Happy National Wine Day! Potentially my favorite holiday, as it is the ideal opportunity to enjoy a great glass or two. If you need inspiration then consider one of these affordable, easy to find favorites to open today. (A few selections were sent for editorial consideration.)
Any day is a day for a bubbly, especially one that retails for around $10-$15 a bottle and it made in the traditional method day and comes from the land that celebrates food, wine and friendship 24/7. Segura Viudas Brut Rose Cava from Spain’s sparkling Penedes region from the native Trepat variety, is filled with red fruit aromas of strawberry, red cherry and pomegranate leading to a refreshing palate of tart cherry, spice and a light acidity. Available at Spec’s and World Market stores.
The Central Coast, salad bowl of California, shines with the ability to grow just about anything, from cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Pacific coastal vineyards, to hearty Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from inland regions. Edna Valley Vineyard and Winery is situated almost half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, shines as a producer of quality Chardonnay, but also a food friendly portfolio of wines, like their Monterey and San Luis Obispo sourced Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh, juicy and balanced, with just the right combination of tropical fruit and citrus, creating a light wine with great acidity. $13, available at Goody-Goody stores.
Also from Central Coast vineyards, Wild Horse Chardonnay melds cool climate fruit from Santa Barbara, Santa Maria Valley and Monterey for a wine filled with baked apple, ripe pear, orange and meyer lemon. A consistent wine that is great on its own, or paired with popcorn and your favorite movie. $15, available at Total Wine and More.
Slightly more complex and well-rounded, Franciscan Chardonnay from Napa Valley, melds golden apple and sweet spice with toasted caramel and lemon cream for a rich and inviting wine. Barrel fermented and aged 7 months in a combination of French and American oak, adding texture and richness to the wine. A great Chardonnay to warm you on a winter evening. $18, available at Spec’s.
From Spain’s majestic green Galician coast, in the northwest corner of the country, Rias Baisas is filled with old, pergola vines of Albarino and lots of freshly caught seafood. From the heart of the region comes Martin Codax Albarino, from one of the larger cooperatives in the region known for their incredible quality in producing the region’s beloved variety. Briny, mineral rich, steely white wine with citrus, white flowers, crushed stone and soft herbs. $14, available at Total Wine and More.
I am the first to get a little bit nervous when I see a bottle of Pinot Noir for less than $20, the variety is so delicate and finicky that it takes a lot to produce it. However, Leese-Fitch California Pinot Noir, retailing for around $12-$15 is a great, fruit forward, easy drinking Pinot for a very attractive price. From vineyards throughout California, with a touch of earthy Barbera and Grenache added in (the wine is 92% Pinot Noir), the cola, cherry and cranberry filled wine is a solid offering for the price. The wine is popping up in retail shops throughout Dallas, so keep an eye out.
From Mendoza, Argentina, Bodega Septima Malbec vineyards are planted at 3600 feet above sea level at the base of the Andes Mountains in Uco Valley. The palate is filled with robust dark cherry, plum and cassis notes enhanced with mocha and tobacco. The wine is aged 6 months in American oak adding in vanilla and spice notes, with a hint of coconut, inherent with American oak. $13, available at Total Wine and More.
From the heart of Napa Valley, legendary winery, Charles Krug consistently delivers one of the softest, easiest and most appealing Cabernet Sauvignon wines for the price out of Napa Valley, with the fruit coming primarily from the Yountville AVA. Luscious cherry, blackberry and licorice is enhanced with hints of espresso, dark chocolate and toasted caramel. $30, available at Total Wine and More.
Domaine de Bila Haut Occultum Lapidem from Southern France’s Roussillion region, is a complex wine made from Syrah, Grenache and Carignan vines averaging in age around 60 years. These deeply rooted vines add earthy, crushed stone and graphite notes to the purple flower, pepper and black fruit filled wine. Bold and rich, with nicely integrated tannins that continue to soften age the wine opens up. $30, available at Wine Poste.