Best 20dollar wine:
Domaine Chandon 2007 Pinot Meunier
Pinot Meunier does not enjoy the popularity, recent or not, of its cousin, Pinot Noir, but it's just as versatile, if not, MORE. This Meunier was paired with dessert, a delicious Valhrona Chocolate Pate at Etoile, the restaurant at Domaine Chandon. She's very, very delicate with an exquisite floral nose and a very well rehearsed mid palate and finish. With minimal spice, she loves to help out and make things even better than they are. Would pair equally well with a thick chop or wild salmon. A very unexpected surprise for us and our range. At the very high end of our price point, but might be available for ~$3-$5 less than suggested retail at your LWS.
Best of Opposite Color:
Tasted this very green nosed Albarino at a grand tasting so didn't have it paired with anything. I really enjoyed the balance of the green nose to the round, moderated mouthfeel that had a very styled finish. Green apples and mint, on the front, but well balanced, understated low acid on that doesn't fall off like some recent domestic Albarino. I'd be happy with this on the Iberian Peninsula! Would be equally ideal with Paella Valenciana or Spicy Vietnamese.
Retail: $ $22
Another Petit Sirah that we've been very please with lately. Lovely color with nice garnet and mineral notes. Solidly crafted. I'd take this on a picnic with salumi and cheese, drink on a Tuesday nite with pizza, or pour at a gathering of friends and family. Buy a case or two at this price.