Don’t have an unlimited wine budget? You can find true value in wine at the ‘$12 and under range’.
Here are some tips to steer you in the right direction:
Do not be afraid to try a European wine. These are some real gems from France, Italy, Portugal, Spain that work with most of your summer foods, appetizers and simply sipping on the porch.
Try one of these:
1) Vino Verde (Avg. $8 per bottle) –
Meaning “green wine”, a Portugese white wine made predominantly from the Alvarinho grape, has a light body, lots of citrus acidity and often a few bubbles. Goes well with any seafood, fish, light salads, or even spicy Thai or Chinese cuisine and fried chicken!
2) Soave (Avg. $14, but can find them under $12)
From the Veneto region of northern Italy comes a balanced, light white wine made of the Garganiga grape, Prices vary but there are some bargains in your wine store so look for this wine under $12. Great patio sipper with light appetizers and vegetable pastas.
3) Cotes du Rhone Blanc (white): (pictured bottle for sale at $8.99)
A wine made of the Grenache Blanc grape and up to 12 other blended grapes, this is a dry white wine, not very acidic, with lots of perfume and fruit. Very food friendly with pastas, salads, seafood and a very good cheese/charcuterie plate at the beginning of the meal or snacking.
4) Beaujolais Villages (avg. $11.00)
Not to be confused with the inferior Beaujolais Nueveau, this wine, from the southernmost part of Burgundy, France is available all year long. It is a very light bodied red wine, fruity with no tannins to speak of. Made from the Gamay grape, it is low in alcohol and pairs well with substantial seafood (with sauces or grilled), chicken or pork dishes, pastas with cream sauces, vegetable dishes and yes, some spicy Asian cuisine! Also a good wine to pair with your cheese plate. Always very reasonable in price.
5) Monastrell (Avg. $9 a bottle)
From the Jumilla growing area in central Spain, this Mourvedre based, dry, big bodied red wine will stand up pleasantly to all of your summer barbequed meats. It is well balanced with fruit and tannins. Smooth and rich!
6) Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (Avg. $10 per bottle)
From the central east coast of Italy, the wine from Abruzzo is made from the Montepulciano grape, soft, plummy and easy to drink, it is a medium bodied red wine made for various pastas, seafood, and can hold it’s own with grilled meats and vegetables.