There are perilously few Long Island red wines under $20 that I find consistently palatable. Most often made from hard press fractions and leftovers, they can be incredibly inconsistent, bitter, under-ripe or just plain not very good.

Shinn Estate Vineayrds NV Red ($17) isn’t always good — the blend, and even the grapes used in the blend — varies from version to version. And unless you’re buying it directly from the winery and can ask, it’s difficult to know which NV edition you’re buying.

The current release, however, is a nice, carafe-style red well suited to casual meals. You can even give it a slight chill for with your hot-off-the-grill burgers.

Aromas of black and blue fruit are accented by subtle peppery spice. Juicy and even more spicy, the palate shows more dark fruit, black pepper, baking spice and a dried basil note. Though not particularly complex or long, and lacking much in the way of tannic structure, it makes up for it with fresh acidity which will cut right through the fattiness of your bacon-cheddar burger.

Producer: Shinn Estate Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 13%
Price: $17*



(2.5 out of 5, Average-to-Very Good)