The big steal

Nothing like finding a good wine at a bargain basement price. Here are some tips and deals to watch for.

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REAL DEALS

For each wine, I've noted the size of bottle I bought, but you may be able to find them in different sizes.

WHITES AND ROSÉS

Columbia "Cellarmaster's Reserve" Riesling 1999 (Columbia Valley, WA), $7 (750 ml.). Apricots, honey, oranges, and cream ― a delicious Riesling with just a bit of sweetness.

Inglenook Chablis nonvintage (California), $6.99 (1.5 l.). Fresh and melony ― delightful and stunningly well priced.

Inglenook French Colombard nonvintage (California), $7.99 (1.5 l.). Dry, crisp, and slightly spicy, with thirst-quenching herbal notes. A real bargain.

Pepperwood Grove Viognier 1999 (California), $7 (750 ml.). On par with Viogniers that go for three times the price. Very floral and loaded with honeysuckle, melon, and litchi flavors.

Sutter Home Chardonnay 1999 (California), $5.99 (750 ml.). Simple, with light apple notes and good body.

Sutter Home White Zinfandel 1999 (California), $5 (750 ml.). Slightly sweet, but good acidity provides a refreshing counterpoint. Pleasant spicy strawberry flavors.

REDS

Glen Ellen Reserve Merlot 1997 (California), $6.99 (750 ml.). Juicy and soft, with a touch of vanilla.

Heritage Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 (California), $11.99 (1.5 l. Very dry, with basic red berry flavors and a hint of vanilla.

Nathanson Creek Zinfandel nonvintage (California), $4.29 (750 ml.). A simple, juicy wine at a price that's hard to pass up.

Rosemount Grenache-Shiraz 2000 (Southeastern Australia), $7.99 (750 ml.). Packed with juicy boysenberry fruit. A real steal at the price.

Santa Rita 120 Merlot 1999 (Lontue Valley, Chile), $6.29 (750 ml.). Smoky and sharp, with bold eucalyptus-like flavors.

Vendange Zinfandel nonvintage (California), $4.49 (750 ml.). Simple but good, with ripe cherrylike flavors and a nice, soft mouth-feel.

 

Sunset's Wine Club

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