Wines We Like For Under $10.00 (under $5.00, too!)
I appreciate pricey bottles of luscious French Bordeaux or an elegant Alsatian Riesling as much as the next wine lover, particularly with a special meal or dining out but I’m a practical wino and I’m always excited when I find a bargain bottle of wine that is every bit as good as some costing over $25 per bottle.
Wine is such a subjective thing and as with food, everyone has their own valid opinion about what a good wine is. The dishes I love to cook (and eat) tend to be well seasoned meat and seafood. Highly seasoned dishes are common on my menus so the wines I tend to pick are those that can stand up to my style of cooking. And since we enjoy wine with most meals as well as our drink of choice while entertaining we’re mindful of our wine budget.
Las Vegas is a great wine town. Specialty wine shops with well informed staff to help with wine selections dot the valley. Our two wine & liquor mega-marts, Lees and Total Wine & More are gold mines for high quality wines and I can spend hours browsing the massive aisles of labels in these places. But sometimes I know exactly what I want and with limited time, I’m a power shopper who appreciates running into a store and back out in under five minutes. For these reasons Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets get a good portion of my wine budget. With stores all over Las Vegas (and one two blocks from my home) Fresh & Easy has become my source for some very nice bargain bottles of consistently good wine that are perfect for holiday entertaining as well as everyday consumption.
These four bottles, a white, red, rosé and a sparkling wine, are my go-to wines that pair well with my style of cooking and the tastes of our friends and family. The white, Ogio pinot grigio from Northern Italy is fruity with the perfect acidity to go with seafood, chicken and cream sauces. The Ogio rosé, is a zinfandel from Puglia and is my favorite with the flavor profiles in Asian cuisine or just for general sipping by the pool or while watching TV. The red, Saludas, is a bold, fruity red Spanish wine that is absolutely perfect with grilled meats as well as Italian dishes and cheese plates. The beauty of all three bottles is they are each priced under $5.00 per bottle and are as good or better than some other well-known labels costing much more.
The fourth bottle is Montcadi Cava, a very fine traditional method Spanish sparkling rosé wine priced at an unbelievable $7.99. We drink this with everything. Seriously, we do. It’s fruity, not too dry and refreshing. This bottle would be worth its price at twice the shelf price. It’s an absolutely gorgeous sparkling wine and received many compliments when we chose to serve this at a recent wedding reception in our family.
Exploring new wines in the various Las Vegas wine shops can be great fun, to be sure. But let’s face it, having a selection of affordable wines on hand during the holidays (and the rest of the year as well) makes entertaining sense. A good bottle of wine does not need to be expensive, but please invite me over when you open that Mouton Rothschild you get for Christmas, I love the expensive stuff, too. And I’ll bring the cheese!