This section includes wines that won the palates and hearts of you, our customer-friends, over the past year. Most you already know, a couple are in that $25-$30 price bracket.
White Wine Favorites
Steininger, Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal, 2020: $15
If this wine weren’t always so predictably tasty, we wouldn’t have to include it on every list. And clearly our customer-friends see it that way since it is our #1 selling white wine. Apple, pear, white pepper, so refreshingly thirst-quenching. Its ability to energize makes me think of it as the wine equivalent to coffee.
Regueiro, Foral de Melgaco, Alvarinho, Vino Verde, 2020: $16
Like the Steininger above, we’ve recommended the Foral in the past and have conveyed that while technically it is from Vinho Verde, there is no fizz and this is a serious table wine. There is more fruit this vintage, and what keeps this wine and the Steininger in our regular rotation is the trifecta of a burst of flavor at entry, an identifiable mid-palate and a long finish. The prices for both are modest for the quality and dependability they deliver.
Tablas Creek, Patelin Blanc, Paso Robles, 2019: $24, biodynamic, regenerative organic
Despite the price, this wine sings a siren’s song to those who enjoy a Rhone white blend, but this one carries those full-flavors with some stunningly fresh acidity. Those who try it seem to return for more. It makes a frequent appearance at our house (I did not count those when I added up sales though!). Meyer lemon and pear fruit, offset by a savory herbal undertone and, you guessed it, a bright, fresh, clean finish.
Bermejos, Malvasia Volcanica, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, 2019: $28 (organic)
This was a real favorite among those who participated in our virtual tasting with Dani Martin, winemaker, and Rut Arbelo, public relations and fluent English-speaker as liaison. The wine is full-bodied with tropical fruit flavors of pineapple and mango, and a pretty note of juniper berry.
Red Wine Favorites
Fibbiano, Pianette, Toscana, 2017: $15, organic
70% Sangiovese, 30% Colorino, this is Windham Wines’ customer-friends #1 selling red wine. It is the red analog to the Steininger, Gruner in that it has a broad and loyal fan base. Dark Cherry, spice and fresh acidity make this wine a welcome partner to any gathering.
Vina Illusion, Prana, Rioja, 2019: $15, organic
100% Tempranillo grown at 2300 ft. worked organically with biodynamic, permaculture and Fukuoda practices integrated. Farmer-winemakers Martin Alonso and Gloria Plaza care for the land produces an entry-level Rioja with such good energy. There is plenty of lush fruit on the nose (dried cranberry, blueberry) along with a clean earthiness that brings to mind slate and wet stones. There was an umami finish on the palate– soy or even miso. I was enchanted by this wine, and apparently our customer-friends found much to recommend it as well.
Angelo Negro, “Angelin,” Nebbiolo Langhe, 2019: $17, organic
So many of you know this wine as evidenced by sales. Each new vintage we wonder whether it can be as good as the last, and while each is different, they also continue to provide enough Nebbiolo at this entry-level to keep us all returning to it. Translucent, medium-bodied with flavors from tart blackberries and redcurrant to riper raspberry once open for a bit, along with a pretty floral note and some Earl Grey tea.
Daou, Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, 2020: $20
This is the second-most popular red wine of the year, and may have been the first had we not run out. Owner-winemaker, Daniel Daou, has crafted a Bordeaux blend (small amounts of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet France) aged in French oak (50%+ new) that our Cabernet fans love– ripe red and black currants, baking spices and tobacco. Once a year, this wine that normally retails for $30 goes on a deep sale that enables us to offer it for $20. That time in now.