Wine is my go-to drink when I want to unwind on the weekends. Or on a weeknight if someone has pissed me off enough that day. I’m on a budget though, so I stick to the cheap bottles unless it is a special occasion. Even then, if you aren’t drinking your wine in the right conditions, price really doesn’t matter a whole lot (don’t tell a sommelier I said that).
For starters, let’s define cheap. I’m talking a bottle under $15, preferably around $10. I stick to white varieties when I’m drinking my cheap weekend wine. I enjoy red wines also, but I’ve found them to be a bit too bitter at home (whether cheap or expensive). I’m sure this has more to do with not storing the bottles properly or not serving at the right temperature, but I just don’t have the time for that. I let waiters serve me the reds and I serve myself the whites.
Note: Did you know I have a wine glass that will hold an entire bottle? Yep, I do. It is laughable and I love it. I also have a lanyard that holds a glass of wine so you still have both hands free at a party. Unfortunately, it will not hold the full-bottle glass. This is a massive product flaw.
A big plus for me = already chilled bottles. I’m looking to run home and open a cheap bottle, I don’t want to have to wait to chill it. Some of my favorite cheap options are my favorite simply because my local liquor store keeps bottles in the refrigerator. Priorities people!
You may see me buy a Pinot on the rare occasion (then always regret it), but generally I stick to these four big ones:
Chateau Ste. Michelle (under $15)
Barefoot (under $8)
Yellow Tail (under $8)
Relax (under $12)
Willamette Valley Vineyards (under $15)
Stella Rosa Moscato D’Asti (under $15)
Marco Negri Moscato D’Asti (under $20 – but only if they are out of the Stella Rosa)
Are these going to make a professional’s “best wines ever” list . . . eh, probably not. They work for me though.