One of my favorite wines is the Menage a Trios by Folie a Deux winery in Napa. It’s a low-cost red wine that has three complex flavors: a bit of pepper, smoke and…you’ll have to drink it to find out. Menage a Trois retails for $12 from the vineyard but you can buy it for about $9 at the supermarket, $8 at BevMo, or $6.50 at Costco.
The Seven Sisters 2008 Pinotage/Shiraz is a tasty red wine that has an interesting flavor, but does not overwhelm. I highly recommend it. A bottle costs $15 from the winemaker, Heritage Link. Buy it! For a list of individual retailers, go here.
The Fog Mountain 2006 California Merlot is balanced wine with a deep flavor that goes with other bold dishes. The wine comes in a plastic bottle that is totally recyclable and at 1 liter it is 33 percent bigger than the standard 750 ml wine bottle. Sold exclusively from Wine.com as part of a $30 trio with two other eco-wines. Buy it!
Tito’s Homemade Vodka has the quality of a top shelf brand like Sky but can be had for half the price. It is made at an up and coming distillery in Austin, TX. Even my wine snob friends like this vodka! A 750 ml bottle is $20 at BevMo. Buy it!
Want to give more than booze? The Bubbly Bar has more champagne and sparking wine cocktail recipes than you knew existed, like Apricot’s Blush, Lava Lamp, and Sugar Plum. The photos are good enough to eat, I mean drink. Who knew you could do so much with champagne? Amazon has it for $11.55 (orig $17). Buy it!
If all else fails: wrap a bottle of Two Buck Chuck in a wine cozy.