Food & Wine’s Top Bottles Under Twenty USD

Determined through a blind taste-test, here are Food & Wine  magazine’s “best” bottles of red and white wine from the west, which in this report includes Washington, Oregon, and California, each available for under twenty dollars (€15.50):

– Sauvignon Blanc: 2008 Honig, Napa, California ($16/€12.40)
– Chardonnay: 2008 Mount Eden Vineyards Wolff Vineyard, Edna Valley, California ($20/€15.50)
– Pinot Gris: 2008 Elk Cove, Willamette Valley, Oregon ($19/€15)

Pinot Noir: 2008 Wallace Brook, Willamette Valley, Oregon ($19/€15)
– Merlot: 2007 Columbia Crest H3, Horse Heaven Hills (Woodinville), Washington ($15/€12)
– Zinfandel: 2007 Four Vines, Old Vine Cuvée, California ($14/€11)
– Syrah: 2008 Red Car, Boxcar, Sonoma County, California ($20/€15.50)
Cabernet Sauvignon: 2007 Louis M. Martini, Sonoma County, California ($17/€13)

Elegant Party “Champagne”: Cristalino Brut from Spain

Cristalino Brut from Spain: Inexpensive Substitute for French Champagne

Available at Cost Plus World Market

Inexpensive Substitute for French Champagne

“Bright green-gold color and aromas of apple, spices, flowers and nuts. Crisp, bright and dry with medium-full body. Intense ginger and apple flavors with nutty and floral nuances. Clean, lemony finish that is quite dry. A pleasure with chicken salad, scampi, filet of sole, brie and fruit desserts. Serve as an aperitif, too.”

Oak Leaf Vineyards: Elegant Survival Wine at $2.97

Oak Leaf Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon
Oak Leaf Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon

The French drink their local wines for a couple of euros per bottle. Now, Californians can drink excellent wines by award-winning Oak Leaf Vineyards for $1.97 a bottle, and the rest of America is able to buy them for $2.97, providing they can shop at the right store.

At the prestigious Florida State International Wine Competition in the spring of 2008, a new brand, Oak Leaf Vineyards from California, won gold. With 84 wineries competing in the Chardonnay category, only four received gold medals, and among them Oak Leaf was the biggest bargain by far, at $1.97 suggested retail price in California and $2.97 in most other states.

“With the economy slowing and as we move into tax season where dollars are tighter, finding value in the wine aisle is ever more important,” said Mario Pulido, winemaker for Oak Leaf Vineyards. Oak Leaf Vineyards provides very high quality wine at extremely good prices. Available in five varietals — Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and White Zinfandel — Oak Leaf Vineyards wines have the qualities of wines costing three times the modest price. The traditional label highlights four seasonal oak trees.

“Our first awards — Gold and Bronze at the 2008 Florida State Fair International Wine Competition and Silver and Bronze at the 2008 San Francisco Wine Competition show our approach — ‘easy to drink with plenty of flavor’ — is a winning one. With the money you save on wine, your family can enjoy those little extra things in life,” continued Pulido.

Oak Leaf Vineyard wines are available nationally at Wal-Mart superstores that are licensed to sell wine.

Extreme Value Wines Mean what they Say

Never in the 6,000-year history of wine has there been the choice, the quality, and more than anything, the values, available to the American wine consumer. With 100,000 labels in the market, that consumer can now find what he (and more likely she) wants at prices less than $2.00 a bottle. Amid new concerns about the current economic climate, everyone wants their dollars to go farther. Oak Leaf Vineyards is part of the new set of extreme value wines that are easy to drink, flavorful and over-deliver for a modest price.

~~Elegant Survival Wine Recommendations

Article on Wal-Mart’s Oak Leaf Vineyards Wines, in the Dallas Morning News