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Looking for an inexpensive white wine recommendation.

I'm hosting an event and I will serve 2 reds and 2 whites. I have the reds picked out, and one of the whites will be vinho verde. I am having trouble deciding on the other white. I'd like something with more body than the vinho verde. I don't want to do a chardonnay, although I might consider an unoaked chard. I'd also like to keep it under $10 per bottle.

I'm thinking about white rioja, although it seems to be hard to find (apparently there is a shortage). Pinot gris (grigio) seems too similar to vinho verde, as does muscadet. Any other suggestions? Thanks!

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  1. IMO you're going to get far better value in riesling than any other widely-available white wine. While a $10 riesling in general isn't as good as a $20 riesling, dollar for dollar for my palate it's heads and tails above a $10 chardonnay.

    If you can push your price point up into the mid to high teens you'll have that much more choice too.

    Plus on average more food friendly. I should mention in passing that a big part of this decision would be based on what food you're serving at this event, if any. First consideration should always be whether the wine matches the food to begin with.

    1. Chateau Ste. Michelle makes a basic Riesling that I get for $8.99 retail. It's very drinkable, and not one-note.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ChefJune

        And frequently on sale at Target for even less than the 8.99.

          1. re: carolinadawg

            it's not deliberately dry.

            I'd say it's lieblich to off-dry.... in a very food-friendly range.

        1. re: linguafood

          I looked at a bottle of Rueda today and almost bought it to taste, since I'm not familiar with it (I mostly drink reds, so I'm not real familiar with many whites) but the description on the back or the bottle (or the shelf tag maybe?) made it sound very similar to the vinho verde. Maybe I should try it?

          1. re: carolinadawg

            You're right, it might be. Maybe Vermentino would be a better choice, but I also agree with others here if you can get a nice dry Riesling (I personally like Blue Fish which is a freakin' steal here in PA at $8.99).

            I also like an Alsatian cuvée (Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Muscat) that's been popping up here: Crustacés Dopff & Irion. Not sure if you can get it where you are, but this is also dirt cheap = under $10.

            1. re: carolinadawg

              It's not like Vinho Verde at all, and very good . . .

              1. re: carolinadawg

                Rueda is nothing like vinho verde; it's more floral, mineral, and fuller. Marques de Caceres makes an excellent version, less than $10/bottle, and on sale fairly widely. A Sardinian vermentino, French picpoul de pinet or an Argentinian torrontes might also work.

                1. re: bob96

                  Woot. Agreement on the Rueda, Torrontés and Vermentino.

              2. re: linguafood

                Torrontes would be my first choice for you also.

                1. re: linguafood

                  My first thought was a Torrontés as well. If the OP has access to a Costco they sell a Torrontés < $10

                2. Perhaps a New Zealand sauvignon blanc?

                  An Oregon pinot gris might fit the bill too.

                  1. Riesling. It plays nicely with almost any food, even at lower price points. Several options come if a liter sized bottle for a bit over 12, but you are getting the extra volume for the price.

                    Otherwise, my favorite grape for wine is Gruener Veltliner. Primarily from Austria, but I've had a few from Hungary which were very nice and cheaper. One from TJ's for 8 bucks a bottle. Drank like a 12 dollar plus but can't recall the name. Sorry:)