Category Archives: The Grocery Aisle

The Grocery Aisle consists of our recommended “everyday” wines that are easy to find and offer good value: wines that are well-made, enjoyable, reasonably priced, and widely available in major grocery stores and many wine stores. Enjoy! …And let us know if you have any favorite everyday wines you would like for us to taste and add to our list.

WEEKEND WINE PICK: Sebastiani | Cabernet Sauvignon | Sonoma County | California | 2012 | $15 (Avg) | 87 pts

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Sonoma County’s historic Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery, now owned by Bill Foley, consistently impresses us with varietal wines that are personable, affordable, and well-crafted.  A fitting example is their 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, which offers equal doses of sophistication and drinkability.  On the nose are notes of blueberry … Continue reading

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EVERYDAY WINE PICK: Columbia Crest | Grand Estates | Cabernet Sauvignon | Columbia Valley | Washington | 2011 | $12

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Here’s another winning everyday red from the folks at Columbia Crest that’s widely available, value-priced, and perfect for sultry summer sipping.  It’s a casual and relaxed Cab, with aromas and flavors that touch on some of the savory hallmarks of the variety:  blackcurrant, … Continue reading

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EVERYDAY WINE PICKS: J. Lohr and Estancia | Cabernet Sauvignon | Paso Robles AVA | San Luis Obispo County | California | 2011 | $12

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Our latest everyday wine picks hail from California’s rugged Central Coast — namely, the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area (AVA) in San Luis Obispo County.  Wedged roughly halfway between Monterey (to the north) and Santa Barbara (to the south), this appellation is distinguished by rugged … Continue reading

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EVERYDAY WINE PICK: Bogle Vineyards | Phantom | Red Blend | California | 2010 | $17 | 87 pts

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Bogle has released its newest Phantom — a blend of Old Vine Zinfandel (51%) Petite Sirah (47%), and Old Vine Mourvedre (2%) sourced from vineyards in Lodi, Clarksburg, and Amador County.  This is Bogle’s flagship red, produced in limited quantities and released each fall at a … Continue reading

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EVERYDAY WINE PICK: Columbia Crest | H3 | Merlot | Horse Heaven Hills AVA | Washington State | 2010 | $15

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From the Horse Heaven Hills appellation — an expanse of  high, dry, rolling hills and vineyards that hug the Columbia River Gorge in southeastern Washington State — comes this savory and finessed Merlot.  It offers aromas that hint of pungent red berries, black pepper, and bitters followed by flavors suggesting … Continue reading

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EVERYDAY WINE PICK: Chateau Ste Michelle | Indian Wells Red Blend | Columbia Valley | Washington State | 2010 | $20

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Here’s a smooth, velvety red blend from Washington State’s largest wine producer. It’s an intriguing blend dominated by Merlot (60%) and Syrah (28%), with complementary splashes of Cabernet Sauvignon (6%), Grenache (3%), Malbec (2%), Cinsault (.5%) and Mourvedre (.5%). It … Continue reading

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EVERYDAY WINE PICK: Layer Cake Wines | Garnacha (Grenache) | Calatayud | Spain | 2010 | $15

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This Garnacha (Grenache) was produced in the Calatayud region of north central Spain from old-vine vineyards situated at 3,000 feet above sea level.  The high elevation, arid climate, wide daytime-nightime temperature swings, and dry, rocky soils account for an intriguing mélange of aromas and flavors and remarkable freshness.  … Continue reading

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PICK for the HOLIDAYS: Gloria Ferrer | Sparkling Wines | California | NV | $20

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Gloria Ferrer is arguably the biggest bang for the buck when it comes to California sparkling wine.  Gloria Ferrer sparklers are invariably fresh, flavorful, and balanced, with forward fruit flavors, lively acidity (thanks to cool climate grape growing in Sonoma County and the Carneros region), and mellow yeast … Continue reading

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EVERYDAY WINE PICK: Bogle Vineyards | Petite Sirah | California | 2010 | $10 (or less)

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Fruit-forward, medium-bodied, and smooth-as-silk, with aromas and flavors of dried dark fruit, cocoa, vanilla, and a touch of black licorice, finishing with a subtle note of toasty oak.  Bogle’s Petite Sirah is always worth a try from vintage to vintage; it’s an affordable (often discounted) crowd-pleaser with … Continue reading

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EVERYDAY WINE PICK: Kendall Jackson | Chardonnay | Vintner’s Reserve | California | 2010 | $15

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This is the #1 selling Chardonnay in America, offering full-on aromas and flavors of tropical fruit, honey, butter, and toasty oak balanced with zesty acidity.  It’s a flavorful, textbook California Chardonnay at an everyday price, and is versatile with cheeses, seafood, and poultry.  For … Continue reading

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EVERYDAY WINE PICK: Chateau Ste Michelle | Cabernet Sauvignon | Columbia Valley | Washington State | 2009 | $15

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Full-bodied and bold, with luscious aromas and flavors of dark berries,  spice, vanilla, and oak.   An immediatley accessible Cabernet that like Chateau Ste Michelle’s Chardonnay, is a great value in almost any vintage.  Great with steaks, hard cheeses, and robust tomato-based pasta … Continue reading

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EVERYDAY WINE PICK: Bogle Vineyards | Phantom | California | 2009 | $20

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A rich, full-bodied red brimming with aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries, dark chocolate, cinnamon, and cedary oak.  A seamless blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Mourvedre that’s silky smooth, mouth-filling, and deeply satisfying.  This is Bogle’s flagship red produced in limited quantities and released … Continue reading

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