Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Buy these wines for your holiday party
All are available at retailers in North Texas.
The holiday party season is here! We combed through our recent Wine Panel picks to give you some tips on what to buy for your party. We've got the best wines for $4 or less, the best "second bottles" for holiday entertaining, and the best Texas wines.
We'll start with the bargain wines:
Trader Joe’s Vinas Chilenas Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, 2011, Chile -- $3.99, Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw Blend Chardonnay from Bronco Wine Co., 2010, California -- $2.99, Trader Joe’s
Marcus James Cabernet Sauvignon, NV, Spain -- $3.34, Sprouts; also available in magnums for $7.99 to $8.89 (the latter price at select Goody Goody stores)
Villa Cerrina Chardonnay-Pinot Grigio, 2011, Italy -- $3.99, Trader Joe’s
Tisdale Chardonnay, NV, California -- $3.33, Sprouts, Fiesta Mart, Spec’s, Total Wine & More, Albertsons, Sam’s Beer and Wine, and many convenience stores as well as small beer and wine stores
Pacific Peak Chardonnay, NV, California -- $1.97, Total Wine & More
Double Dog Dare Chardonnay, NV, California -- $2.99, Total Wine & More
Double Dog Dare Cabernet Sauvignon, NV (vinted and bottled in California) $2.99, Total Wine & More
Three Wishes Cabernet Sauvignon, American wine, NV (vinted and bottled in California) -- $ 2.99, Whole Foods Market
St. Genevieve Chardonnay, American Wine, NV (no state of origin, but cellared, bottled in Texas and sold only in Texas) -- $3.33, Sprouts, Total Wine & More, select Centennial stores
El Prado Tempranillo-Cabernet Sauvignon, NV, Spain -- $3.99, Total Wine & More
Mode Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010, Moldova -- $3.04, Spec’s
Now, let's move on to good second bottles for holiday entertaining. It's the dirty little holiday-party secret: As the evening wears on, the price of the wine goes down. Still, these wines won't disappoint.
Columbia Crest 2008 Merlot, $6.47 to $8.99; widely available. This easy-drinking wine won a “best value” distinction from Wine Spectator.
Vina Robles 2009 Red 4, $13.99; Central Market, Goody Goody, Total Wine, Whole Foods Market. This award-winning blend of syrah, petite sirah, grenache and mourvedre is made with estate-grown grapes from the winery’s Huerhuero vineyard in the Paso Robles region.
Chateau Tour de Bonnet Blanc 2011, $12.99; Total Wine. This blend of 50 percent sauvignon blanc, 40 percent semillon and 10 percent muscadelle is a terrific value from Bordeaux’s Entre-Deux-Mers appellation.
Annabella 2010 Chardonnay, $11.99; Sigel’s. This clean, lightly oaked chardonnay comes from Michael Pozzan Wines.
Hahn 2011 Pinot Noir, $9.49 to $14.99; most Central Market, Spec’s, Market Street and Tom Thumb locations; Total Wine, Pogo’s, The Wine Therapist in Dallas, Goody Goody and Grapevine Beer and Wine
Villa Maria 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, $10.99 to $14.99; Spec’s, Tom Thumb, select Goody Goody, Sigel’s and Kroger stores, and Total Wine. This reliable wine is bursting with tropical fruit and citrus flavors.
Segura Viudas Brut Rose Cava, $6.62 -$9.99; Total Wine, Spec’s, Sigel’s, most Tom Thumb supermarkets, Central Market, select Market Street stores, Whole Foods Market and World Market. Panelists considered this sparkling rosé a great value, even at $10, the suggested retail price.
Cellar No. 8 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, $6.99-$9.99; Total Wine, Spec’s, most Kroger, Tom Thumb, Albertson’s and Market Street stores, Sigel’s and Paradise Liquor in Corral City. Although lighter-bodied than most cabs, this wine works well as a party wine.
Crane Lake 2011 Chardonnay, $3.49 -$4.69; Total Wine, Spec’s, Sprouts (Marsh Lane and Henderson Avenue locations) and Buck & Ruck on South Riverfront. This wine was a pleasant surprise, far exceeding our expectations for a bottle in this price range.
Alamos 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, $8.99-$10.99; widely available. This wine showed more cabernet sauvignon characteristics than the other cabs.
Best Texas wines:
The Dallas Morning News Wine Panel finds the best wines made from grapes grown in the state.
Inwood Estates Vineyards “Cornelious” Tempranillo, 2009. $34.99 to $39.99; at the winery on Manufacturing Street in Dallas, Spec’s, select Whole Foods, select Central Market. Inwood Estates winery is in Dallas, and uses grapes grown in Yoakum County to make this 100 percent tempranillo.
Pedernales Cellars Texas Tempranillo, 2009. $18.69 to $19.99; select Whole Foods, Pogo’s, select Goody Goody stores, Las Colinas Beverages, Vino 100, Sigel’s, select Spec’s, Cork it Fine Wines in Grapevine. This wine proves how well Spain’s native tempranillo translates to Texas soil, in this case the Texas Hill Country.
Tranquilo Cellars “Tranquilo” Texas Red Table Wine, 2010 $14.99 to $16.95; Scardello Artisan Cheese, select Sigel’s, Central Market (Southlake, Plano and Fort Worth locations), Legacy Liquor in The Colony, Spirits of Granbury and Vino 100 in McKinney. Panelists agreed that this is a well-made wine and a crowd-pleaser, well-suited for backyard parties.
McPherson Vineyards, Bingham Vineyards Roussanne Reserve, 2010, $18.50 to $19.99; Applejack on Oak Lawn, Total Wine & More. Roussanne is another white Rhone varietal that takes well to Texas. This polished wine holds its own with the best — it won a gold medal at the 2012 Dallas Morning News & TexSom Wine Competition.
Pedernales Texas GSM, 2010, $29.95; Whole Foods Market (Highland Park, Plano and Fairview), Scardello Artisan Cheese, Veritas, Las Colinas Beverages and Schrick’s in Fort Worth. GSM stands for grenache, syrah and mourvèdre — the trio of Rhone grape varieties used to make a classic Southern Rhone blend.
Duchman Family Winery Viognier, Bingham Family Vineyard, 2010, $13.67; select Whole Foods Markets, Spec’s, select Sigel’s, Goody Goody locations and Total Wine & More. Viognier is a white Rhone Valley grape that has taken well to the Texas High Plains.
Duchman Family Winery Vermentino 2010, $13.67 to $14.25. Select Whole Foods Markets, Spec’s, select Centennial Fine Wine and Spirits, select Sigel’s, Goody Goody locations and Total Wine & More. This crisp, bright white wine, made from an Italian white grape variety, shows pear, grapefruit and lime zest flavors.
Brennan Vineyards Viognier 2010, $17.50 to $19.99; Spec’s, Central Market (Southlake and Plano), select Sigel’s, McKinney Wine Merchant, True Spirits in Hebron and Schrick’s in Fort Worth. This un-oaked viognier is a different style from the other viognier we selected. It’s made mostly with grapes grown in the winery’s Comanche County vineyards, supplemented with grapes from the Texas High Plains. It shows peach and citrus flavors and has a nice roundness on the palate.
Compiled by DMN