Four Fab Finds for Feb

These new introductions not only fit into our current and ever-popular "$12 and Under" section...they would fit into our "$10 and Under" section of yesteryear.  That's right; every one of this week's Featured Wines is less than 10 bucks.
Does that mean that Wine & Words is becoming a bottom-feeding purveyor of cheap muck?  Of course not!  It means we, like you, are daily wine drinkers.  And while we know and love the Bordeaux's and Rioja Reservas, we can't afford those every day.  Also, because we know what great wines are we just can't stomach those cheap grocery store imitations that give wine a bad name.  I'm always telling customers, "Don't just buy your special occasion wine at Wine & Words...come here for your daily draught, as well."
Herein, four wines that are eminently drinkable but won't bust your wallet:
Redtree California Pinot Noir - Everyday low price, $9.75
Redtree logoRedtree logoCustomers often ask me for "a good, cheap Pinot."  They've discovered the lighter body and delicious food adaptability of wines made with the Pinot Noir grape, but they've also found that the truly great examples of this wine, largely because of their growing popularity, are well into the $16 and up category.  Finally we've found a Pinot Noir that we can drink regularly and not just "for special."
Redtree's founder, Roy Cecchetti, comes from a business background and got into the wine business with the creation of the best selling Pepperwood Grove brand.  With Redtree, he is aiming for large volume sales through specialty outlets like Whole Foods, Fresh Market...and Wine & Words.  Roy writes, "The market today is ripe for wines that are approachable, consistent, and offer great value to wine consumers. Plus, the wine industry gets in your blood, it takes hold of you."
Redtree California Moscato - Everyday low price, $9.75
We've turned a lot of our "sweeties" on to Moscato.  Its low alcohol, light fizz and refreshing fruit sweetness is just right for people who are drinking wine just for the fun of it.  We were very excited in the latter half of 2010 that we were able to introduce the Annalisa Moscato that, at $11.95, could be sold in the "$12 and Under" section.  Now, from Redtree, we have an easy-drinking sweet white for under $10!  How's that for everyday?
Hayes Ranch California Chardonnay - Everyday low price, $9.95
We've had very good luck with "second labels," wines that are produced by a winery whose premium "first label" Hayes chardHayes chardestate-grown wines are known and loved.  These wines are made in the same way as the premium selections, but the producer buys grapes from their neighbors instead of all from their own property.  This Hayes Ranch "Best Foot Forward" Chardonnay is a project of the Wente family, whose "Morning Fog" Chard has become a customer favorite for a medium-priced California white.
The grapes for this "California" appellation come from the cooler Livermore Valley (source of the "Morning Fog") and the warmer Monterey region.  The grapes are then fermented in a combination of oak barrels and stainless steel vessels at low temperature.  This ensures that the ripe fruit comes through.  The wine is well-balanced, with a good, clean finish.
If you like California style Chardonnay, this one could become your new "house white."
Candor California Rosé - Closeout price, $9.50
CandorCandorEvery once in a while our sharp-eyed distributors offer us the kind of bargain not usually seen in small specialty shops like ours.  In this case, a commercial customer ordered a bunch of this wine then changed their mind.  If I had bought this wine at the regular price, I would have had to sell it to you for $22!  So if you try it and like it, let us know so we can squirrel away some more...until it's gone.
Candor is a label of Hope Family Wines, who also make the better known Liberty School.  The Hope family has been making wines in Paso Robles, California for over 30 years.  This is their first rosé.  It's a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Merlot, made by the traditional saignée method, whereby the color and flavor of the grape skins is allowed to bleed into the grape must for only a short time.  It's also made with just a hint of sweetness...not as sweet as White Zin but not as dry as Rosé de Provence.  It will go real well with spicy food and (I promise they're coming) sunny afternoons.