Savvy Sipping: Summer Wine Stock Up

Summer Wine Stock Up: 20 under $12 

As seen featured on Today Show BITES on June 1, 2011. 

The kids are out of school, the beach is calling and now, more than ever, thoughts turn to indulging with a glass or three. You don’t have to spend a fortune to do it. Here are some of my favorite summer wine values. They’re nationally available, andif you buy wines by the case (12 bottles) many retailers offer discounts. So stock up and beat the heat.

On-the-Go Picks:

Everyone knows about box wines, but the latest packaging craze I’m crazy about is what I dub the “purse-o-wine.” Known as the Astrapouch, it’s an environmentally friendly container of two bottles of wine in a single, lightweight bag. With a carrying handle and 90 percent less waste than glass, it’s a no brainer to buy. It will also stayfresh for a month making beach parties, block parties or camping with wine simple.

2009 Indulge Wines Pinot Noir, Central Coast $20 (1.5 liter pouch = two bottles/$10 each)

You’re hard pressed to find a Pinot worth drinking under $15 much less one in abag. This red is light, refreshing and captures the pretty red berry character of Pinot Noir. A winner by all standards.

www.indulgewines.com

The Climber, Chardonnay, California $17 (1.5 liter pouch = two bottles/$8.50each)INDULGE 04

Smooth with ripe tropical flavors, this Chard showcases freshness and loads of fruitin an easy-to-carry pouch.

www.cliffamilywinery.com

Light, fruity, aromatic whites:

These whites are both dry and aromatic or sport a dash of sweetness making them perfect for taming spicy hot dishes or kicking off poolside cool-downs.

Two Oceans Sauv Blanc2010 Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa $9

Hailing from the tip of the country between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, this citrusy white is summer in a bottle.

www.twooceanswines.co.za

2009 Tapena Verdejo, Spain $10

Pronounced ver-Day-ho, the lemony sipper zips up freshness and a hint of honeyed complexity.

www.tapenawines.com

2010 Santa Julia Torrontes, Mendoza, Argentina $10

Argentina’s signature white variety, Torrontes is crisp yet very floral. This wine isdry and delicious.

www.santajulia.com.ar

2010 Fetzer Moscato, California $9

Moscato is on fire these days and this easy-drinking, lightly sweet version is a top summer quaffer.

www.fetzer.com

Barefoot Riesling, California $7

Bright and light with sweet fruit flavors, chill this white down, unscrew, and enjoy.

www.barefootwine.com

Lush whites and light-hearted Roses:

These full-bodied whites pair well with grilled chicken and salmon while the Rose category marries with any al fresco dish from Cajun shrimp to tri-tip. Rose comesfrom a variety of red grapes that are made in a white wine style so it’s the ideal warm-weather sipper.

2009 Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay, Chile $10

From the iconic Concha y Toro winery, this sun-kissed, soft white is a crowd pleaser.

www.casillerodeldiablo.com

2009 Hess Select Chardonnay, Monterey, California $12Bieler Rose

Worth twice the price, this stylish, classy white is one of my favorite Chardonnay values.

www.hesscollection.com

2010 Marques de Caceres Rose, Rioja, Spain $9

A dry, delicious pink that’s so easy to drink, you’ll want to buy it by the case.

www.vineyardbrands.com

2010 Bieler Pere et Fils “Sabine” Rose, Coteaux d’Aix-En-Provence, France $12

Elegant, zesty and oo-la-la inducing, the south of France comes alive in this dry, berry-scented rose.

www.bielerfamily.net

Spicy, succulent Reds:

What would summer be without smoked ribs, burgers, grilled steaks or veggie kabobs? These juicy reds will help you saddle up to eating in the great outdoors.

Pine & Post Red Blend, Washington State $7

A mélange of red grapes go into this uber-affordable red. Soft and juicy.

www.preceptwinebrands.com

2009 Vitiano, Umbria, Italy $8

A perennial favorite of mine made by star Italian winemaker Riccardo Cotarella, this blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon is a superstar deal.

www.winebow.com

RT1 Carm2009 Cupcake Vineyards “Red Velvet” California $10

Cupcake cooks up Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and other red varieties for a smooth, drinkable red (yes, you can pair it with red velvet cake).

www.cupcakevineyards.com

2008 Trapiche “Oak Cask” Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $10

Intense and sexy, Malbec is the wine equivalent of a tango and Trapiche qualifies as a tango master. A hearty and supple red for all beef dishes.

www.frederickwildman.com

House Wine Red, Columbia Valley, Washington $11

From world class vintner Charles Smith comes a whimsical mesh of Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah and more. Make it your house wine.

www.magnificentwine.com

2008 Yalumba “FDR1A” Red, Barossa, Australia $11

A hidden treasure. The marriage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz sings when paired with rosemary-infused grilled lamb.

www.yalumba.com

2009 Root: 1 Carmenere, Colchagua Valley, Chile $12

Carmenere is the hallmark of Chile and this sophisticated red is spicy, vibrant and packed with dark berry flavors. Root 1’s bottle is sleek-chic making it a top gift choice, too.

www.Root1wine.com

2008 Dow “Vale Do Bomfim,” Douro, Portugal $12

Portugal is offering some of the best red bargains these days and this dry, concentrated red is the perfect partner for summer grilling.

www.dows-port.com

2008 Liberty School Cuvee, Central Coast, California $12

From the talented hands of vintner Austin Hope, this Rhone blend highlights the succulence of Syrah-based reds. Sip with or without your bikini.

http://libertyschoolwinery.com

Please check out my previous Today Show BITES about Wine on Tap and Exotic White Wines for Spring.

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