If you’re anything like me, navigating the wine store selection can often be a tiring task – just put something drinkable in my hand and let me out of here! Fear not, our local partners* in the wine business, Vine Lore, routinely tip us off to some of the great wines they have hitting local shelves; and thankfully all at wallet friendly prices. If you’re looking to get in and out of the wine store with the minimum of fuss and maximum of taste, check out these latest recommendations:
Uvaggio – The result of two guys with “too much experience, a low threshold for boredom and a desire to do something unique”; which explains these Italian varietals grown in California. Fun, refreshing and food friendly – and a great price at $13.99.
Rated 92+ and a “Best Buy” 3 times by Wine Enthusiast, winemaker and proprietor Jim Moore, formerly made wine for Robert Mondavi. His work there earned many accolades – two of the Zinfandels he crafted were honored by Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year.
“Simply put – we are passionate about wine and we craft ours for people who want to experience something different than your typical California product. While our experience is well steeped in California’s traditions, our product is contemporary. We produce these wines somewhat anonymously, relatively inexpensively and eschew the corporate, cookie cutter approach.”
Uvaggio Vermentino 2012
DABC code: 915863
If you like Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc give Vermentino a try. It possesses many of their attributes but has none of either’s limitations.
It is aromatic, fruity and expressive, yet lighter with an easy-going and approachable expression, making it versatile and food friendly.
Uvaggio Moscato 2012
DABC code: 918070
Moscato is indigenous to Italy’s northeastern regions of Trentino and Alto Adige. Traditionally it is vinified dry (secco), which is what Uvaggio focuses on.
It is perfumed but offers a more subtle and complex expression than Moscato bianco (also called Moscato di Canelli) which is the selection most typically encountered.
Zaca Mesa – Estate Grown, hand harvested, sustainably farmed and just $15.99. 40% barrel fermented and aged – 60% stainless steel. This 2011 Chardonnay shows bright mango, papaya, tangerine, pear and citrus aromas and flavors that marry with toasty oak from ten months of barrel aging.
Wine enthusiast awarded this summer friendly tipple 90 Points and an editor’s choice award, writing:
“One of Santa Barbara County’s pioneer properties delivers an aromatically luscious wine with white flowers, French toast, quince and lime sorbet on the nose. It’s a bit like sipping perfume of tuberose and honeysuckle, yet there is bouncy acidity and chalky minerality, ensuring an emerging shelf life through 2018.”
Zaca Mesa Chardonnay 2011
Santa Ynez Valley
DABC code: 639440
Anterra – From the heart of the Italian Dolomite’s comes Anterra Chardonnay. Over a century of wine making tradition and state-of-the-art wineries combine to make single varietal wines, that are crisp and aromatic and preserve the distinct elegance of Trentino. All at a seriously unbeatable price. Seriously, just look.
This is a fruity, delicate, well balanced and dry wine; it pairs perfectly with seafood, pastas with cream sauce and white meats.
Anterra Chardonnay 2013
delle Venezie IGT Veneto, Italy
DABC code: 345132
Albert Bichot – The Albert Bichot family has been in the Burgundy business for 6 generations and dates back to the 1400’s. The deer has been their family crest for centuries.
Their reputation is unbeatable not mention a certain savior-faire!
This Chablis’ crystalline limpidity and its pale yellow color with light green highlights tell a great deal about its character which is bursting with mineral precision and finesse. Very pure nose that is typical of Chablis (white flowers, flint) opens up to a palate that boasts an elegant combination of almond notes and lovely vivacity.
Enjoy its refreshing notes as an aperitif served with smoked salmon on toast. During the meal, discover this wine’s generosity by pairing it with raw, firm-fleshed oysters. Serve between 48° and 51°F to enjoy all of this wine’s freshness and minerality.
Domaine Long Depaquit Chablis
DABC code: 948721
– This Mâcon Villages has a lovely pale straw yellow robe. The nose exhales beautiful acacia and honeysuckle floral notes on a slightly mineral background. The mouth is lively, fruity and floral with a refreshing finale.
With a meal, this white Mâcon village will beautifully match shellfish, seafood and white meats. Savor it with scallops with hazelnut, creamed chicken or with stuffed peppers. As for cheese, we suggest dry cheese such as gruyere or goudas. Equally good with fruit or chocolate-based desserts, serve at 53°F.
Albert Bichot Macon Villages
DABC code: 948662
* Gastronomic SLC is a proud local partner of Vine Lore.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade. I’m largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand. I ate all the pies.