$15 or less
WHAT : Valle De Salinas Joven 2004 (red) Rating: NNNN
WHERE : Murcia, Spain
WHY : The quest for good wine at a reasonable price is often quixotic, so there's poetic justice in this one hailing from La Mancha. It has an impressively full bouquet with lots of currant and a balanced taste that delivers ample richness for the price. Sancho Panza, fetch the pepperoni pizza.
PRICE : 750 ml/$10.95
AVAILABILITY : At selected Vintages outlets as of July 22 (product #688788)
WHAT : Sileni Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2005 (red) Rating: NNNN
WHERE : Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
WHY : If the New Zealanders keep making wine like this, the French are going to end up with a case of Pinots envy. Approachable in a New World style, this red's got lots to offer. Round, soft and sultry, it's a keeper at under $20.
PRICE : 750 ml/$17.60
AVAILABILITY : At selected Vintages outlets as of July 22 (product #694901)
Sips and Nips
WHAT : Fino En Rama 2002 (sherry) Rating: NNNN
WHERE : Andalusia, Spain
WHY : You wanna throw down the sophistication gauntlet? Try some Fino, the finest and driest of sherries. This vintage-dated release is keen and intense. A perfect match for authentic salty tapas. Family-owned and -operated since 1729. Drink it fast, cuz it don't last.
PRICE : 500 ml/$13.95
AVAILABILITY : At selected Vintages outlets as of July 22 (product #687087)