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What's your house wine?

I'm curious in finding out what wines do others keep in stock for everyday, house wines. I've been through a lot but still undecided. Recently mine are the Boggle OVZ for the red and Domaine Allamant Pinot Gris for the white.

What's yours?

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  1. Good topic! I like Ca Del Solo Big House Red, or Coppola Rosso for my red table. For white, it used to be this extremely inexpensive Australian Chardonnay, Banrock Station, that I liked for their using earth-friendly growing practices and the top notes of pineapple, lemon, and grass (surprisingly enough). But lately it seems to have flattened out, and I try to keep around some Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc as a backup, or one of several pinot grigios.

    I hardly know anyone who drinks whites anymore, but I prefer them for most of the year. It's so hot here.

    1. I'm waiting for the next vintage of Marquis Philips Holly's Blend (Australia) to hit the shelves. It's a white wine blend that reminds me of a good dry sauvignon blanc, and its biggest selling point is that it's incredibly fragrant. I've seldom found wines under $20 to have such a lovely aroma, and Holly's Blend is usually $12 and under. St. Supery also makes an excellent sauvignon blanc that's almost as good as the Holly's blend but sells for $15-20. I think St. Supery just has more star status as it is a California wine and styles itself as "King of sauvignon blanc."

      I usually drink reds, and have a few favorites:
      -Pepperwood cabernet sauvignon for daily drinking ($5-10).
      -Cellar No. 8 cabernet sauvignon when I'm bored with Pepperwood ($10-12)
      -Seghesio zinfandel for when I cook a nice meal at home ($15-20). I love big California zinfandels and Seghesio is one of my favorites in any price range.
      -Benziger reserve wines are what I pull out for special occassions. Their lower end wines are nothing to brag about, but their reserve wines are consistently excellent and some of my favorite wines ever ($35-70).

      As you can tell, I love Sonoma.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Pei


        You might like T-Vine. Their Zins are in the high 20s, so definately doesn't fall into the everyday drinking category, but would fit in perfectly for your nice meal at home or special occassions. Their syrah is nice also.

        I found my Chateau Lammont for $2 for a 375ml at the bargain bank, but they don't have it anymore. I gotta find a new everyday white.

        1. re: Pei

          I was drinking the Rosenblum Richard Sauter (very big, very jammy) as a house red and picked up the Seghesio Sonoma County when my local store ran short of the Rosenblum. Now I'm glad they did! The Seghesio is more balanced and very tasty ($18). I like Big Ass Cabernet for a house red, too - a good buy at $15.

          We've also been drinking Toasted Head Chardonnay for white (around $12) and Zardetto Prosecco for sparkling ($9).

          1. re: Striver

            I love the Zardetto. This time of year I just go ahead and acknowledge I have a bellini problem. And sgroppinos for a digestif are terrific in this kind of heat. Pairs just fine with Thai and sushi, in my book.

            1. re: themis

              The Zardetto rocks. I bought a case of it and keep in in the fridge just in case, and it is perfect.

        2. second vote for the Big House Red, and also the Big House White, from Bonny Doon. $8 - $11, depending on whether it's on sale that week at the grocery store. everyone seems to like it, and they get a kick out of the screw cap.

          1. The "house wine" depends on what's available.

            This year the house red has been Il Bastardo, a Tuscan 100% Sangiovese that's knocking me dead for $6.15. Last year I was steadily drinking some Bandol that was heavy on the Mourvedre - smoking!

            In the past I have done a lot of Paralelle 45 at one point, before that Torres Coronas, Concha y Toro from Chile, hey let's go to the wayback when I was drinking a lot of Trakia Cabernet from Slovakia.

            The house white is currently Willm Pinot Gris which was a killer Alsace for $6 the half-bottle and is still viable at $8. This wine has been available to me for a couple of years so it has had a relatively long reign as house white.

            I know at some point I was consistently buying Wyndham's 666 Chardonnay (hey, it was a buck cheaper than Lindeman's Bin 65).

            I also try to always have some sub-$10 German Riesling around for casual drinking. Nope, the maker doesn't matter.

            1. We've been on a kick with Rene Barbier Mediterranean Red....learned about it in a recent Spanish wines class we took & have been addicted ever since. Bonus is we have a wine shop a few doors down from our apartment that sells it for 2 for $8.!!!! Needless to say we've stocked our cellar with it. Excellent, terrific bargain red....worth MUCH more than $4. a bottle!! Rene Barbier makes other great Spanish wines as well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: kparke30

                Second Rene Barbier for the price (not as cheap as you get it but $6 usually). I thought our state store (PA) stopped carrying it because we couldn't find it in the Spanish section. Then we found it in with Argentinian or Chilean wines. D'OH!!

              2. The white this summer has been Hosmer 2005 Seyval from upstate New York. Around $8.50 a bottle. A perfect summer wine. The red of late has been the Lameraux Landing Pinot Noir. About the same price and also from NY.

                1. This summer, Penescal Tempranillo or Renwood Syrah for a red, Shepherd’s Ridge Sauvignon Blanc or any one of a rotating selection of Vinho Verdes for a white, and Michel Freres Blanc de Blanc or Piper Sonoma Blanc de Noirs for sparkling. All are $10 or under except for the sparkling, which run about $13-14 each, I think.

                  Incidentally, all are from Table and Vine in Northampton, MA. I recommend it to anyone within 100 miles or so. Although we live in the Albany area, it’s worth the trip to go out a couple of times a year and come home laden with 10 cases of wine (though I always worry we will wind up in an accident, stinking to high heaven of alcohol and with a thousand bucks or so of wine dribbling into the storm grates.) It’s a huge store with an amazing selection, great prices and, best of all, extremely knowledgeable sales staff. Plus, Northampton is a great daty trip destination in and of itself.

                  1. Chateau Soucherie Anjou Blanc from Tijou for white, Gigondas Chateau de Saint Cosmes for Red. Prosecco (they're almost all decent, mine is from Bisson) for Sparkling, Chateau Peyrassol for Rose.

                    1. I gravitate toward wines that express a place. What does that mean? For me it means that the wine maker allows the terroir (the place, it's climate, soil) to be expressed through the grape. Therefore, the same grape varietal can be planted, picked and pressed in 3 different places (for example) and three different tasting wines can be produced. Unfortunately many winemakers in the "affordable" price range tend to craft wines with the intention of crafting a product that approximates certain existing "desirable" styles (i.e. rich, oaky, new world) without the slightest regard for terrior. Having said that, for me good everyday, affordable wine that express a place and that are widely available include:
                      Beaujolais Village
                      Cote Du Rhone
                      Cote Du Ventoux
                      Vinho Verde

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Chinon00

                        Our list is a clone of yours! Just this afternoon I bought a Chinon rosé by JM Raffault. I don't have the receipt but I'm pretty sure it was around $10. I love the Loire wines, red & white, but have never had a rosé so I'm looking forward...

                        1. re: fauchon

                          YES that Ruffault Chinon rose is really good--one of my favorite roses this summer. It was $11 at PJ Wines, NYC. Check out Il Mimo, a Nebbiolo rose, lots of character, about the same price.

                          1. re: kenito799

                            Thank you! I've made a note of it. I bought the Chinon at Garnet...they also recommended Ioppa, a Nebbiolo Rosato 05 (said it had good body) which I purchased as well & will try next.

                        2. re: Chinon00

                          These are great suggestions. Some stuff from Cotes du Ventoux, however, is made in that mass-appeal style (like what they have at Trader Joe's. Cotes du Rhone is a favorite.

                          I will add a thought for easy drinking quality white that is $10 or less: varietal blends from Alsace, like Pierre Sparr One or Hugel Gentil (my house white).

                          1. I fear I am paying way too much for the wines I'm drinking.

                            I'm going to have to try some of these.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: tlegray

                              What are you drinking? Finding good every day wines under $10 is half the fun! I just posted a new thread on this board on some West LA finds, but you can see if you can find the same bottles near you. I'll add to the report as I drink the wines.


                              1. re: tlegray

                                Here's the link to a post I made the other day...a list of 10 good quality wines from 86 tasted for $10 or less...


                                1. re: fauchon

                                  Because of a sulfite allergy I only drink red wines though I love them all.

                                  My husband's favorite inexpensive wine is Dynamite Cab. It's a CA wine I believe from the Sonoma or Alexander Valley. I can get it here (Houston) for about $18. This would be our house wine.

                                  We also just found a chilean wine Casa Lapostolle Curvee Merlot that we liked. I think I can get it for $18-$20.

                                  Thanks for the list. I will check it out.

                                  1. re: tlegray

                                    What do you mean by "Because of a sulfite allergy I only drink red wines"? It's a little confusing.

                                    There are some wines that are made sulfite-free. I tasted some of these wines at Hallcrest/The Organic Wineworks in the Santa Cruz Mountains, CA. Some were good but some had a slight off-flavor, but none tasted horrible.


                                    1. re: Hapa Dude

                                      According to an uncle who retired from managing wineries in CA. all wines have sulfites. Reds have the least. Even when they don't put sulfites in wines there are some that naturally occur from fermentation.

                                      I do notice that when I have the whites no matter how little I will have a headache. Whites also tend to have more sugar then the reds or the reds I drink. Too much sugar also gives me headaches. So it could be either, but I rarely drink white wines or champagne.

                                      My headaches could also be due to the sugar content. Higher sugar bigger headache.

                                      I have tried some organics wines and like them very much. I have not tried the organic whites.

                                      1. re: Hapa Dude

                                        That's correct, all wine naturally contains sulfites. It should be illegal to label wine "sulfite-free."

                                        The proper term is "no added sulfites." Any certified organic wine has no added sulfites whether so labeled or not.

                                      2. re: tlegray

                                        Interesting, I know a lot more people who say they don't drink red wine because it gives them headaches. I am so thankful I only get a headache when I drink way too MUCH wine. Or tequila.

                                  2. These change all the time, but nowadays it's mostly...

                                    Sparkling: Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noir
                                    Crisp White: Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc
                                    Aromatic White: Navarro Gewurztraminer and Riesling
                                    Red: Navarro Mendocino Pinot Noir
                                    Rosé: None at the moment, but Darting Portugieser Weissherbst and Muga Rioja Rosé are candidates when the Indian Summer kicks in here in SF.

                                    I go through the sparkling at about thes same rate as all the others combined. I love the bubbly.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: nja

                                      Muga is a good choice for inexpensive delicious rose. CVNE (Cune, Rioja) is similar, also good.

                                    2. White:
                                      Conundrum (Caymus, though the named doesn't appear on the label any longer)

                                      PN - Acacia Carneros
                                      Chianti - Gabbiano Reserva Chianti
                                      Cab - Groth Napa, or Joseph Phelps Napa
                                      Zin - Ridge Sonoma Station, or Picchetti Santa Cruz Mtn.


                                      1. Bill,
                                        I think very few of us on this board would consider any of the wines you listed as "Everyday, House" wines by most standards. I am jealous that they are in that catagory for you. Good Juice

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Winemark

                                          Nah. The Conundrum is US$19 -15% for case quantity. The Acacia PN is US$21 -15% for case quantity. The Gabbiano Reserva is US$16 (do not usually buy a case). Groth, JPhelps and Picchetti all come from their wine clubs and are a bit more expensive, but worth it. I just had the Ridge last night and saw that I paid US$19 for it, though that was on release of the 1999.

                                          Of those, the Cabs/Meritage blends are the toughest to get by cheaply on. I was doing a lot of Glen Carlou (Paarl/SA) Grand Classique for US$13/btl. but my source dried up:-{

                                          And yes, these are our standards to pair with the foods that we are likely to do. Of the bunch, the Gabbiano is probably the only one that I almost always insist on having WITH food, as I am not a "sipper" of most Chiantis. However, with a tart red-sauce, they come into their own.

                                          With the Conundrum, I can have a white with nearly anything. I'm always surprised at how well it goes with some really robust fare. As my wife does less red, the Conundrum is always ready for both of us.


                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                            Over $15 is more than I'd spend for an everday wine. Mine average under $10.

                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                              Years ago, we used to have a "slammer white" taste-off, near April, or so, to choose the white that would be acquired in volume for Summer-sipping. Then, we lived in a place with four seasons, unlike Phoenix. We started off with a US$5 limit on the wine, and tasted ~ 2 cases, mixed. That first year, the Barefoot California Chardonnay was the winner, and was ~US$3.50/btl. in case quantity. Over the years, we moved through Lindman's Bin 65 [? been too many years ago]. That was when our limit was ~US$7/btl. and it was still in the $4.00 range. Soon, the Groth Napa SB won top honors, but my wife was trying her hand at making sushi, and it went with most of it very well, plus was a really good sipper. It priced out ~US$7.00 IIRC. Within a few years, the Conundrum won the taste-off and was running ~US$12/btl. Back then, they used more Viognier and more Muscat in the blend. By the time we moved to AZ, the contest wasn't really needed, as whites fit the "season" all year. By then, the price per btl. was up to US$20, and the Conundrum has stayed there. I go back to some of the old "winners" and wonder what we saw in them. The Lindeman's is OK on the first glass, but gets harsh by the second. Same for many others. Probably a bit of "change-o-taste," and also 20 years of exposure to many more wines.

                                              I still like to find "value" wines, but "value" must truly translate to value, and not just be inexpensive. As I mentioned, a South African Bdx. blend was a real favorite, and it was US$13/btl. I didn't buy it because of the price, but because I got more from it, than many Cab blends, both US domestic and from around the world, that cost me 3x the price. Usually, unless I'm managing a budget for the expense account, I don't worry too much about the cost, only the enjoyment. So long as I really enjoy it, and can find a way to pay for it, I drink it. To me, it's all hedonism and pleasure - pretty much the way I dine. It has to be good food, good service, and hopefully a bit more. It doesn't have to be cheap, but cheap isn't at all bad - just good food.


                                        2. I wonder when people post that they have 5 different everyday wines.

                                          9 Replies
                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                              2nd....and also because it gets boring to drink the same wine every day. Would you want to eat the same meal every day?

                                              1. re: fauchon

                                                Agreed – I listed a couple so as not to overwhelm, but we actually probably tend to have about 8-10 “house wines” available at any one time. (That is, inexpensive wines that we won’t feel guilty drinking on a weeknight with the leftover pizza, or will pull out when we have guests on whom an expensive bottle will be wasted – or guests who know wine but will be interested in checking out our latest “”find.”) They make up about 90% of what we drink, I imagine. I really enjoy having a glass with dinner almost every night, and we just can’t afford to drink half a $25 bottle of wine every night, much less $40 or more.

                                                It might also depend on how you shop. Since, as I mentioned above, we do the majority of our wine buying in a couple of big purchases per year, we tend to have maybe 20 cases of ready-to-drink wine available at any one time, at least half of which is fairly inexpensive stuff. I think that is pretty far from the norm, but it works for us (as long as I am organized and don’t lose track of what wines need to be drunk up before too long.)

                                            2. re: FrankJBN

                                              Having an assortment of wines to drink does not make each of them "house" wines.

                                              The house wine is the wine you drink with all different kinds of foods (that's why I am willing to go along with a red and a white) when you are not matching your wine to your dish (or vice versa). Sure nobody wants to drink the same wine every day - but I see the house wine is the wine you drink a couple/few times a month.

                                              The same question applies - do you want to drink the same 5-8 wines a couple/few a month? Absolutely not, one is enough for that.

                                              I mean come on - this is my everyday white, this is my everyday aromatic white? Why not an everyday wine of every varietal?

                                              I note that I always have some Riesling available for drinking, but it's certainly not the house wine. It's like always having Bordeaux or Burgundy otr anything else always available - they're not house wines, but I can open them any time.

                                              1. re: FrankJBN

                                                To your taste, maybe one white and one red is enough.

                                                For my taste, the basic pairing types I always want to have on hand are (1) Alsatian-type white (also suitable for aperitif), (2) tart white, (3) light red, (4) heavy red, and (5) harsh, rustic red.

                                                With those I've got a match for any food we might eat. For example, (1) spicy Indian food, (2) smoked salmon, (3) roast chicken, (4) linguisa pizza, and (5) ripe Reblochon.

                                                1. re: FrankJBN

                                                  Easy there, Tiger. Not everyone has the same drinking habits as you.

                                                  To me, an "everyday" or "house" wine is not one that I literally drink every day. Rather, it is an inexpensive wine that I buy in large quantities and that I drink mostly at home on weeknights or at other non-special meals. They also turn over pretty quickly; I typically go through a case or two per style per year.

                                                  I have several different wines because I eat and cook a wide variety of foods. I like to have sparkling wine with Japanese food, weekend breakfast, as a starter when I have company, and just to sip outside of meals. I drink my sauvignon blanc with light food like salads and fish. With other Asian cuisines like Thai, Indian, and Chinese I like a Gewurz or Riesling. With poultry or heavier vegetable dishes I drink Pinot Noir. I don't have a house "big red" (Cab/Syrah/Zin/etc) since I eat very little red meat or other very heavy foods at home. When the weather is nice and I eat a lot of BBQ or picnic foods I crave a dry rosé. There really isn't one single red or one single white that would give me the same enjoyment as having this small selection of wines. If you can make due that way, more power to you. But this is how I drink my wine.


                                                  1. re: FrankJBN

                                                    Well, in my case, we usually do a bottle/day between the two of us. The Conundrum is usually the starter, and may do double duty, depending on the meal, however there is usually a red, or two.

                                                    For all of our wine dinners, I usually pair one, or two, wines per course, with an older red finally served with the cheese course. For everyday meals, I see no need to limit myself to just one wine, unless it goes with each course.

                                                    The wines that I listed are the ones that we buy in volume for immediate drinking and do so. If that doesn't fit your definition of a "house wine," so be it.

                                                    With a 4000+ btl cellar to fill most critical applications, I call these my "go-to" or "house" wines. Yes, I could open any of the cellar wines at any time, but do so with the select few that I listed.

                                                    If I must name only one wine to fit the bill, then it would have to be the Conundrum, as we go through a half-case/week, depending on the heat.


                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                      Easy there Mandrill. (much more interesting than Tiger don't you think?)

                                                      "Not everyone has the same drinking habits as you." What? You're kidding me? Well, I apparently entered into this discussion having an entirely mistaken view.

                                                      Come on - get serious.

                                                      I do think it is important to have a definition of house wine, if one is discussing house wines. If everyone has a different definition, there is no point in attempting to discuss the subject.

                                                      These 57 wines are my house wines because I have them in the house.

                                                      The statement " To your taste, maybe one white and one red is enough" comes from nowhere (except for a desire to feel superior i guess). Who is talking about our taste in wine? We are talking about what is or is not our house wine. What I'm talking about, (as noted above) is drinking different wines everyday except for a couple/few times a month when you drink your house wine.

                                                      "For example, (1) spicy Indian food, (2) smoked salmon, (3) roast chicken, (4) linguisa pizza, and (5) ripe Reblochon."

                                                      But what about all the other foods?

                                                      That's why you have to find a house wine. If you keep wine, you probably have wine on hand you can especially match with these dishes (your "basic pairing types") and they wouldn't be your house wine. What you want is a house wine that you can enjoy with each. I tell you, I would nominate my Sangiovese.

                                                      The key to a good house wine is that you hardly ever have to say, 'no that wouldn't work'. It is not only inexpensive and reliable, it is versatile.

                                                      How do you define house wine?

                                                      1. re: FrankJBN

                                                        The only wine that to my taste goes with most dishes is good Champagne. Other wines, for my taste, work only with a minority of foods, and clash unpleasantly with others.

                                                        Il Bastardo with smoked salmon or spicy Indian food? Just water for me, thanks.

                                                        That's why I try to keep five basic types of inexpensive wine on hand at all times.

                                                2. I'm always looking for bargains so the labels change all the time, but I usually have a dry gewurtztraminer, a sauvignon blanc, a light young red, a heavier older red, and a cheap Bordeaux or similar (specifically to go with cheese). Currently I've got:

                                                  2004 Navarro muscat blanc
                                                  2004 Haute Victoire Quincy
                                                  2004 J. Heinrich "Siglos" zweigelt
                                                  1998 Luca Abrate "Casteloé" barbera
                                                  2003 Luján de Cuyo "Trilogie" cab-malbec-merlot

                                                  1. I like the Toasted Head Chardonnay and Augey Bordeaux Blanc for whites. The Augey is bright and citus-y, a great hot-weather wine over ice for about 5-6 bucks. For red, I like Trapiche Malbec or Chardonnay from Argentina for about 6 or 7 bucks a pop.

                                                    1. I like the Perrin family's La Veille Ferme wines from Cotes du Ventoux. They make excellent red, white and rose blends.

                                                      Precious few US wines are available here in Canada at low prices. However, I would recommend almost anything from Columbia Crest in Washington, Canyon Road Sauvignon Blanc and Talus Zinfandel from California. Another great California product line is Cline, especially for their basic Syrah and Zin. Pepperwood Grove can have good Viognier and Pinot Noir, but they really vary vintage to vintage.

                                                      The Cono Sur Pinot Noir from Chile is the best value one I've found.

                                                      Other favorite values include the Segura Viudas Cava, any of the Alvear sherries and Fonseca Bin 27 port.

                                                      1. I really like the 2003 Claret from Steltzner. Can be had for about $15. Bordeaux style blend, but drinks easy and matches well with many foods.

                                                        1. Rosenblum Vintner's Cuvee Zinfandel. We can usually find it for about 12-13 bucks in the Boston area.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: newhound

                                                            Does Massachusetts have high taxes on wine? Around here you can get it for $9.

                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                              Yes, Massachusetts is still run in many ways with Pilgrim-like mores. Tax anything that might be fun because it must be bad. I am in the biz and the taxes paid at the wholesale level then passed on to the consumer would blow your mind

                                                          2. Faustino VII or Siglo (or some other Spanish wine for around $8)

                                                            1. If you love big buttery California Chards, J. Lohr is an incredible bargain - I've bought it for $7.99, down from $14 something at a local Von's Pavillions. Their Arroyo Vista at about $19 & is even bigger. No one is unhappy, so...

                                                              1. Summertime!!! So is Domaine de Nizas, Coteaux de Languedoc Rosé, a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah, from the lovely Portet Family (Clos du Val anybody) with Salade Nicoise (Bonito del Norte Spanish Tuna please!)....Cannot think of something more summery and better for lunch poolside or al fresco.

                                                                1. The Costco stuff in a box is suiting me just fine right now!

                                                                  1. I don't have a specific house wine but I often buy Rex Goliath ($8), Red Truck ($8), and Charles Shaw ($3) sauvigion blanc.

                                                                    1. My house wines vary depending on my tastes and what's available. I have enjoyed the Montevina reds - the syrah and barbera and both good, drinkable, and under $10.

                                                                      But right now, my absolute favorite (and thanks to whichever chowhound first suggested it to me) is Castano Monastrell from Yecla in Spain. Just bought a case of the '04 for $5.98 a bottle. The '03 runs $6.99 at Whole Foods in California. This is serious good red wine for cheap.


                                                                      1. Rosenblum makes a Zinfandel Cuvee that sells for around $8 a bottle that makes a great every day wine.

                                                                        This does make a great topic. I've jotted down quite a list of wines I need to try. Thank you to all who contributed.


                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: howefortunate

                                                                          Yes they do. I have yet to experience a bad/weak Rosenblum. They may exist, but I have been lucky enough to never encounter one. In the old days, before Constellation Brands, Ravenswood was very similar, in that they always had good Zins, working up to near great Zins. Lately, however, their output has been rather up and down, even though Joel Peterson is still the winemaker.

                                                                          Another producer of good price-point Zins is Peachy Canyon. Their Zin-blend "Incredible Red," is a good cooking red, and can be consumed, as one cooks. Price-points are similar to Rosenblum Cuvee and Raveswood VB.

                                                                          If you can get Rosenblums, you will not go wrong.


                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                            Agree with Peachy Canyon. I also get Dancing Bull Zin for $7 a bottle and have not been disappointed.

                                                                        2. I guess it's because we live surrounded closely by wine shops and constant bargains, we've not got a single house wine, though wine is drunk at every evening meal. I shoot for a an $8-$11 per bottle rotation of generally Italian, but also French and Spanish reds, with a focus on "lesser" regions: Sicily (Nero d'Avola), Sardinia (Canonau), Le Marche (Rosso Conero), Puglia (Salento) and Calabria (Ciro) for Italy, Rhone and Languedoc-Roussillon (Minervois, Corbieres) for France, and garnachas from Spain. Whites: smaller denomination Loires, Austrian gruner veltiners, falanghinas, inzolias, and Sardinian vermentinos from Italy.
                                                                          I do not as a rule but California or Australia, simply due to taste--I prefer more modest, food-friendly, minerally/earthy wines. Recently, there has been a great crop of great value roses, rosados, rosati, too. Enjoy.

                                                                          1. We've been on a hunt for just exactly this. While we suspect that we could get much better European or Latin American "everyday" wines, we are too new in our learning process to have a couple picked out. Therefore, this summer our everyday white has been Joseph Phelps Pastiche. It's not super interesting, and a little more expensive than some bottles I've seen listed here, at $12, but do-able for our habits. We're California transplants to NYC, so (after 5 years) we're just starting to find the easy sources now that we don't have TJ's or Safeway for our reliable everyday wines.

                                                                            Come fall we will be trying the JP Pastiche "in red," but in the past have relied heavily on the reliable Cline Old Vines Zinfandel, Bogle Syrah and Chateau Greysac.

                                                                            1. I alternate my house or everyday red.
                                                                              Marietta Cellars OV Zin Blend
                                                                              Bogle OV Zin
                                                                              Mas Donis
                                                                              Las Rocas

                                                                              1. Right now I am drinking:

                                                                                Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc 2004 and Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc 2005 (it is just about as good as the 2004) for whites. I am sitting on about half a case of Gran Feudo Rose (2005). It is okay but i got burned out on it (2nd case this year, i have too many friends) and dont cook a lot of food that pairs well with it. And for a red, unless i am eating something that really clashes with the leathery taste of Riojas, I am drinking Marques de Arienzo Crianza Rioja 2001. It is really nice, I want to save a few bottle back. A wine rep that services the bar i run brought a bottle of the 1998 Marques de Arienzo by the other day and I was amazed at how well this $8 wine had aged. Well, $8 wholesale, in the South anyway. I'll post again in 2009 with the results.

                                                                                1. Coopers Creek, Cloudy Bay and Barefoot- Savignon Blanc

                                                                                  Raymond, Mondavi Reserve or Berringer Reserve- Cabernet Savignon

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                                                                                  1. re: jenniebnyc

                                                                                    Your house wines retail for over $100 per bottle?

                                                                                    We keep a steady supply of the Domaine Longval Tavel Rose around. It retails for about fifteen bucks before case discount and pretty much goes with everything (since we're vegetarians).

                                                                                  2. Antica Masseria di Sigillo Primo Primitivo del Salento, 03, from Puglia. $13.99 at K&L if you are in Northern California.

                                                                                    Nederberg Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape Aus 03 - around $11 at San Francisco Wine Trading Company

                                                                                    Delamotte NV - $26 at D&Mwines.com - yeah, pricy for everyday. Sometimes I do the Zardetto instead. I am still on a quest for a $15 or so good sparkling wine...and a $20 decent rose would be so excellent.

                                                                                    I've almost run out of my 50%-off stash of Ravenswood and Ridge wines, so sadly, those will lose their status as "house wines". Sure was nice to feel ok about pulling out a 97 Jimsomare Zin or a 99 Dusi Ranch and not worry about the occassion or whether it would all get consummed!! That's why I'm glad I found the aforementioned Primativo.

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                                                                                    1. re: laaronson

                                                                                      We're on the east coast, so you probably can't get some of the sparkling wines we discover. But for readily available stuff from out your way, both the Roederer Estate Brut and the Piper Sonoma Blanc de Noir are well worth drinking, especially at the ~$15 we pay for them. We also quite enjoy the Gloria Ferrer Brut at $12.

                                                                                    2. There's a wine store near my office where I can get Veramonte (Chilean) at the low price of 2 bottles for $15. I love their Sauvignon Blanc (nice grassy citrus) and Cabernet Sauvignon. I also like Goats do Roam from South Africa - the red, and the Syrah and Rose from Le Bicyclette.

                                                                                      I also keep Jacob's Creek Riesling (Australia) and Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc around during the summer. I'm currently contemplating what to keep in my wine chiller for the fall/winter as the house red. I've liked the Casa Lapostolle Cabernet Sauvignon and the Santa Rita Cab.

                                                                                      1. Given that it's still pretty warm here in Sacramento, I am still enjoying the dry, french-style rose's. I am trying as many as I can get my hands on! But for whites and reds, my house wines are usually the following.

                                                                                        Whites: Bogle Sauv Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Viognier and Moscato
                                                                                        Reds: Terre Rouge Tete a Tete (a blend of Mouvedre and Syrah)and Vino Noceto Nutz (a sangiovese based blend) or Vino Noceto Sangiovese

                                                                                        1. I just tried Delas Freres Cotes du Ventoux 2003, at my wine store for just $6 (PJWines, NYC). A steal, a great option for house red this fall. You just can't beat France for good inexpensive wine, IMO.

                                                                                          Spice, pepper, black raspberry nose, hints of some gaminess, full black fruit flavor with peppery finish, moderate tannins but not too astringent.

                                                                                          1. I love the "Stickleback" Wines (Red & White) from Heartland Winery in Australia ($10 a bottle)

                                                                                            In fact I like all of Heartland's wines, made by Ben Glaetzer, who also makes the wine for Mitolo and Amon-Ra

                                                                                            Other house reads include Guigal's Cotes-du-Rhone $12, Los Cardos Syrah and Malbec ($9) and Ochoa Tempranillo ($13)

                                                                                            Other house whites include Dunavar Pinot Gris from Hungary ($7, better quality than some $25+ bottles from Oregon).
                                                                                            Also love the Prosecco's from Zardetto and Sergio di Mionetto, and always have a good, cheap Okanagan Wine on hand

                                                                                            1. Pannaroz from the Jumilla region of Spain ($7-10). An interesting red wine, a Mourvedre blend, that gives great value.

                                                                                              1. The house wines at Chez Julia at the moment are:
                                                                                                White: Cuvee de Vezelay an unoaked chardonnay in the Chablis style
                                                                                                Red: E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone and/or Perrin Reserve Rhone Red
                                                                                                Sparkling: Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Sparkling.

                                                                                                In the summer we always add a Vinho Verde and El Guigal's Provencal Rose.

                                                                                                1. Another for Ca del Sol Big House White as a primary house wine, and if I'm feeling splurgy, the Caymus Conumdrum. The Big House white is currently running on sale at $7.99 per bottle, and the Caymus (but as a splurge) is $21.00. As a red, there is a small winery in the El Dorado Hills/Placerville area called Lava Cap, and I am very partial to their Petite Sirah. You have to go to the winery for it, but it's worth it!

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                                                                                                  1. re: lrostron

                                                                                                    Lava Cap Petite is available outside of just the winery, but it isn't easy to find. Small winery, limited production, and it's difficult to find a wide selection of wines from El Dorado Co. (or the Sierrs Foothills in general) the farther you go from Sacramento.

                                                                                                  2. Francois Montand- Sparkling $9.99
                                                                                                    Heidsieck Monopole Brut Blue Top- Champagne $19.99
                                                                                                    2004 Fat Bastard- Chardonnay- $9.99
                                                                                                    2004 Scenario- Chard- $9.99
                                                                                                    Mark West- Pinor Noir- $9.99
                                                                                                    Rosenblum Zinfandel Vintner's Cuvee XXIX - $8.99

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Sobe

                                                                                                      I can't find the Blue Top under $29 now...

                                                                                                    2. Currantly:

                                                                                                      2004 La Spinetta Barbera Ca Di Pian
                                                                                                      2003 JJ Christoffel Auslese E.T. **

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                                                                                                      1. re: whiner

                                                                                                        Auslese as a house wine . . . hmmm.

                                                                                                        1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                          Hey, when a great $50+ wine is available at Premier Cru for $12, you buy enough that it becomes a major staple ;-)

                                                                                                      2. Domaine du Tariquet vin de pays des cotes de gascogner ugni-blanc colombard and kendall jackson cabernet sauvignon

                                                                                                        1. Like many on this thread, we also generally have several house wines. For us a house wine is one that goes with a broad rand of food, and is not so expensive that we would regret thowing out any leftover wine if it sat a while. The current house white wines are the Bonny Doon Big House White at about $7.99, Folie a Duex Menage a Trois White at $8.99, Justin Chardonnay Estate at $14.99 and Babich NZ SB from between $11.99 to $13.99. There are probably plenty of NZ SB we could substitute for Babich, and certainly several in the sub $10 range that we like. We have trouble finding a chardonnay we consistently enjoy in the sub $10 range, although their are many we will drink. For house red, we currently stock Coppola Rosso and/or Bonny Doon Big House Red both at the $7.99 to $8.99 range, Columbia Crest Great Estates Merlot at $8.99, Lyeth Meritage at $12.99, a Chalone PN (Montery) at $13.99 (and we have been known to stock the Pepperwood PN when in the mood for a bargain brand). For CS we usually go with either Wild Horse at $13.99 or Ch Souverain at $14.99.

                                                                                                          A lot of the choice for house wine is based on what is in stock and / or on sale when in the wine store. We usually stock up, so the house wine for the month can be pretty much any of the above choices. Usually there is some of the last month's house wine on hand (unless houseguests have depleted our stock) so we are afforded some variety.

                                                                                                          1. Mas de Gorgonnier as an all-purpose under $15, that will be able to handle a steak frites and not beat you up if you want to drink it with a salad.

                                                                                                            1. I'm a Zinfomaniac....I keep BOCCE ZINFANDEL in the house, at $8.99/btl it's the bomb!

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                                                                                                              1. re: 2top

                                                                                                                for reds, goats do roam from south africa is nice and affordable.

                                                                                                                for whites, my favorite is the conundrum but i haven't found it in a state store yet (i'm in PA). anyone know of any stores in phila that carry it? we get a case whenever we drive out of town (and state).

                                                                                                                a cheap whites choice is the hogue riesling & hogue gewurztraminer from washington. they can be had cheap, and always go well with my vegetarian cuisine.

                                                                                                              2. Wow. This is a very old thread. Doubt anyone will read my response. But, here goes...

                                                                                                                House Whites:
                                                                                                                Ch. Ste. Michelle Riesling ($15 in CAN, where I live; about $9 in US). A steal. Nice mineral character underlying the bright fruit.

                                                                                                                Sumac Ridge Gewurztraminer (BC wine; $15.99). Nice grapefruit character.


                                                                                                                Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot (almost any vintage).

                                                                                                                Gehringer Pinot Noir (2005 was particularly good; about $13; a BC wine).

                                                                                                                Juan Gil 'Gos' (Spain; about $12.99 in CAN)

                                                                                                                1. Don Roman Rioja, $12. delicious and versatile.

                                                                                                                  1. Gnarly Head Zinfandel for a red, Bonny Doon Riesling for a white

                                                                                                                    1. Thunderbird--but MD 20 20, Wild Irish Rose, Cisco, and Night Train will do in a pinch.

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                                                                                                                        1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                                                                                                                          Well, in our recent tasting under the I-90 overpass and 57th St bridge, BF didn't seem to hold up well against the fortifieds, possibly because of the competing smoky accents from the burning trash barrels.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                            That would be a homeless wine, rather than a house wine.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                          For a nice twist, pour a bottle of MD 20 20 into a pot and bring to a boil. Then have someone lock you in a dark closet and give you 5 minutes to down the entire bottle.

                                                                                                                          If you can do it in 5 minutes, kudos to you. If not, get another bottle, boil it and hand it to the pour soul locked in the closet and repeat if necessary.

                                                                                                                          Ahh, memories of college tomfoolery...