As Labor Day approaches, signaling the end of summer, let’s put a few dollars back in our pockets with exceptional everyday wines that taste like they cost considerably more. Each noted selection is available for under $20 (many under $15) throughout Hawaii Island.
I drink pink all year long, and I’m always looking for a delicious rose that tastes like the best from Provence or Napa Valley, without the high price tag. So instead, I look to neighboring regions, like Languedoc-Roussillon in France or California’s central coast, for aromatic, affordable options. From Languedoc, Gerard Bertand Cotes de Roses ($16) layers wild rose, watermelon and tangerine. From Rhone, M. Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone Belleruche Rose ($10) melds cherry, woody herbal notes and wildflowers. Dark Horse from central California blends a little bit of everything in the vineyard, including grenache, barbera and tempranillo, which creates a highly enjoyable, fruity palate quencher for about $8.
Chardonnay can be all over the board, especially inexpensive options, as many are overproduced with buttery, oak-chip infused intensity or flat, flabby palates. For consistently good bang-for-your-buck options with balanced fruit and vibrant freshness pick up a bottle of Decoy Sonoma County Chardonnay ($15), William Hill North Coast Chardonnay ($13), J Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay ($13) and Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay ($10). Each will not disappoint, especially when pairing with popcorn and your favorite summertime action flick, like Mission Impossible: Fallout.
Great Bordeaux doesn’t have to cost a fortune, you just have to know what to look for. The designation of Bordeaux superieur is often used to signal wines of higher quality, as these wines have met various requirements classifying them as superieur, and often these wines are also quite affordable. Chateau Recougne and Chateau Argadens (both $15) over deliver on taste for the price, layering earthy, woody herb and black fruit notes.