Keeping a well-stocked cupboard of delicious, great-value wines doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Drinking well shouldn’t be a luxury, nor should you have to sacrifice good taste to avoid breaking the bank.
The following Yakima Valley wines are perfect for daily drinking. Priced at or below $30, these wines are easy on the pocketbook and will over-deliver on quality and taste:
■ Wit Cellars 2018 Sparkling Pinot Grigio, $28: Nothing says “celebrate” like a good bottle of bubbly. Sparkling wine raises the festivity level of any occasion. It has a high appeal and is extremely food-friendly. Wit Cellars’ inaugural sparkling wine is a great option for any occasion. I love the tropical fruitiness of this sparkler, and it has plenty of citrus nuances to go hand in hand with its lively acidity and an overall elegance.
■ Sin Banderas Wines 2018 Riesling, $24: Riesling is a dynamic, food-favoring wine. It has great variety and expression, which adds to its versatility. Riesling is distinct in character; any wine drinker recognizes it at first sip. Yakima Valley’s Sin Banderas winery has hit it out of the park with its inaugural riesling. It’s a slightly off-dry wine with hints of green apple, lime and mandarin orange.
■ Thurston Wolfe 2018 Albariño, $18: If you love crisp white wines but think they are just for summer, think again. This wine offers a bright fruit character with the complexity to complement many food dishes. Featuring flavors of lime, pear, apple and grapefruit, it is a perfect pairing with the flavors of fall, such as pork tenderloin stuffed with apple and caramelized onion.
■ Kana Winery 2018 Chardonnay, $16: Chardonnay is one of the most well-known and well-loved white wine varietals on the market. It enjoys a versatile image with a broad range of styles and structures. Kana’s unoaked chardonnay is a terrific everyday white wine with solid flavor and a full body, offering refreshing fruit structure, fresh acidity and crisp flavors of apples and pears.
■ Milbrandt Family Wines 2018 Rosé, $15: While rosé is usually known as a summer beverage, the popularity of this crisp, bright wine has turned it into a year-round drink. This is a balanced dry rosé with flavors of citrus and peach — a perfect addition to your wine rack.
■ Two Mountain Winery 2017 Merlot, $22: It’s hard to go wrong with a good merlot. The wild berry and dry leaf flavors remind you of walking in the woods on a crisp fall day. Yakima Valley farmers have built a reputation of growing flavorful bright and balanced merlot grapes, which translates into exceptional wines. This affordable bottling by vintner Matt Rawn offers flavors of dark fruit, tobacco and a hint of vanilla.
■ VanArnam Vineyards 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, $30: Cabernet sauvignon is the ultimate fall wine. This is a yummy well-priced cab bringing plenty of dark cherries, plum and blackberry to the table. It’s a fruit-forward, approachable wine that makes its mark as an everyday wine for dinner or impromptu gatherings.
■ Fortuity Cellars 2017 The Fifty Fifty, $28: An equal blend of malbec and syrah, this wine offers ample fruit and plenty of food-pairing versatility. It’s an easy wine to like on several fronts: the price, the fruit-forward appeal and the fact that it is perfect for everything from pizza to pasta. Rich, intense fruit notes and a lot of backbone make this a perfect choice for pouring at the end of the day.
• Barbara Glover is executive director of Wine Yakima Valley, an industry group representing member wineries.