Go check out the latest issue of Food and Wine (April). Among many interesting things, there was an article about the 67 Best American Wines under $15. I'm a big believer in wines under $20. I'm not cheap, it's just that I have tasted so many fresh, delightful, pleasant wines at such affordable prices that I just don't feel motivated to regularly drink more expensive wines. I do have more expensive bottles - in the $60 - $80 range - that I keep in a separate wine cooler to age a couple years. Not to mention that Adam and I did indulge in a bottle of Veuve Cliquot's La Grande Dame to celebrate our move to NYC. But that was a rarity - you won't see me pretentiously sipping $500 bottles anytime soon.
What pleased me enormously was reading about Oregon's wines. As a longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, I always enjoy reading positive articles about the area that don't center on the amount of rain. Food and Wine had an article focusing on the Pinot Noirs alone.
I've tried 19 wines listed in the top 67, which isn't too bad. And I actually have a couple of them sitting in my wine rack and in my wine fridge right now. I can highly recommend the 2005 Bogle California Petite Sirah. We actually drank it with braised duck legs, which wasn't a good pairing. You need a big-flavored, super rich steak to go with this wine. The flavor is complex and bold. I also love the 2006 A to Z Wineworks Oregon Chardonnay. It's unoaked, and I normally like the flavor of oak in my wine. Nevertheless, this wine is light and creamy; it's rich and earthy enough that it doesn't need oak in the background.
I'll actually search out some of the 48 bottles I haven't tried - finding an affordable, interesting gem of a wine always thrills me!
Eat, drink, and be merry!