Holiday wines for less

November 3, 2011

Consumer Reports designated more than 20 wines Best Buys. They're ideal for a holiday meal or a party. And you may even find some of them at 7-Eleven, Costco, and Target!

In blind tastings, wine experts evaluated six varietals, including two that are popular for the holidays: chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon.

There were several good values in the tests of cabernet sauvignon, which pairs well with hearty food including red meats. Among those rated very good were the 2008 Columbia Crest Grand Estates for $10 and the $8 Cherrywood Cellars from 7-Eleven! It has loads of fruit flavor, and it feels nice on your tongue.

Chardonnays can be served before your meal or paired with foods such as fish. The 2009 Bogle chardonnay for $10 rated very good. And for even less, consider Costco's Kirkland Signature 2009 Sonoma County chardonnay for just $8! It has decent fruit and a bit of wood.

Zinfandel is another red wine that's popular at Thanksgiving. It pairs well with a traditional turkey dinner. Consumer Reports recommends the 2009 Dancing Bull as a CR Best Buy for $10.

When shopping for wines, don't despair if you can't find the exact year. Consumer Reports found that wines in this price range are fairly consistent from year to year. So you'll probably be fine choosing the same wine from a recent year.

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