Right about now your Christmas credit card bills are arriving. You need a glass of wine, but can’t bear to put another charge on the plastic.
Hey, I’ve got your back. Here’s a list of pretty good wines for $10 and under. These are everyday wines. Drink them with macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, beef stew, chicken from the supermarket rotisserie.
Serve them to family and friends, but maybe not your boss. Then give a little smile, and get on with your life.
• 2011 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages, Beaujolais (gamay): not beaujolais nouveau, but full-fledged beaujolais, with more body and fruit, it’s still a tender wine, with intense red raspberry flavors, best served chilled with deli meats, rotisserie chicken, tuna salad; $10.
• Nonvintage New Age White by Valentin Bianchi, Mendoza, Argentina (90 percent torrontes, 10 percent sauvignon blanc): sweet and fizzy with flavors of lychee and white grapefruit, this should be served cold, even over ice, as an aperitif or with spicy Thai, Tex-Mex or Chinese food; $10.
• Nonvintage New Age Rose, by Valentin Bianchi, Mendoza, Argentina (50 percent malbec, 50 percent merlot): slightly sweet, slightly fizzy, with strawberry flavors, this should be served chilled as an aperitif or with fruit salad; $10.
• Nonvintage Camelot Chardonnay, California: hint of oak, flavors of sweet peaches, soft acids, good with seafood, chicken; $7.
• Nonvintage Camelot Pinot Noir, California: aromas and flavors of red raspberries and citrus, light-bodied, soft, a good red-wine-with-fish wine; $7.
• Nonvintage Camelot Merlot, California: hint of oak, flavors of black cherries and pepper, soft and smooth, good with red-sauced pastas, pizza; $7.
• Nonvintage Camelot Cabernet Sauvignon, California: black plum aromas and flavors, soft, good with burgers, meatloaf; $7.
• 2011 Pepi Sauvignon Blanc, California: light and crisp, with flavors of white grapefruit and lemons, good with light fish dishes; $10.
• 2011 Pepi Pinot Grigio, California: light and lively, soft, with green apple flavors; $10.
• 2011 Pepi Chenin Blanc-Viognier, California: soft and lightly sweet, with lively acids and aromas and flavors of ripe apricots and oranges, good as an aperitif or with spicy food; $10.
• 2011 Pepi Chardonnay, California: soft and a bit sweet, with aromas and flavors of golden delicious apples, try it with Thai green-curry chicken; $10.
• Nonvintage Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvee Sparkling Wine, California (chardonnay); crisp and dry, with big bubbles and flavors of green apples, good with fried chicken; $10.
• Nonvintage Barefoot Bubbly Extra Dry Sparkling Wine, California (chardonnay): In the confusing lexicon of sparkling wines, “extra dry” is one step up in sweetness from “brut”; this would be great in a mimosa or bellini; $10.
Fred Tasker has retired from The Miami Herald but is still writing about wine for the McClatchy News Service. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.