In these days of high unemployment and global financial crisis, it’s nice to relax with a bottle of wine that doesn’t break your pocketbook. I’m here to sort out the memorable from the truly awful, and each bottle is under $10 unless noted otherwise.

label of cote du rhoneVidal-Fleury Cotes du Rhone 2010 Imported by W.J. Deutsch and Sons Ltd, White Plains, NY  Alcohol 14% by Volume; $12.99 at BevMo, on a 5 cent sale for two – $6.52 per bottle.

On the Label: “Established in 1781 in the Northern Rhone Valey, Vidal-Fleury is the oldest continuously operating winery in the Rhone Valley. Today we vinify and age wines from the Rhone’s renowned appelations, focusing on the choicest terroirs. This specific blend of Cotes du Rhone is a typical Southern Rhone wine, full bodied, smooth with young and fruity flavors.”

My Take: An easy-drinking wine. Cotes du Rhone wines are plentiful in Europe, and are as close as a guarantee of an easy to drink wine as I can possibly give you. When the hubby and I were in the Netherlands many moons ago, we stopped at a gas station slash market, and bought two bottles of Cotes du Rhone (not the Vidal-Fleury, it must be said) for under $10. The cashier smirked at us, but I will say it was VERY drinkable wine! If you go for an undemanding red wine that you just want to sip and not worry about, then this is a good one.

My Rating:  ~ Very Drinkable ~ An easy-going wine that won’t offend you or your guests.

Alexander Valley Vineyards Chardonnay 2010 Sonoma County, Wetzel Family Label for Alexander Valley Vineyards ChardonnayEstate  Alcohol 14% by Volume  $11.99 at Pavilions

On the Label: “Everything about the Alexander Valley – the morning fog, the soils, the cool night air – create the perfect conditions for growing Chardonnay. When that fruit is in the hands of a skilled winemaker, you get a stellar wine like this 2010 Estate Chardonnay. Vibrant flavors of green apples, ripe pears and citrus unfold in the glass, making it a fine companion with sauteed shrimp or creamy pasta dishes.

“This is a perfectly balanced wine, melding the crispness and richness of Chardonnay fermented and aged in both stainless steel and French oak barrels. Pour a glass and discover why our historic family-owned winery on the homestead of pioneer Cyrus Alexander continues to be recognized for producing superb estate wines that are superbly priced.”

My Take: Well, as usual, I have to gag over the label. The first paragraph isn’t bad, but the second? Let’s just say they lost me at “Pour a glass…” . It’s like an author writing the back of the book blurb, and then writing “now open up the book and start reading to see how brilliant it is.” Um, not too classy.

Okay, rant over. All that aside, the wine was a decent Chardonnay. It went well with roasted chicken and a spinach salad and some crunchy garlic bread (surprisingly well with the garlic bread, actually).  For those of you who are turning your backs on buttery Chardonnays, don’t worry – the oak on this wine isn’t heavy and the butter doesn’t overwhelm. Overall, it’s a clean, crisp wine with just a hint of creaminess to it.

My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~

That’s it for today, folks. It seems autumn has finally arrived in my neck of the woods, and soon we’ll be turning our clocks back. Remember to spread joy all throughout the year, and help your fellow humans in need whenever you can. Hugs!

As usual, this is just my honest opinion and depend upon my mood, the weather, and what cycle the moon is in. Your taste buds will differ.

~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~

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My rating system: Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!