Bubo Old Vine Zinfandel 2009 (California), $7: Named after the goddess Athena’s pet owl, Bubo Zinfandel is a sustainably farmed wine that’s wonderfully affordable. Spicy notes of chocolate, baking spices, dark plum, and blackberry are balanced by vanilla-like creaminess from oak aging. Pair a glass with chili and cornbread to spice up dinner.
Dievole “Dievolino” Sangiovese 2008 (Tuscany, Italy), $12: The Dievole winery began practicing the art of viticulture in the 11th century and has been enjoying the fruits of hard labor ever since. This smooth sangiovese has soft tannins and notes of juniper and red berries on the palate. With a beautiful ruby hue, this wine is an elegant addition to a traditional Italian spaghetti plate.
Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay 2009 (South Australia), $11: A good chardonnay is essential on the weeknight wine list. In this one, flavors of peach, green melon, and citrus fruits are offset by a rich creaminess from French oak barrels. Its crisp minerality and silky smooth texture make this wine a perfect match for chicken.
Valley of the Moon Syrah 2007 (Sonoma, California), $14: If pork is on the menu, grab a bottle of this spicy syrah. Aged in oak barrels for a soft, round mouthfeel, it is complex and full-bodied with blueberry, mushroom, and lavender notes. This luscious selection has all the elegance and power of a fine wine without the price tag.
Folie à Deux “Ménage à Trois” White 2009 (California), $12: Enliven suppertime with a refreshing combination of chardonnay, muscat, and chenin blanc varietals. Citrus fruits and tropical notes light up the palate, and the crisp acidity allows for pairing with light seafood dishes or sipping on its own.