$15 or less
WHAT : White Truck 2004 (white) Rating: NNN
WHERE : Sonoma, California
WHY : This winery was built on the vineyard established by Fred Cline's grandfather, Valeriano Jacuzzi. Guess how he made his money? Behind the folksy label is a pleasing grab bag of white varieties. Most interesting is how the lush Viognier, though only 10 per cent of the content, makes its presence felt in this versatile food wine.
PRICE : 750 ml/$ 14.95
AVAILABILITY : At selected Vintages outlets as of October 28 (product #657999)
WHAT : Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache 2004 (red) Rating: NNN
WHERE : Barossa Valley, Australia
WHY : If you're unfamiliar with the Grenache grape, you still might recognize the name Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the famous Rhone wine in which Grenache is the dominant variety. A good Grenache, like this one, manages to combine "sweet" fruitiness with a more exotic spiciness. Try it with meaty curries.
PRICE : 750 ml/$19.95
AVAILABILITY : At selected Vintages outlets as of October 28 (product #531228)
Sips and nips
WHAT : Lustau Peninsula Palo Cortado Sherry Rating: NNNN WHERE : Jerez, Spain
WHY : It may take you a while to acquire a taste for dry sherry, but once you have, the flavour will burrow itself into your memory. This rare Palo Cortado is dry enough to give your taste buds a zing on first sip, similar to the effect of olives, salty almonds and hard cheese.
PRICE : 375 ml/$14.95
AVAILABILITY : At selected Vintages outlets (product #677856)