Look, I taste hundreds of wines a year and there are some excellent wines out there, for sure. But there are some really bad wines, as well.
This holiday season, my advice, if you care about the stuff you are serving to your family and closest friends, go and support a small wine shop.
9 times out of 10, the owner is hand selecting the wines by tasting them first and weighing out whether or not they perform well at their respective pricepoints.
This is the best way to come across quality selections that you may not have considered. Yes, it is an extra stop. Yes, you may drive a mile out of your way but it will be worth it. Here are some of my favorites around $12 or less. They will surely please people that don't think about wine as well as those who are obsessed by it.
Have fun out there!
Giard Pays d'Auge Cru de Cambremer $9.99 France *small production apple cider
Vinho de Mesa Capote Velho $9.99 Portugal
2008 Bodegas Riotajo, Madrid $9.99 Spain
2007 La Nevera Garnacha, Navarra $9.99 Spain
2009 Domaine des Persenades Cotes de Gascogne Blanc $9.99 France
2007 Valevó Montepulciano d’Abruzzo $9.99 Italy
2008 Cantos Rodados Verdejo, Tierra de Castilla y Leon $9.99 Spain
Red Art Red Blend $9.99 California
2009 Domaine Ricard Touraine Blanc $11.99 France
2008 Chateau Ripaille Chasselas Vin de Savoie $11.99 France
2009 Domaine Collette Beaujolais-Villages $12.99 France
2007 Tolosa Cabernet Sauvignon $12.99 Paso Robles
2008 Poderi San Lazzaro Polesio $12.99 Italy
2008 Bodegas Luzon Luzon $8.99 Spain
2005 Tarantas Tempranillo $9.99 Spain
2009 Floresta Blanco $11.99 Spain
2009 Moulin de Gassac Guilheim Rouge $10.99 France
2005 Chateau Valcombe Cotes du Ventoux Rouge $11.99 France
2007 Domaine de Monpertuis Counoise $12.99 France
2007 Feudo Montoni Cataratto, Sicily $9.99 Italy
2009 Chateau La Rame Bordeaux Blanc $12.99 France
2009 Luis Pato Branco $10.99 Portugal
2008 Leese Fitch Merlot $9.99 California