – Mixed vegetables and rice
Buy again? – No
Rating – 2/5

Chocolate Moose (France) – 900 yen
Glorious dessert wine. Heavy and satisfying.
Drank with – Fried lotus root
Buy again? – Definitely
Rating – 5/5

Concha Y Toro Frontera Cab Sauv (Chile) – 550 yen
A go-to in this price bracket. Excellent value.
Drank with – Vegetable ramen
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Concha Y Toro Frontera Chardonnay (Chile) 550 yen
Unpretentious but decent vin de table.
Drank with – Cheese, vegetables and dips
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Cono Sur Bicicleta Malbec (Chile) – 900 yen
A rare find. Rich and heavy.
Drank with – Croissants, cheese and olives.
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir (Chile) – 900 yen
A soft and subtle pleasure.
Drank with – Asparagus and garlic mushrooms fried in butter.
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4.5/5

Cono Sur Bicicleta Unoaked Chardonnay (Chile) – 900 yen
A very clean taste. Goes down easily.
Drank with – Potatoes and mushrooms in white sauce
Buy again? – Definitely
Rating – 4.5/5

Dancing Flame Cab Sauv (Chile) – 430 yen
Foul, highly viscous lava.
Drank with – Vegetable assortment
Buy again? – No chance
Rating – 1/5

Dancing Flame Sauv Blanc (Chile) – 430 yen
Much better than the red. Acceptable for the price.
Drank with – Fried aubergine
Buy again? – Maybe
Rating – 3/5

De Bortoli Family Selection Semillon Chardonnay (Australia) – 830 yen
Better than the Shiraz. Worth a try.
Drank with – Vegetable assortment with fried tofu
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

De Bortoli Family Selection Shiraz Cab (Australia) – 830 yen
Pleasantly rugged at first, but lost its flavour rapidly.
Drank with – Sundubu Jjigae and potato salad
Buy again? – Maybe
Rating – 3.5/5

De Bortoli Sacred Hill Rose (Australia) – 930 yen
Superior rose. Lucky to catch it on sale.
Drank with – Fried vegetables
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4.5/5

Don Romero Tinto (Spain) – 480 yen
Quite heavy. Not particularly enjoyable.
Drank with – Spicy tomato pasta
Buy again? – Probably not
Rating – 2.5/5

El Paso Del Lazo Tempranillo Shiraz (Spain) – 900 yen
Muddled and heavy taste. Overcomplicated and overpriced.
Drank with – Onion bread with tomato vegetable dip
Buy again? – No
Rating – 2/5

Escapada Vinho Branco (Portugal) – 900 yen
A little sour, but may grow on you. An acquired taste.
Drank with – Papaya and celery salad
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Espacio Merlot (Chile) – 440 yen
Started off average. Went downhill.
Drank with – Doenjang Jjigae
Buy again? – No
Rating – 2/5

Et Me Rosso Lazio (Italy) – 830 yen
Decent but not spectacular. A solid option from Italy.
Drank with – Mushroom soup
Buy again? – Maybe
Rating – 4/5

Garrigue Red (France) – 900 yen
Pretty nondescript. Acceptable for a picnic.
Drank with – Tofu steak
Buy again? – Maybe
Rating – 3.5/5

Ladera Verde Red (Chile) – 400 yen
Dull and heavy, but acceptable for its price tag.
Drank with – Kongnamul bap
Buy again? – If money is an object
Rating – 2.5/5

Ladera Verde White (Chile) – 400 yen
Cheap and functional. A little sweet.
Drank with – Mixed vegetables with rice
Buy again? – If money is an object
Rating – 2.5/5

Lobetia Tempranillo (Spain) – 950 yen
Super dry with a surprisingly neutral flavour.
Drank with – Vegetable bowl
Buy again? – Probably not
Rating 3.5/5

Logodaj Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot (Bulgaria) – 900 yen
Deep, dark and fruity. Bold Slavic taste.
Drank with – Tomato and basil pasta
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4.5/5

Logodaj Chardonnay and Vermentino (Bulgaria) – 900 yen
Unusual tasting white, but not in a bad way.
Drank with – Vegan soba
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Luis Felipe Edwards Reserva Cab Sauv (Chile) – 750 yen
Inviting round the edges, but a bitter centre.
Drank with – Vegetable assortment
Buy again? – Probably not
Rating – 3/5

Luis Felipe Edwards Reserva Sauv Blanc (Chile) – 750 yen
A solid sharp white. Holds its flavour.
Drank with – Cheese and biscuits
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 3.5/5

Mesta Tempranillo (Spain) – 850 yen
Light and a little sweet. Good for summer.
Drank with – Baguette with avocado
Buy again? – Sure
Rating – 4/5

Mesta Tempranillo Rose (Spain) – 850 yen
Bright tasting summer fare.
Drank with – Mushroom, seaweed and wine broth
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Mesta Verdejo (Spain) – 850 yen
As enjoyable as its pink cousin.
Drank with – Garlic chive pasta
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Mommessin Merlot Palet D’Or (France) – 990 yen
Made for royalty. Austere and refined.
Drank with – Boursin, baguette and olives
Buy again? – Definitely
Rating – 4.5/5

Montemar Merlot (Chile) – 500 yen
Fine for the price, but nothing special.
Drank with – Vegetable curry and rice
Buy again? – Maybe
Rating – 3/5

Montemar Rose (Chile) – 500 yen
Decent for the price. Good for a summer party.
Drank with – Tofu soup
Buy again? – Maybe
Rating – 3.5/5

Morgan’s Bay Semillon Sauv Blanc (Australia) – 830 yen
Clean and smooth as the label. A superior white.
Drank with – Fried vegetables
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4.5/5

Nativa Carmenere (Chile) – 825 yen
Fruity and sharp. A bold taste.
Drank with – Vegetable fettucine
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Pasqua Bianco Veneto (Italy) – 750 yen
A little ahead of the rosso. Goes down nicely.
Drank with – Vegetable curry and peshwari naan
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Pasqua Rosso Veneto (Italy) – 750 yen
Tasty mid-priced bottle. Give it a go.
Drank with – Vegetable sushi
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Paul Laurent Rouge (France) – 650 yen
Solid option in this price range. A decent drop.
Drank with – Bibimbap
Buy again? – Maybe
Rating – 3/5

Piquitos Tempranillo (Spain) – 750 yen
Sweet, fizzy filth. For people who don’t like wine.
Drank with – Sundubu Jjigae
Buy again? – No chance in hell
Rating – 0.5/5

Prince De Bao Red (Spain) – 420 yen
No discernible flavour. For penny pinchers only.
Drank with – Cheese and biscuits
Buy again? – Definitely not
Rating 1.5/5

Prince De Bao White (Spain) – 420 yen
Better than the red but you get what you pay for.
Drank with – Soy milk tofu soup
Buy again? – Probably not
Rating 2.5/5

Principe Di Granatey Nero d’Avola (Italy) – 850 yen
Smooth and stylish. A Sicilian delight.
Drank with – Various snacks
Buy again? – Definitely
Rating 5/5

Quinta Las Cabras Cab Sauv (Chile) – 550 yen
A 7/11 stalwart when you want to budget.
Drank with – Kimchi jjigae
Buy again? – When there’s just a 7/11 nearby
Rating 3/5

Rainbow Lorakeet Cab Sauv (Australia) – 440 yen
Not terrible, but a little too sweet.
Drank with – Tofu and Seaweed Onigiri
Buy again? – No
Rating 2.5/5

Redwood Cab Sauv (USA) – 700 yen
Heavy on the tongue. Unremarkable.
Drank with – Apple and chive spicy salad
Buy again? – Probably not
Rating – 2.5/5

Redwood Chardonnay (USA) – 700 yen
Easily trumps Redwood red. Decent.
Drank with – Spicy tofu with mushrooms
Buy again? – Maybe
Rating – 3.5/5

Roche Mazet Cab Sauv Pays D’Oc (France) – 850 yen
Round and balanced. A pleasant surprise.
Drank with – Japanese vegetable curry
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Roche Mazet Chardonnay Pays D’Oc (France) -850 yen
Crisp and clean white. Excellent.
Drank with – Sundubu Jjigae
Buy again? – Definitely
Rating – 4.5/5

Santa Carolina Merlot (Chile) – 550 yen
Pretty tasty for the price range. Worth a go.
Drank with – Doenjang Jjigae
Buy again? – Probably
Rating – 3/5

Santa Luz Alba Cab Sauv (Chile) – 550 yen
Very average, indistinct taste.
Drank with – Tomato and fried sesame leaves
Buy again? – Probably not
Rating – 2.5/5

Sensi Sangiovese Toscana (Italy) – 830 yen
A step up in price and a step up in quality from the Virto.
Drank with – Gimbap
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Sensi Virto Bianco (Italy) – 530 yen
Unenjoyable flavour. A little on the sweet side.
Drank with – Kongnamul Bap
Buy again? – No
Rating – 2/5

Sensi Virto Bianco (Italy) – 530 yen
Surprisingly enjoyable. Much better than the white.
Drank with – Doenjang Jjigae
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 3.5/5

Suntory 5 Star Select Reserve Red (Japan) – 650 yen
Tastes nearly as bad as it looks…and that’s saying something.
Drank with – Tofu and wasabi soup
Buy again? – No chance
Rating – 1/5

Suntory 5 Star Select Reserve White (Japan) – 650 yen
Much better than the red, but still looks horrendous.
Drank with – Fried spicy aubergine on rice.
Buy again? – Maybe
Rating – 3/5

Tavernello Bianco (Italy) – 630 yen
Fresh, clear taste. Worthy of adorning an Italian table.
Drank with – Noodles and Korean stew
Buy again? – Sure
Rating – 3.5/5

Tres Medallas Cab Sauv (Chile) – 750 yen
Heavy on the tongue.
Drank with – Korean vegetable barbecue
Buy again? – Probably not
Rating – 2.5/5

Tres Medallas Merlot (Chile) – 750 yen
Really poor for the price. No medals warranted.
Drank with – Tofu steak
Buy again? – No
Rating – 1.5/5

Valcatrina Alentejano Tinto (Portugal) – 970 yen
A little rich but satisfying. Catch it while you can.
Drank with – Doenjang Jjigae
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

Veneto I Balzi (Italy) – 970 yen
Just a hint of chocolate and coffee. Excellent dessert wine.
Drank with – Kimchi Jjigae
Buy again? – Yes please!
Rating – 5/5

Vieux Papes Rouge (France) – 750 yen
Medium body. A little fruity. Aftertaste not great.
Drank with – Potato and cheese gratin
Buy again? – Maybe not
Rating – 3/5

Villa Molino Rose Veneto (Italy) – 650 yen
Does the job on a warm day. Unassuming.
Drank with – Spinach, mushroom and tomato fettucine
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 3.5/5

Wild Puda (Chile) – 630 yen
Not too dear, but decent nonetheless.
Drank with – Vegetable Bibimbap
Buy again? – Probably
Rating – 3/5

Yvon Mau Cab Sauv (France) – 850 yen
Reserved but delightful. A little tease.
Drank with – Buchujeon
Buy again? – Definitely
Rating – 4.5/5

Yvon Mau Sauv Blanc (France) – 850 yen
Not quite up to the Cab Sauv, but a nice, sharp taste.
Drank with – Basil, spinach and mushroom pasta.
Buy again? – Yes
Rating – 4/5

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