Lovely wines under $20

February 2011
Written By: 
James Ginley
Photographs by: 
Courest of the Wineries

These West Coast wines put you in the mood for a memorable Valentine’s Day

Mumm Napa
Brut Napa Valley
Prestige NV

California, $20
Any romantic day should include sparkling wine. This one is rated 90 points, and displays vanilla and pear flavors with lots of tiny bubbles to help get you through the night. Like all great sparkling wines, it is unique when paired with foods—it goes with almost any dish.


Monterey County,
California, $20

Chardonnay is by far the most popular white wine. It can be simple and fruity, or complex and oaky. This one is the latter—rich, with layers of oak, hazelnut, fig and even a hint of marshmallow. It’s concentrated with a long finish and perfect for the food lover’s favorite food—lobster!

Park Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Lake County, California, $10
This is a winery in California that has a romantic twist. It is a “fantasy” brand that bottles excess production from a well-known winery. It’s fermented in 100 percent stainless steel to accent the fresh fruit character. Bursting with flavors, it matches well with fish and chicken.

Elk Cove
Pinot Gris Willamette Valley 2009

Oregon, $17
Women love Pinot Grigio. In Oregon, it’s the No. 1 white grape but they call it Pinot Gris. A hint of almond complements the flavor mix of apple, pear and lime. It’s juicy, light and fragrant and pairs well with salads and lighter dishes.

Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Sonoma County,
California $12

2007 was a great vintage for California reds. Robert Parker, the wine guru, gave it 90 points and called it “… seductive, fleshy, fruity … with excellent texture, body and balance.” Need I say more? It’s best with beef and lamb.