Heyyyoo! My name is Katherine. I'm Trey's big sister. Do you ever use made up words? My brother used to be a grammar snob in college and would make fun of me for it a lot. “Heyyyoo” is one of my longtime favorites. It’s a way to say "hello" with enthusiasm or “Yup, that’s awesome” or even “Hey. Oh.” (which uses the ever popular overuse of periods. to. add. emphasis.). In fact, Emma made me a coffee cup for Christmas last year with “Heyyyoooo!” on it. We love gifts from Emma!
Anyway, I'm a social worker and live in St. Louis, Missouri with my husband and two awesome dogs. While I'm not a blogger or anything (gasp), I do love good food and good wine. I worked for a fancier restaurant in college that made all their servers take a class on wine, so we had smart-sounding answers for our tables. Safe to say, I've been hooked ever since, trying to learn and explore as much as wine has to offer as possible. I like to think of it as a healthy obsession—good for my mental health. 😉 Emma and Elsie asked me if I would be interested in writing about great wines under $20. Although I am definitely no expert, I was super excited to share some great wines with y’all. Today’s post is devoted to a fun line-up of yummy whites!Before introducing the wines, there are a few things that should be noted:
- Whether you’re new to wine, or you and wine have enjoyed a long fruitful relationship (pun!), there should be a wine in this list for you! We have quite the varied line-up.
- The wines chosen are a mix of some of my favorites and suggestions from a new friend, Alex LaPratt. I met Alex during my first trip to New York a couple of years ago. I went to this amazing restaurant called DB Bistro. I had some questions about the wine I had chosen, and the server suggested I talk to the sommelier, which is a wine expert. While talking to the wine dude, Alex, I found out two facts: this happened to be his last night at DB Bistro, and he was named the best sommelier in the country the previous year! When I told him that I hosted wine pairing dinners at my home, he said that I was more than welcome to get his advice on wine stuff. So I’ve reached out to him a few times. (Duh.) He’s been so nice to respond and offer his thoughts. One of those times was for this entry, and he suggested some goodies! Heyyyoo!
- I’m also going to give a link for each wine to a fun online description. I love reading these before I smell/taste my wine. I’ll often print out a menu with descriptions like these for wine pairing dinners. It’s super fun to read them. Sometimes they are dead on and I can taste/smell everything they say. Sometimes I struggle finding things like “tar” in the wine. And other times they just really have some classic “that’s what she said” lines.
- If you can’t find the suggested wines at a local store, you should be able to find most of them online (we bought at lot of ours at marketviewliquor.com). Just make sure you have your ID handy when your package arrives.
OK, now for the wines. They are listed in order from sweetest to fuller-bodied.First up: Marco Negri Moscato D’Asti. This is a super yummy and very sweet bubbly white. (Bee tee dubs, if you’re new to wine and you like sweet, Moscatos are the way to go.) It was my favorite wine when I was in my early twenties. I still really enjoy this with the right dessert pairing, like a warm apple crisp.
Price: $18Next up: 2012 Chateau St. Michelle Riesling. Cheateau St. Michelle wines have been around for a while, and most years they offer pretty solid wines under $20. Their Riesling is really good! It’s a little sweet, but not too sweet. Also, fun fact I learned when my amazing husband took me to Sonoma for my 30th, Rieslings pair really well with spicy cuisine. Try this wine with some Indian food or other spicy Thai dishes. It sounds weird, but they are so good together!
Price: $6-11This next wine is a suggestion from my friend, Alex. The 2012 Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio is really interesting and delish! It also happens to be one of Elsie’s favorites (for good reason!). Most Pinot Grigios are a little on the sweeter side. Not this bottle. This wine is like a Savignon Blanc hooked up with a nice light Pinot Grigio. Enjoy this wine with a nice citrus salad.
Price: $14-17The Domain Chandon Brut Classic is one of my favorite bubblies right now. The past few vintages have yielded some great champagne (technically you can’t call it Champagne if it’s not from Champagne, France, but sometimes I do it anyway) with high ratings from experts (87-90 points). I love to serve this with a champagne fondue with French bread and green apples. Yuuu-uum-ee.
Price: $13-17The 2012 Pepiere Muscadet Clos De Briords is another recommendation from Alex. I had never had a Muscadet before trying this wine, but I loved it! This is one of those wines with a funny description: “brilliant nose of wet rocks.” Not sure I got wet rocks on the nose, but it was a great wine! Try it with oysters or scallops.
Price: $15-18The 2012 Argyros Santorini Atlantis White was one of Emma’s favorites. It is fabulously both complex and simple. This white has a nice mix of body and zest and is easy to drink by itself or enjoy with light citrus dishes.
Price: $13-16This was another one of Alex’s spot-on suggestions. This Martin Codax Albarino is a nice, clean white. Try this great wine with rosemary chicken, seafood, or light, olive oil based pastas.
Price: $11-15So after I transitioned out of my sweet wine phase, I got into big bold reds. I stayed there for quite some time. Then about two years ago, I really started to get into Sauvignon Blancs. I enjoy a good glass of Sauvignon Blanc year round now…and I’m having trouble thinking of a wine that I go to more frequently. They are grassy, light, but complex. And I find them super easy to drink. The 2011 Drylands Sauvignon Blanc is delish! And you can often find it for a good price! It’s crisp, earthy, zesty, grassy, and just yummy. Hey. O. to this guy. Enjoy this with asparagus, scallops, zesty dishes, or with me on my back porch!
Price: $13-18This next wine is a special wine to me. I used to sing jazz music at fine dining restaurants in college (Kocktails with Kat). That was a really fun season for me. With an amazing drummer and fabulous piano player next to me, I got to sit on a tall bar stool, sing my favorite jazz songs, and drink a glass of Simi Chardonnay. Simi is a classic chardonnay that offers a great mix of acidic and buttery textures. If you’re looking for a nice crowd-pleasing chardonnay, this one is a winner.
Price: $12-17Last, and definitely not least, is a nice creamy chardonnay. For the price, the 2011 Souverain Chardonnay offers a buttery and smooth Chardonnay. This will go well with a risotto, scallops seared in butter, or a creamy butternut squash soup. (Most of the really buttery chards are over $30, but if you like really creamy chardonnays, these are worth the price for a special occasion.)
Credits // Author: Kat Montgomery, Photography: Sarah Rhodes and Trey George
A BIG thanks to Kat for creating this post with us! I don't know about you, but choosing a wine can be so intimidating! Thank you, Kat, for being the person in my life who makes it look totally easy, even if I can't pronounce anything correctly. 🙂 -Emma