Wine Lovers 101

Who doesn’t like to unwind over a glass of wine with dinner? Choosing a good wine is difficult, choosing a good, inexpensive wine is even tougher. Raise your glasses because, link: has provided a list of the best wine for $10 or less…

Personally, if I were to add to this list it would be “2 buck chuck”. Otherwise known as Charles Shaw, sold at Trader Joe’s for around $2.99. I might take off the Yellow Tail, there are better wines than that for under $10.

10. Voga Quattro

A blend of merlot, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, and pinot noir (hence the name) from Italy, the unique bottle and price will hook many buyers looking for an interesting bottle of wine that won’t break the bank, but the pleasant way the different varietals blend will certainly have you coming back for more.

9. Little Black Dress Pinot Grigio

Great with seafood (especially sushi), this pinot grigio from California works best when allowed to sit briefly after uncorking to really allow the flavors to open up. The apple and grapefruit flavors are quite refreshing and will be great on a warm day.

8. Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling

A great compliment to appetizers, this Riesling is sweet without being syrupy. The right hints of citrus make it refreshing and a great way to clean the palate before moving on to more complex food and wines during a party.

7. Bell’agio Chianti

This nice dry chianti will compliment most red sauces and add a nice bite to a juicy steak.

6. Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz

Great for the shiraz lover looking to branch out into cabernets with a blend. Nice tannins, but a nice smooth finish. A great “gateway” wine into some of the dryer varietals for those looking to experiment outside of their comfort zones.

5. Clos du Bois Chardonnay

A Californian wine with a French name (the name means “enclosure in the woods” – the maker of the wine is named Woods), this buttery and well balanced chardonnay is medium bodied with pear, citrus, and vanilla flavors. Very refreshing and a great compliment to pork and chicken.

4. Yellow Tail Chardonnay

Very approachable for those looking to move to the dryer white wines. Crisp and clean from being aged in steel barrels as opposed to oak, there is still a lingering nuance of oak in the wine that is welcome to those that are familiar with Chardonnays aged in oak.

3. Twin Fin Pinot Noir

A dark oak and cherry nose are a quick lead into a wine that some say has a bit of an “alcoholy” taste, but is nice and rich the whole way through, making it a great compliment to pizza, steak, or pasta with red sauce. A great way to be introduced to pinot noir.

2. Robert Mondavi Private Selection Sauvignon Blanc

Nice citrus flavors from the west coast, with hints of grapefruit that are the staple of the sauvignon blanc. Great on a hot day, with spicy fish (Thai style tilapia is a great compliment), and a wonderful alternative to the more expensive sauvignon blancs made in South America.

1. Ravenswood Zinfandel

An excellent wine at a great price. Smooth with lots of flavor and a hint of pepperyness at the end that is quite enjoyable. Fairly dry, but a great find for the red wine lover on a budget that wants something they can really sink their palate into.

Honorable Mentions

Evil Cabernet Sauvignon – a great cabernet sauvignon from Southern Australia.

Rosemount Diamond Label Shiraz – found at most restaurants, this Shiraz is a testament to the Australian style of making quality shiraz.

Oak Leaf (multiple varietals) – The house wine for Wal-Mart, this label offers cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chardonnay, and a chardonnay/pinot grigio blend. While none will change your view of that varietal, none are bad for their $3 price tag.

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.

Best regards.                                                                                                                         

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI                                                                  

2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors                                                                 

(949) 753-7900




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