Holiday credit card balances got you down? Flummoxed every time it costs $50 to buy gas? Utility bills make you wonder if you’ll still be paying for winter when summer arrives?
Have no fear. It’s time for our third annual Cheap Wine extravaganza, designed to soothe your pocketbook and take the edge off your daily woes, and all for $10 or less. This year, we even have a celebrity endorsement, from international wine guru Andrea Immer, who was in town last month to promote a cookbook featuring — believe it or not — inexpensive wines. Her mantra: Americans must learn they don’t need to pay $35 for a drinkable, everyday bottle of wine.
With that in mind, here are this year’s top picks. (Note they don’t include those already in the our Cheap Wine Hall of Fame — Boggy Doon’s Big House Red, White, and Pacific Rim Riesling; Texas’ Ste. Genevieve Chardonnay; most of California’s Bogle Vineyards line; and Osborne Solaz, a Spanish red blend.)
• Odfjell Vineyards Rojo 2002 ($9). This cabernet sauvignon from Chile is more French-like, which means not as heavy and with more fruit, than its California counterparts. Stunningly good for the price.
• Take your pick — the Rancho Zabaco Dancing Bull Sauvignon Blanc 2003 ($8), Benziger Fume Blanc 2003 ($9), and Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2003 ($9) are all worthy, with continued excellence, of earning a Hall of Fame berth. Each is well made, citrusy and clean.
• Freixenet Brut de Noir NV ($9). This rose sparkling wine is one of Immer’s favorites, drinkable as an aperitif as well as with a grilled salmon or chicken with saffron rice. Serve chilled.
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