Saturday, May 30, 2009

Great Wine Under $14

Brad and I visited Roger, ChrisAnn, and Drew at Wine Lab last night to pick up a few bottles for his party. I always tell my friends there is a ton of great wine to drink between $8 and $14 (I'll do another post with some more bottles in this range). When I think about paying that much for a cocktail or one mediocre glass at a bar, I'm especially inspired to bring a few bottles to a gathering and open everything just to show how well anyone can drink! Last night we enjoyed bubbles from France and Spain and a refreshing white from California:

Varichon & Clerc Privilege, Blanc De Blancs, Brut, Methode Champenoise, France, $14
Awesome value. Drinks nicely and has the apple and (approachable) toasty notes you'd expect. Complex and flavorful for the price.

Cristalino Cava, Brut, Traditional Method (secondary fermentation in bottle), Spain, $11
This is such a clean, citrus focused sparkler. Taste this side by side with the Varichon & Clerc. V&C's toasty and leesey notes will be much more pronounced while the Cristalino's perky acidity, bubbles, and sour apple will define this cava. 

Valdez, Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County, California, 2006, $13
Surprisingly sublte, integrated oak for the price. Normally I stick to Marlborough and the Loire Valley for this varietal, but this is a tangy, tropical version from Sonoma that will be a crowd pleaser.

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