Buying Wine at the Grocery Store
by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

It happens to all of us. We're at the grocery store, buying the fixings for supper, and up comes the wine isle. Selection is limited. You're not at a wine store. But there are times when you want to pick up a quick bottle, from the store's limited selection. So what to do? This list to give you my thoughts on picking from the wines usually available at grocery stores. You should be able to find most of these wines. And you should also be pleased with the taste of these picks. At least I hope so.

White wine: This is easy. Dollar for dollar, almost any white wine is better than a red wine that costs the same. A five or six dollar white wine will be nice. A five or six dollar red is hardly ever nice. Drinkable, sometimes. But nothing special. So, if you are on a budget, consider white wine. It is the best value for the dollar. And I say this even though I much prefer red wines to whites.

My recommendation for best value here is the Sutter Home California Chardonnay. The year is usually recent. But the wine is very acceptable, especially for parties, where price is an object. I don't think you will be disappointed with this white. The Robert Mondavi Coastal and the Robert Mondavi Woodbridge are also both nice white wines.

Red Wine: My first choice is the Fetzer Vineyard Valley Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon. I am astonished at the quality of this wine. Should be under ten dollars. If they don't have the Fetzer Valley Oaks, try a Gallo of Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon. Very nice. Beringer also makes a nice Cabernet Sauvignon. Also, as in the whites, the Robert Mondavi Coastal and Woodbridge wines are nice reds, although not of the same cut as the above recommendations.

Champagne: Almost every store that carries champagne will handle the Korbel Brut champagne. Very nice. Often on sale for around ten dollars.

There you have it. Give these wines a try next time you are running late and can't make it to the wine merchant. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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