It's tax season. If you played your cards right (or are crooked), then it's smooth sailing and Stag's Leap for you. If not--well, there's always some cheap-ass wine:
Color: Deep, blood red fading to purple at the edges.
Nose: Berries! A little rhubarb, a little cranberry and a little greenery or vegetation. Just a hint of smoky leather.
Palate: This is a big wine with rich berry favors--cherry, blueberry. Large body and good tannic structure.
Finish: Lingering fruit and a fair amount of alcohol heat.
Pairings: This seems like a fairly versatile wine. It paired excellently with mojo-roasted chicken (mojo is a Latin American sauce made with coriander seeds, black peppercorns, salt and other ingredients) and polenta. It would also work well with roasted pork, and many Italian dishes. It's lithe mouth feel might fall against heavy steaks or lamb.
You know, cheap-ass wine doesn't mean the wine is categorically bad. And bad wine doesn't even mean it's categorically bad. Someone's drinking the stuff, or it wouldn't get bottled and sold. But I think there is a difference between wines you can get at your local supermarket and wines you can get at your local wine merchant. Given a choice always go for the wine merchant.
In Gainesville, we have a great resource in Dorn's Liquors. The staff there are knowledgable and the buyers maintain an exhaustive tasting schedule, brining the store excellent values and some damn fine wines. I bought he Bulletin Place Shiraz and the Three Thieves Syrah at Dorn's and wasn't disappointed with either. The Bulletin Place Shiraz, in fact, was a really good, fun wine. Perfect for a party or spring bbq.
I've bought cheap-ass wine at the grocery store. One time I came away with a Little Penguin white shiraz that was sweet to the point of cloying and absolutely bereft of backbone. It was a high-schoolers' wine, clearly, and left me feeling like I'd had a handful of Jolly Ranchers muddled in maple syrup. Never again. So next time you're going for wine, seek out your local wine merchant. Hopefully, they'll steer you in the right direction, cheap-ass or otherwise.