$15 or less
WHAT : Lingenfelder "Bird Label" Riesling 2004 (white) Rating: NN
WHERE : Pfalz, Germany
WHY : Has everyone heard - about the bird? Its bouquet is generous and floral, but beyond that the wine is more dove than hawk. The edge of acidity that defines Riesling isn't prominent, and without that drama you end up with a pleasant sipper. There's nothing wrong with pleasant sippers, but if you want more holler for your dollar look below.
PRICE : 750 ml/$13.95
AVAILABILITY : At selected Vintages outlets as of May 13 (product #568634)
WHAT : Chateau des Charmes Riesling Estate 2003 (white) Rating: NNN
WHERE : Niagara-on-the-Lake
WHY : Here's a Niagara Riesling with some real jump to it. The bouquet is more contained, but the wine reveals itself in the mouth. It has lots of tangy zip counterbalanced by a deft amount of residual sugar, giving you a good idea of why Riesling gets the wine cognoscenti all worked up. Would work with a multitude of summer feasts.
PRICE : 750 ml/$15.95
AVAILABILITY : At selected Vintages outlets as of May 13 (product #277228)
Sips and nips
WHAT : D'Oliveira Five Year Old Madeira. Rating: NNN
WHERE : Madeira
WHY : Madeira is a fortified wine that comes from the island of the same name situated off the northwest coast of Africa. This affordable five-year-old, with its sweet, nutty flavour, would be a good introduction to the style. If you like port or sweet sherry or you're just enamoured of all things fusty, then why not try Madeira?
PRICE : 750 ml/$19.95
AVAILABILITY : At selected Vintages outlets (product #677955)