Many Diva wine connoisseurs understand that price does not always equate to quality when it comes to wines. But with so many types and brands of wines to choose from, it is often difficult to determine the good deals from the “cheapos.” I like a good white wine in the summer, so while we have a little bit of time before fall officially gets here, below are some of my picks:
My absolute favorite white wines are Rieslings and, it just so happens that these are all under $20 (some for under $10)!
Columbia Winery Cellarmasters Riesling
Refreshing and sweet (without being syrupy), this is my first Riesling fave. I have even seen people who don’t even like white wines fall in love with this one! This is a great one to pair with a nice salad, a spicy dish, or even to enjoy by itself. Magnifique!
Retail locations I have found this at are some Kroger locations in Atlanta, some Cost Plus World Markets (not all), and some Trader Joe’s. I have seen it range anywhere from $6.99 - $12.99. I found it on this site for just $7.99. Enjoy and tell me what you think!
Beware of imposters – there are many Rieslings whose vineyards have “Columbia” in the title. I have made the mistake by getting “Columbia Valley” by accident – YUCK!
So my Dad found this one (yep, the apple does’t fall too far from the tree!) and it is fabulous. It is more floral and complex than the Columbia Winery Cellermasters one, and not quite as sweet. I was very impressed by it, AND it is CHEAP (in cost, not quality). It is a German Riesling, and I was able to find it online for just $5.79!
With a name like "Diva," how could I resist? Gunderloch Diva Riesling Spatlese is the full name. I found it at a Central Market location in Austin, TX and was told it was the best Riesling there (and I must admit, I was initially skeptical when I saw the woman on the label). I bought it for $20, more than I usually pay in a grocery store, but it was well worth it. Another one on the sweeter side - but light and fruity. Spectacular – and only $14.99 online. Check it out!
So I am not a huge fan of Chardonnays, but I have found a couple that I like:
Charles Shaw (also known by many Californians as “2 Buck Chuck”)
If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area and have never tried Charles Shaw wines – run to your nearest location! Granted, these are not the most “robust” wines, but they are EXCELLENT buys for your money. Named “2 buck chuck” by the Californians because bottles usually cost $1.99 in that state (that’s right, once cent shy of 2 bucks). Regardless of the location, you will never find a bottle for higher than $3.39 regardless of the location. Though they carry Chardonnay, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon, my favorite is the Chardonnay. It is light with a subtle oaky flavor.
Here are the Trader Joe locations that carry Charles Shaw: Arizona (all stores), California (all stores), Illinois (all stores), Indiana (all stores), Massachusetts (Brookline, Cambridge and Framingham locations only), Michigan (all stores), Nevada (all stores), New Jersey (Westfield location only), New Mexico (all stores), Ohio (all stores), Oregon (all stores), Virginia (all stores), Washington State (all stores)
This Chardonnay has more fruit and less oak than your average Chard. Though I only can remember having it once, it was definitely memorable. It is really a great buy for the money – a great bottle to bring as a gift. I found this site that has it for only $8.99.