Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Wines to Pick as Your (Affordable) House Wines

 

Since the start of the Lockdown I have taken some solace with drinking good wine with dinner. In these chaotic economic conditions it’s good to have excellent wine available at good prices.

Below is a list of high quality but affordable wines that I am sharing on Ricochet. Maybe it will be useful for some and maybe come comments will include other favorite wines. I limited it nine wines so people can nominate a wine for the #10 spot.

If, as I do, you buy wine by the case, you can factor in a 10% discount available from most wine merchants. The range for the “street price” is $8-10 in my local wine store. I am not putting down the official “list price” because different state regulations and taxes will affect pricing. In alphabetical order:

1. 1924 Double Black Limited Edition Red Blend by Gnarly Head (California)

2. Bogle Essential Red Blend (California)

3. Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington)

4. Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington)

5. Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay (Columbia Valley, Washington)

6. Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi California)

7. Murphy-Goode Sauvignon Blanc (North Coast, California)

8. Noble Vines Marquis Red (California)

9. Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc – Viognier (Napa Valley, California)

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  1. Arahant Member

    As for me, I drink mostly Stash Teas, although Bigelow has a few great ones, such as Constant Comment and Cinnamon Stick.

    • #1
    • May 24, 2020, at 2:49 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Arahant Member

    @kelsurprise? Why are you not in this thread, yet?

     

    • #2
    • May 24, 2020, at 2:56 PM PDT
    • Like
  3. Lensman Thatcher
    Lensman Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    As for me, I drink mostly Stash Teas, although Bigelow has a few great ones, such as Constant Comment and Cinnamon Stick.

    I start the day with two mugs (16 oz) of Celestial Seasonings India Spice Chai. The flavors are so good I would recommend drinking it without adding any milk, although I do indulge with three measured tea spoons of sugar.

    • #3
    • May 24, 2020, at 3:02 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Arahant Member

    Lensman (View Comment):
    I start the day with two mugs (16 oz) of Celestial Seasonings India Spice Chai.

    I don’t think I could drink the same thing every day. I have twelve teas ready at any time and use a twelve-sided die to randomize which I have. I just finished a pot of Stash Earl Grey. The next pot is Stash Orange Spice. My pot holds a half gallon, so four pint mugs worth. By the time I finish the last pint, the new pot has usually cooled down, so I seldom drink it hot.

    What I really like about Stash is that one can put the tea bag in and forget it. It doesn’t get too strongly of tannins, even after hours sitting there. I know that for some tea purists this is absolute heresy.

    I usually use one packet of sweetener with each pint of Stash teas. For the Bigelow, I use two packets of sweetener, since the tannins come out more.

    • #4
    • May 24, 2020, at 3:14 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. JoelB Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    As for me, I drink mostly Stash Teas, although Bigelow has a few great ones, such as Constant Comment and Cinnamon Stick.

    My favorite tea is Twinings Irish Breakfast. Strong flavor, but not bitter, so it’s good without sugar or cream. For a non-caffeinated tea-like beverage, I like Steep by Bigelow Organic Lemon Ginger. It’s good sweetened with honey.

     

    • #5
    • May 24, 2020, at 3:33 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Arahant Member

    JoelB (View Comment):
    For a non-caffeinated tea-like beverage, I like Steep by Bigelow Organic Lemon Ginger. It’s good sweetened with honey.

    I thought this thread was about intoxicants. 😜

    • #6
    • May 24, 2020, at 3:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. JoelB Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    JoelB (View Comment):
    For a non-caffeinated tea-like beverage, I like Steep by Bigelow Organic Lemon Ginger. It’s good sweetened with honey.

    I thought this thread was about intoxicants. 😜

    You started it.

    • #7
    • May 24, 2020, at 3:39 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. Arahant Member

    JoelB (View Comment):
    You started it.

    Not at all. Lensman was talking about wine, but I have a weird biochemistry, and caffeine does for me what alcohol does for normal people. I wasn’t talking about stuff without caffeine. 😉

    • #8
    • May 24, 2020, at 3:41 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Hoyacon Member

    1924 Double Black . . . ?

    The Columbia Crest Reisling is great. Less impressed by the Chardonnay.

    • #9
    • May 24, 2020, at 3:43 PM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  10. JoelB Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    JoelB (View Comment):
    You started it.

    Not at all. Lensman was talking about wine, but I have a weird biochemistry, and caffeine does for me what alcohol does for normal people. I wasn’t talking about stuff without caffeine. 😉

    Oh, pshaw. It’s wicked fun to hijack a thread sometimes. For the record, this thread is about wines. I’ll go quietly now.

    • #10
    • May 24, 2020, at 3:45 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Not to go too far off topic (this was a post about tea, wasn’t it?): The Columbia Crest Cabernet is the only one on your list that I’ve tried, and I agree with you. It does have that Cabernet quality that I don’t find in the (few) other wines I’ve tried.

    • #11
    • May 24, 2020, at 3:51 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Hoyacon Member

    I’m kind of PO’d at Costco for how they’ve conducted business shutdown-wise, but their Kirkland wines–usually sourced from name brands–are usually very good. The Argentine Malbec and California Chardonnay–both about 7 bucks–are worth trying/ 

    • #12
    • May 24, 2020, at 3:53 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Functionary Thatcher
    Functionary Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Charles Shaw Merlot. Also known as two-buck Chuck. Inflation has caused the price to rise to a still affordable (and marginally potable) $3 and change. Available exclusively at Trader Joe’s.

    • #13
    • May 24, 2020, at 3:55 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  14. kelsurprise, drama queen Member
    kelsurprise, drama queen Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    @kelsurprise? Why are you not in this thread, yet?

    Sorry I’m late. I was in the wine cellar. (Since the start of the Lockdown I have taken some solace with occasionally having some dinner with my wine.)

    There’s a wine store a couple blocks from me where the guys have always given me good recommendations. My favorite thus far was this one:

    Very affordable and very good. (I think they have whites as well, but I don’t like those much, so I haven’t really looked.)

    They’re now doing delivery/limited entry/call ahead and pickup service so, since I couldn’t walk in and visit with the guys, I just called and asked them to please find me some more in the same general price range and taste universe of the above and I’d come pick them up. They put together a nice assortment, my favorite of which thus far is a Australian shiraz with the lockdown-appropriate name, “Dark Corner.” 

    Only wines I recognized in the OP list were the Gnarly Heads, which I’ve always liked. Still don’t trust white wine enough to spend any money on it but I’ll check out the other reds, thanks!

    • #14
    • May 24, 2020, at 3:57 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  15. RightAngles Member

    • #15
    • May 24, 2020, at 3:57 PM PDT
    • 23 likes
  16. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    This needs to be a group. As well as one for whiskey.

    I lost my favorite winery this year so I am on the look out.

    Anybody have a suggestion for a reasonably priced sweet red wine aged in bourbon barrels?

    • #16
    • May 24, 2020, at 3:57 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. Functionary Thatcher
    Functionary Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    Anybody have a suggestion for a reasonably priced sweet red wine aged in bourbon barrels?

    Too expensive for me, but Aldi has a nice one for less than $10. Not available in every Aldi outlet.

    • #17
    • May 24, 2020, at 4:01 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Al French of Damascus Moderator

    Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling is consistently rated in the northwest as superior quality, comparable to much more expensive American and German Rieslings. They also make a Riesling (not “Dry”) that is sweeter, which is not so highly rated, and which I don’t care for.

    i used to belong to winery clubs, until I had to cut my alcohol intake for health reasons. I’m currently drinking up my collection from that source.

    Stores vary, but some Costcos have excellent wine selections at good prices.

    • #18
    • May 24, 2020, at 4:08 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Hoyacon Member

    kelsurprise, drama queen (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    @kelsurprise? Why are you not in this thread, yet?

    Sorry I’m late. I was in the wine cellar. (Since the start of the Lockdown I have taken some solace with occasionally having some dinner with my wine.)

    There’s a wine store a couple blocks from me where the guys have always given me good recommendations. My favorite thus far was this one:

    I’d love to try this but Google isn’t very helpful in finding who might have it.

     

    • #19
    • May 24, 2020, at 4:10 PM PDT
    • Like
  20. Housebroken Thatcher

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Lensman (View Comment):
    I start the day with two mugs (16 oz) of Celestial Seasonings India Spice Chai.

    I don’t think I could drink the same thing every day. I have twelve teas ready at any time and use a twelve-sided die to randomize which I have. I just finished a pot of Stash Earl Grey. The next pot is Stash Orange Spice. My pot holds a half gallon, so four pint mugs worth. By the time I finish the last pint, the new pot has usually cooled down, so I seldom drink it hot.

    What I really like about Stash is that one can put the tea bag in and forget it. It doesn’t get too strongly of tannins, even after hours sitting there. I know that for some tea purists this is absolute heresy.

    I usually use one packet of sweetener with each pint of Stash teas. For the Bigelow, I use two packets of sweetener, since the tannins come out more.

    My wife says you must live in a two room house, with one room being the bathroom: That’s a LOT of tea in a day!

    • #20
    • May 24, 2020, at 4:21 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Housebroken Thatcher

    My dad introduced me to Soave Bolla, a white, back before I was at legal drinking age: So I can’t help it, I still like it. And in case lots it’s available at a reasonable price (under $10).

    • #21
    • May 24, 2020, at 4:30 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. PHCheese Member

    Anything in a box.

    • #22
    • May 24, 2020, at 4:35 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Arahant Member

    Housebroken (View Comment):
    My wife says you must live in a two room house, with one room being the bathroom: That’s a LOT of tea in a day!

    Pretty much. Good, though.

    • #23
    • May 24, 2020, at 4:40 PM PDT
    • Like
  24. kelsurprise, drama queen Member
    kelsurprise, drama queen Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Housebroken (View Comment):

    My dad introduced me to Soave Bolla, a white, back before I was at legal drinking age: So I can’t help it, I still like it. And in case lots it’s available at a reasonable price (under $10).

    It’s the oddest thing — the first time I ever remember trying wine, it was just a few sips of some kind of (cheap, I’m sure) red, at a pasta dinner at my church. And almost immediately, I had a very strange reaction to it — achy joints, flushed skin, headache — it passed quickly but felt really severe while it lasted. Everyone I’d told about it since mentioned “tannins” or “sulphites” . . .

    Anyway, I steered clear of reds for a really long time because of it and then at some point — maybe college or right after — I had some at a dinner party and had no adverse reaction to it. Quite the opposite, in fact. So for a few years I drank both but still thought white was the “safer” choice. 

    And I remember the precise moment I changed my mind: Dad came to town, my first year of acting school and treated me to a lovely dinner at The Sign of the Dove and after one glass of what I’m sure must have been a frightfully expensive white wine, all those creepy symptoms from that first sip, ages ago, came roaring back with a vengeance. I actually had to excuse myself and go sit on a little divan near the restrooms for a few minutes until I was sure I wouldn’t pass out. No idea to this day, what that was all about. And even though I’ve had a sip or two of white wines since, it’s never happened again. That said, I just find most of them too sweet or too dry — or too poignant with bad memories — for my taste anyway, so I tend to stick with reds, now. 

    • #24
    • May 24, 2020, at 5:18 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Housebroken Thatcher

    kelsurprise, drama queen (View Comment):

    Housebroken (View Comment):

    My dad introduced me to Soave Bolla, a white, back before I was at legal drinking age: So I can’t help it, I still like it. And in case lots it’s available at a reasonable price (under $10).

    It’s the oddest thing — the first time I ever remember trying wine, it was just a few sips of some kind of (cheap, I’m sure) red, at a pasta dinner at my church. And almost immediately, I had a very strange reaction to it — achy joints, flushed skin, headache — it passed quickly but felt really severe while it lasted. Everyone I’d told about it since mentioned “tannins” or “sulphites” . . .

    Anyway, I steered clear of reds for a really long time because of it and then at some point — maybe college or right after — I had some at a dinner party and had no adverse reaction to it. Quite the opposite, in fact. So for a few years I drank both but still thought white was the “safer” choice.

    And I remember the precise moment I changed my mind: Dad came to town, my first year of acting school and treated me to a lovely dinner at The Sign of the Dove and after one glass of what I’m sure must have been a frightfully expensive white wine, all those creepy symptoms from that first sip, ages ago, came roaring back with a vengeance. I actually had to excuse myself and go sit on a little divan near the restrooms for a few minutes until I was sure I wouldn’t pass out. No idea to this day, what that was all about. And even though I’ve had a sip or two of white wines since, it’s never happened again. That said, I just find most of them too sweet or too dry — or too poignant with bad memories — for my taste anyway, so I tend to stick with reds, now.

    ’tis odd. Maybe you need to get back to Texas.

    • #25
    • May 24, 2020, at 5:40 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Which of these are available at Trader Joe’s?

    • #26
    • May 24, 2020, at 5:54 PM PDT
    • Like
  27. Functionary Thatcher
    Functionary Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    namlliT noD (View Comment):
    Which of these are available at Trader Joe’s?

    Charles Shaw — not one of the top nine! (I always pronounce it “Sharle” Shaw when placing my order to make it sound more French). Less than four dollars per bottle. There are several varieties; I prefer the Merlot.

    For three dollars more, you can get all kinds of actually good wine at Trader Joe’s. One of my favorites is Black Mountain.

    • #27
    • May 24, 2020, at 6:54 PM PDT
    • Like
  28. Susan in Seattle Member
    Susan in Seattle Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We’ve found a couple of decent red blends: 19 Crimes and The Witching Hour.

    • #28
    • May 24, 2020, at 7:57 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    This needs to be a group. As well as one for whiskey.

    I lost my favorite winery this year so I am on the look out.

    Anybody have a suggestion for a reasonably priced sweet red wine aged in bourbon barrels?

    You could certainly create those groups. I will point out that we do have a Ricochet group that covers alcoholic beverages in general.

    • #29
    • May 24, 2020, at 9:34 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. The Cynthonian Member

    There’s a wine blog I like: http://Https://costcowineblog.com https://costcowineblog.com. Warning: it’s mostly written by someone in the Atlanta area, and Costco’s stock varies regionally. Here in the PacNW, our Costcos tend to stock a lot more Washington and Oregon wine than I ever found in So Cal’s Costcos.

    This is a fun read with good coverage of Trader Joe’s wine offerings:https://www.reversewinesnob.com Costco’s too, for that matter.

    One nice thing about the PacNW is the ready availability of so many tasting rooms (well, pre-pandemic, anyway). Lots of tasting has helped me refine my preferences and find some lesser-known varietals and wineries I enjoy. It’s fun to experiment with food pairings, too. @kelsurprise, such a shame you don’t drink whites. There are some foods with which they just pair better. If you think they’re too sweet or too dry, have you tried any Viognier or Chenin Blanc? They tend to be balanced, in my experience. And how about rose’? I love rose’…….especially in the spring and summer.

    • #30
    • May 24, 2020, at 9:45 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.