I am a lover of almost all wines.
However, I also am a believer that an absolutely amazing wine is going to cost a lot of money.
Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is. A Bentley is an amazing car, so it’s going to cost a lot. The same thing applies with most wines as well.
But there are very good wines out there that do not break the bank — you just might need to venture out a bit more.
The same old stuff you’ve been drinking since the early ’90s doesn’t have to be what you drink today, because the industry has changed and so have the wineries.
These days, there are so many choices in this group I call “value wines” — any wine that falls in the $25 and less category. And I really suggest trying all kinds of different styles from different parts of the world.
These types of wines are great for parties, weddings, Father’s Day celebrations or any kind of get together. Your guests will be impressed, and your bank account will be very happy.
The really acclaimed wines are great, and you should treat yourself to them every once in a while because there is such a huge difference in taste, and the most successful pallet is the one that can distinguish the great value wines from the acclaimed.
But for an everyday consumer of wine, there are definitely great values out there. They might not be Bentleys, but they could be nice Cadillacs.
Here are some of the wines I enjoy drinking around my anniversary and Christmas — the times when I’m broke.
Pierre Delize Sparkling, France — $9
E.Guigal Cotes du Rhone, France — $11
Foxglove Chardonnay, California — $11
Seven Hills Viognier, Washington — $13
Charles Smith Boom Boom Syrah, Washington — $16
Lone Madrone White Rhone Blend, California — $16
Morgan “Unoaked” Chardonnay, California — $17
Sans Liege “Groundwork” Grenache, California — $17
Pomum Tempranillo, Washington — $19
Belle Glos “Meiomi” Pinot Noir, California — $21
Owen Roe “Sinister Hand” Rhone Blend, Washington — $21
Mitolo “Jester” Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia — $22
Austin Hope Grenache, California — $22
Ridge “East Bench” Zinfandel, California — $24
Alban Viognier, California — $27
Sans Liege “The Offering” Red Rhone Blend, California — $28
One last tip: I suggest looking for these varietals — viognier, grenache, roussanne, syrah and mourvedre — in these regions — Paso Robles, Washington and the Rhone Valley of France — for really great stuff. kc
• Vince Balistreri is general manager and sommelier at Niche Restaurant in Geneva. He offers his expertise in the wine industry to the Kane County community.