Oh man, we’re swimming in it now. The holidays are here, and if you’re like me, you’re looking for any way to save a dime. When you have a big party to host, or even a small party, you want to make sure you’re serving good-quality wines. All of these wines are under $10 and delicious. You won’t believe your taste buds!
Porta da Calada and Vale da Calada Portuguese Wines
We scored when we got an exclusive on these Portuguese gems! Portuguese wines are becoming more and more revered in the public eye, emphasized by the fact that two landed in the top 10 of Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year. These three in particular are so full flavored and well balanced that no one would ever know you only paid $7.99! The Porta da Calada Tinto is rich and supple with black fruits and mild spice while the Vale da Calada Tinto is a little earthier with balanced tannins, cherry and tobacco. Rounding up the three, the Vale da Calada Branco is crisp, bright and refreshing with green apple and tart, fruity flavors.
Estrella River Wines California
A new addition to the Nino’s repertoire, Estrella’s name–meaning star in Spanish–comes from the Estrella River that runs through the very popular wine region of Paso Robles. The area is known for hearty reds, and Estrella doesn’t disappoint. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are full bodied and with excellent structure. This is one of the main reasons we brought them in. Many inexpensive wines are one note and have no grip or acidity to the finish. Any good wine should be like a good book, starting with an enticing character that builds throughout and finishes strong. That is present in both the red and the white of these wines.
Jacob’s Creek Australia
I must admit, this is a wine I love to hate. Every time I look at my display, it needs to be filled! Year after year, week after week, the Jacob’s Creek is always a best seller. The reason? A consistently improving product! The reds are well balanced and medium bodied, but the whites really shine here. If you want a mouth-watering, refreshing, light white wine for a party, then try any of the Jacob’s Creeks’ whites! The Pinot Grigio is my favorite. However, the dry Riesling is great for Asian cuisine and poultry, and the Moscato is a not too sweet but a just-sweet-enough white for those just getting into wine.
Santa Rita Chile
Throughout my career, I have always had a love of the Santa Rita 120 wines. Perhaps it was because it was the first wine of any quality that I could afford to drink on a regular basis, but time after time, if I am asked for a good-quality wine that I can cook with and drink at the same time, I instinctively go towards the Santa Rita 120 display. With three new additions to the lineup, Moscato, Red Blend and Pinot Noir, the wines are as good as ever, with the Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon leading the way. These are two wines I like to have a reserve of in the cellar, just in case friends pop by or I need a splash of wine for the sauce. Not to be outshined, the Carmenere, a Chilean varietal, is spicy and complex, and the Pinot Noir is mild with soft fruit and tannins.
All of these selections are remarkably $7.99 or under. Remember, I am not comparing these to Silver Oak or Caymus. I am simply saying you can pour these for guests with confidence they are not going to wake up the next morning with a hangover.