Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc Les Setilles (France).
Made from Chardonnay grapes, white Burgundies tend to be "easier
to drink with food than an oaky Chardonnay," says Rayyis. This
one is "just really good." $13 to $15.
Cune Monopole (Spain). Wines from the Rioja
region generally "offer good value," says Rayyis. "What
I love about this wine is that you get really good citrus flavors.
It has depth to it. You can really taste the earth in it, in a good
way." $12 to $13.
Hedges Cellars Fume/Chardonnay (Washington State).
"Hedges Cellars is one of those great, small wineries in Washington
that manages to make excellent value-priced wines along with its more
expensive line," says McCarthy. "Their blended white of
Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay is as good a white domestic wine that
you can find for under $12. Try it with grilled chicken."
Fleur du Cap Sauvignon Blanc (South Africa).
"South Africa is making some of the best-value white wines
in the world," says McCarthy. This one "has lots of citrus
aromas and flavors. It would be a great accompaniment to seafood
or fish." $11.
Vina Haras de Pirque Sauvignon Blanc (Chile).
"Chile has long been a good source for value reds," says
McCarthy. "Now they're finding cooler locations for their white
varieties as well." This is "a fine aperitif wine,"
he says. "Serve it chilled, with seafood hors d'oeuvres."
Bonny Doon Ca' del Solo Pinot Grigio (California).
"Delicious," says Fredrikson, who calls this one a
Kunde Magnolia Lane Sauvignon Blanc (California).
"They make a lot of good wines, but the Sauvignon Blanc
is one of my favorites," says Fredrikson. $10 to $14.
Estancia Pinot Noir (California). "Finding
a good Pinot Noir at $9 or $10 is a recent phenomenon," says
Fredrikson, and this is one of her favorites. $9 to $12.
$10 and under
"There's a huge array in the $9 to $10 range," says
A few to try:
Domaine de la Brune Coteaux du Languedoc (France).
One of those little treasures that gives "tremendous value,"
says Rayyis. "If you substitute this wine for one in place
of one from a more celebrated region of France, people would be
shocked to find out that this wine costs $10," he says. "It
compares easily to wines that cost $50."
Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (Italy).
"This might be the best-drinking $8 red wine in the world,"
says McCarthy. "Warm and richly flavored," says McCarthy.
"Goes equally well with pasta a la bolognese or beefsteak."
Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Crianza (Spain). A
"young charmer with just a touch of oak," says McCarthy.
"Would be great with paella." $10.
Jacob's Creek Shiraz (Australia). "This
amazing Australian winery continues to produce first-rate red wines
for under $10," says McCarthy. This one is an "easy-drinking,
medium-bodied Shiraz," he says. Great with grilled meats. $9.
Jewel Collection Pinot Noir (California). Both
Jewel and Estancia have "wonderful wines" in this price
range "pretty much across the board," says Fredrikson.
One of her real favorites: the Pinot Noir. $9 to $10.
Bogle Vineyards (California). Almost any variety
is a good choice, says Fredrikson. "I like those wines a lot,"
she says. $6 to $10.
Bonny Doon Ca' del Solo Big House Red/Bonny Doon
Ca' del Solo Big House White (California). "Another proprietary
blend that is jut total reliable, delicious, fresh everyday drinking
wine," says Fredrikson. $8 to $9.
Cline Viognier (California). "Great counterpoint
to the typically California Chardonnay," says Rayyis. Also
has some body and acidity to it, he says. $9.
Vinum Cellars Chenin Blanc (California). Chenin
Blanc from California is, generally speaking, great, says Rayyis.
And this one "is a really nice wine." $8 to $9.
Chappellet Chenin Blanc (California). "Really
one of the few in California that really can compete in terms of
structure to some French Loire Valley Chenin Blancs," Rayyis
Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc (Chile). "Crisp,
lively, fresh," says McCarthy. $10.
Fazi-Battaglia Verdicchio (Italy). Fresh and
delicately-flavored, this one is an "outstanding buy,"McCarthy
says. "Try it with filet of sole or flounder." $10.
Simonsig Estate Chenin Blanc (South Africa). "The
best inexpensive Chenin Blancs are being made in South Africa,"
says McCarthy. This one is a "fresh, viscous white," he
says. With "just a hint of sweetness," it's perfect to
serve cold with shellfish. $9.
Yes, Virginia, it is possible. Here are a few to sample:
Kenwood Vineyards Red/Kenwood Vineyards White.
(California). "You can't go wrong with Kenwood Red or Kenwood
White," says Fredrikson. They have always good blends, "a
nice table wine that never fails to be well-made, well-balanced,
delicious -- a good everyday choice." $5
Georges Duboeuf Cuvee Rouge/Georges Duboeuf Cuvee
Blanc (France). "Foreign wine that is always reliable,"
says Fredrikson. This is a table wine blend that is consistently
"very pleasing and well-made," she says. $5
Dana Dratch is a freelance writer
based in Atlanta.