Right about now, your Christmas credit card bills are arriving. You need a glass of wine badly, but can’t bear to put another charge on the plastic.
Hey, I’ve got your back. Here’s a list of OK wines for $10 and under.
These are everyday wines. Monday-through-Thursday night wines. Don’t put them away in your cellar. Drink them now—while watching American Idol or college basketball. Drink them with macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, mid-winter beef stew, chicken from the supermarket rotisserie.
Serve them to family and friends, but maybe not your highfalutin boss.
Then give a little smile, and get on with your life.
-- 2011 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages, Beaujolais (gamay): not Beaujolais Nouveau, but full-fledged Beaujolais, with more body and fruit, it’s still a tender wine, with intense red raspberry flavors, best served chilled with deli meats, rotisserie chicken, tuna salad and such; $10.
-- Nonvintage New Age White, by Valentin Bianchi, Mendoza, Arg. (90 percent torrontes, 10 percent sauvignon blanc): sweet and fizzy with flavors of litchi and white grapefruit, this should be served cold, even over ice, as an aperitif or with spicy food like Thai, Tex-Mex, Chinese and such; $10.
-- Nonvintage New Age Rose, by Valentin Bianchi, Mendoza, Arg. (50 percent malbec, 50 percent merlot): slightly sweet, slightly fizzy, with strawberry flavors, this should be served chilled as an aperitif or with fruit salad; $10.
-- Nonvintage Camelot Chardonnay, Calif.: hint of oak, flavors of sweet peaches, soft acids, good with seafood, chicken; $7.
-- Nonvintage Camelot Pinot Noir, Calif.: aromas and flavors of red raspberries and citrus, light-bodied, soft, a good red-wine-with-fish wine; $7.
-- Nonvintage Camelot Merlot, Calif.: hint of oak, flavors of black cherries and black pepper, soft and smooth, good with red-sauced pastas, pizza; $7.
-- Nonvintage Camelot Cabernet Sauvignon, Calif.: black plum aromas and flavors, soft, good with burgers, meatloaf; $7.
-- 2011 Pepi Sauvignon Blanc, Calif.: light and crisp, with flavors of white grapefruit and lemons, good with light fish dishes; $10.
-- 2011 Pepi Pinot Grigio, Calif.: light and lively, soft, with green apple flavors; $10.
-- 2011 Pepi Chenin Blanc-Viognier, Calif.: soft and lightly sweet, with lively acids and aromas and flavors of ripe apricots and oranges, good as an aperitif or with spicy food; $10.
-- 2011 Pepi Chardonnay, Calif.: soft and a bit sweet, with aromas and flavors of golden delicious apples, try it with Thai green-curry chicken; $10.
-- Nonvintage Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée Sparkling Wine, Calif. (chardonnay): crisp and dry, with big bubbles and flavors of green apples, good with fried chicken because its bubbles cut the fat; $10.
-- Nonvintage Barefoot Bubbly Extra Dry Sparkling Wine, Calif. (chardonnay): in the confusing lexicon of sparkling wines, “extra dry” is one step up in sweetness from “brut,” this would be great in a mimosa or bellini; $10.