Everyday wine drinkers aren’t typically gamblers. On the contrary, they crave reliability choosing affordable wines that will overdeliver every time.
This lineup of brands has been palate-tested. They have shown exceedingly well over time in the Press Democrat’s blind wine tastings.
The lion’s share of these bottlings are $20 and under, which definitely appeals to those who uncork wine most nights. Three of the brands are produced locally in Sonoma County, while one hails from the Willamette Valley in Oregon and the other, from Napa.
Novy Family Wines: It’s best to explore syrah and zinfandel here. The syrahs are meaty and the zins have a tasty undercurrent of spice. Varietals include viognier, zinfandel and syrah. Novy is the second label of Siduri Wines and it’s produced in Santa Rosa.
Averaen: This is a house of pinot and the bottlings from the Willamette Valley offer an incredible lineup. These pinots are knockouts; they have generous fruit and crisp acidity.
Marietta Cellars: Here people have their eye on the Old Vine Red Lot #66. It’s a striking blend with bright fruit and zesty spice. Varietals include riesling, rosé, Rhone blends, zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, syrah. Marietta Cellars is produced in Cloverdale.
Layer Cake: The most sought after bottlings here are the pinot noir and the primitivo. These are well-crafted wines that are turning heads. Varietals include sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, rosé, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and primitivo. This label is produced in St. Helena.
Pedroncelli: The standouts here are the zin and the cabernet sauvignon. What’s most impressive with these bottlings is their structure and great balance. Varietals include sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, dry rosé of zin, cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, petite sirah, sangiovese, merlot and port. Pedroncelli is produced in Geyserville.
Wine writer Peg Melnik can be reached at 707-521-5310 or firstname.lastname@example.org.