5 Must-Try Spring Wines Under $15


Step one foot into any wine shop and the selection can be overwhelming.

Hundreds or maybe even thousands of bottles surround you and you might not have any idea where to begin.

Red or white? Domestic or imported? Sweet or dry?

Relax! We asked Crystal Cameron, sommelier and owner of Crystal Palate, for a little help creating a wine list.

Here’s a list of 5 value-priced wines that hit the spot for spring.

1)    2012 Burgan’s Albariño, Rias Biaxas, Spain ($14) – A kiss of sea breeze coupled with aromatic white flowers, lemon curd, and peach grace your glass as your palate partakes in a refreshing journey to the coast of Northwest Spain. 

Perfect Pairings: ceviche, sushi, and shellfish

2)    2012 Dr. Loosen “Dr. L” Riesling, Mosel, Germany ($12) – It’s time to rethink Riesling. This is hands down one of the most food-friendly wines on the planet. White peach, lime zest ,and acacia are present on the nose.  The palate boasts beautiful citrus and stone fruit with a touch of residual sugar and lingering spice.

Perfect Pairings: Thai food, sushi, vinegar-based BBQ, and salads

3)    2012 Tilia Torrentés, Salta, Argentina ($12) – Torrontés is Argentina’s signature white grape and it’s making quite a name for itself in the U.S. marketplace. Aromas of sweet jasmine, bright citrus, and juicy stone fruit lead to Meyer lemon, apricot, fig, and a hint of white pepper on the palate.

Perfect Pairings: grilled seafood, shellfish, and salads


4)    2012 Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco, Alto Adige, Italy ($14) – Pinot Bianco is a nice alternative to Pinot Grigio. This wine offers soft floral aromas of hibiscus blooms, lemon zest, apple, and pear.  The palate echoes the bouquet and offers a nice touch of minerality and refreshing acidity.

Perfect Pairings: grilled vegetables, pasta, seafood, and chicken

5)    2013 Champteloup Rosé D’Anjou, Loire Valley, France ($11)This medium dry Cabernet Franc blend features soft rose petals and succulent strawberry aromas that excite the senses. The palate features vibrant red fruit, floral notes, and a touch of minerality.

Perfect Pairings: goat cheese encrusted with Herbs de Provence, brie with raspberry preserves, and fruit tart

After a long winter, Cameron says these 5 wine and food pairings are great for your spring social gatherings or a quiet evening at home.

Have a value-priced wine that you want to share? Add to our list in the comments section below.

Freelance journalist Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, Save on Almost Everything.

Clark’s take:
Wine is something I don’t get. It tastes like cough syrup to me. But I’m glad contributor Mike Timmermann wrote his article to remind you that a higher price doesn’t always mean a better product.

Need more proof? I remember when scientists at Cal Tech hooked people up to MRIs to gauge brain activity while they tasted 5 different Cabernet wines of various prices. However, what the subjects didn’t know was they were actually only given 3 wines with double samples of 2 of them.

The funny thing is that people insisted the same wine tasted better when they were told it cost $90 than when they were told it cost $10! That’s the human brain for you.

So the next time you’re out at a BYOB place, why not try something like Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck (aka Charles Shaw Wine)? It only costs $2.49 a bottle and has really changed people’s perceptions about wine. If you are a wine snob, I guess you can get into the double digits. But I’ll stick to my Coke Zero or water when I go out!

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