So many grapes: so few glasses. I love wine but drink it once a week or less. However, I am in a wine club with some of my dearest friends and those nights are magical. My tastes lean toward the aged, oaked, bold, opulent and buttery (if white). I prefer wine that doesn't require food to taste good. My favorites ranked to the best of my ability.
  1. Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon - special occasion only due to price. Every sip is heaven.
  2. Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon - For only the most special special occasions, that darn price again. In '76 they won a blind tasting in France against French wines!
  3. Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay - Most buttery Chardonnay I've ever tasted. Also pricey but you can occasionally find a restaurant who will serve by the glass.
  4. Chateau Montelena Chardonnay - another winner in '76 in France and a winner to my palate. Quite pricey but worth it.
  5. Courtney Benham anything - he is a vintner for Martin Ray Winery but offers blends under his own label. They are in small lots so grab them when you see them. I have never been disappointed. And they are in the $25 range.
  6. The Prisoner by Orin Swift - this is in the $40 range but tastes like it's in the higher range. I keep at least one bottle of this red blend to share with friends who know a good glass.
  7. Saldo - another red blend. I used to be a purist but learned that blends can be delish. This one is and is by the same folks as The Prisoner. (Orin Swift is a genius!) I believe it costs a little less. So good.
  8. Wild Thing Old Vine Zinfandel - I had never found a Zin that I liked until a friend shared this one. Only about $22 a bottle!
  9. Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz - around $40 a bottle but a delightful one to share with knowing friends. Syrah is typically from France while Shiraz hails mostly from Australia. My favorite Shiraz.
  10. Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon - now my three favorite go to wines. I keep these on hand to share and feel okay opening a whole bottle just for me (which takes a couple of weeks to drain) because they taste great for the price. This one is the most expensive at $25ish.
  11. Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon - I have three bottles right now! Keep it handy. I have found it for as low as $9.99. Usually $12.99. This is my go to on Friday nights. There are other CC labels, but only this one is worthy.
  12. Kim Crawford Sauvignon - Atypical choice for me. I have four bottles in my fridge right now! Crisp, dry, citrusy - my absolute favorite summer wine. And it bridges the gap with some of my friends who don't care for red or oaked whited. Sauvignon Blanc - the Switzerland of wines! Though it's from New Zealand.
  13. Mumm Napa Brut Prestige - I realized I should share my favorite champagne! Averse to carbonation, I don't drink it often, but nothing spells celebration like bubbly. I usually add Creme de Cassis or Peach Schnapps to quell the bubbles.
  14. This is my new favorite budget wine. I think I really have 2 categories: everyday/casual wine and special occasion wine. I'll post both. First the casual occasion wine...
    Suggested by   @classyAF
  15. My special occasion wine:
    Suggested by   @classyAF