The Best Wines Under $30
"The Luxe List" Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services.
Quivira 2008 Wine Creek Grenache ($26)
This vinification was conducted with only wild yeast and the naturally occurring bacteria found in Quivira’s cellar. Aging in 400-500 liter oak casks for 15 months rounded out the rough edges, revealing a wine with underlying power and an invitingly supple feel on the palate. Quivira’s 2008 Wine Creek Grenache shows all the savory and spice notes that make it a versatile match for everything from Szechuan peppercorn duck breast, to King salmon cooked on a cedar plank.
Graham's "Six Grapes" Reserve Port ($22)
Graham’s Six Grapes is the most sought after Reserve because its made with grapes from only A-rated vineyards. They are harvested by hand in the fall and fermented for a short period of time before the addition of 100% neutral grape spirit alcohol. This step stops fermentation, preserves the wine’s natural grape sugars, and give it its unique richness. Aged for three years in cask, it is bottled ready to drink. The Graham's "Six Grapes" Reserve Port is a delectable choice with concentrated black-ruby color and aromas of ripe plums and dark cherries. Bottled young to conserve its fresh, assertive style, this is a great introductory Port can be enjoyed either on its own, or pairs easily with dark chocolate desserts.
Quivira 2009 Fig Tree Sauvignon Blanc ($18)
This vineyard, named for a majestic 130-year old Black Mission fig tree that stands amongst the vines, became certified 100% organic and Biodynamic in late 2005. This 2009 Sauvignon Blanc continues the winery’s practice of stainless steel fermentation with native yeast. This, combined with six months of aging on the lees, gives this wine both rapier-like focus and a sense of presence and length on the palate.
Quivira 2009 Grenache Rose ($15)
Quivira’s 2009 Grenache Rose is a floral and fruit infused wine that is a pure joy to drink. Fully dry, but with a gentile nature that makes you want to invite it out on a summer picnic. This charming rosé wine would be a gracious way to welcome a guest into your home upon arrival.
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Brut Sparkling ($10)
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Brut is a nice sparkling wine for celebrating the joy of everyday. Fresh citrus aromas are accented by soft, creamy yeast characters. Flavors of green apple and lemon cream linger along with the bubbles on the palate. Robert Mondavi believed that great wine was not just for special occasions. I couldn’t agree more. This libation pairs well with a wide array of dishes— from shellfish appetizers to chicken entrées to luscious fruit desserts. It’s also perfect on its own when a little celebrating is in order. Serve well-chilled.