It's tax day and if you're one of the many people who waited until the last minute to do your taxes (clears throat and motions to Derek), then you're probably a little bit stressed out at the moment. But besides being tax day it's also another beautiful Spring day that's here to remind us that Summer is just around the corner. Barbecues and pool parties and long days at the beach followed by cocktails at sunset await us all. So, do your best and try to relax. We know of some things that may help.

We here at VINE-YL love to drink wine. We do it almost every day. It can get expensive, but luckily for you we feel it is our duty to find good bottles in the $15 and under price range. That's where we like to drink on a day to day basis. Special occasion, sure we'll splurge, but we see no need to drink expensive wine all the time. There are just too many good bottles of everyday drinking wine out there, if you know where to look.

South America has been big on the wine scene for quite some time. We'll leave Argentina for another post and just talk a bit about Chile. I've never been a huge, huge fan of Chilean wines. There are of course some good ones, but there are also some really, really bad ones. They do a lot of cheap, crappy wine for export that does very well because of their low prices. That's fine for them, but I don't like cheap crappy wine, I like cheap good wine. There are a few exceptional wineries in Chile, that make great wine but still manage to keep it inexpensive. A few that I like are Two Brothers, The Santa Laura Winery (particularly their Laura Hartwig wines) and these guys, Terra Andina. I've been drinking their Carmenére for several years and it's consistently good and consistently around $9.

Carmenére is believed to have originated in Bordeaux; no one really knows. For a long time they were growing it in Chile thinking it was Merlot. Carmenére does share some characteristics with Merlot, but it has a spiciness all its own. The Terra Andina is a good example of this, with pronounced black pepper on the nose. The palate is juicy with bright red fruit and nice green pepper notes that are quintessentially Carmenére. The finish is all spice and earth. This is a great barbecue wine but can really pair well with a number of things, from pizza to Cuban food.

So there you are, a nice inexpensive way to spend a Spring afternoon. A good cheap wine and some nice mellow Reggae. The perfect combo to have you relaxing and thinking of the summer to come.

TERRA ANDINA CARMENÉRE, 2008