Okay, okay. We hear ya. You say: can you find a $10 Chardonnay you consider great? Does one exist? Ask no more. The 2013 ANGELINE Chardonnay, coming to you from the Santa Rosa section of Sonoma County, is a round and creamy California treat. With notes of lemon tart, ripe pineapple and mango, and vanilla bean, with a hint of cinnamon—for the price, this is as attractive and pleasant as it gets. There’s a golden, glowing quality about this wine, so ideal for cheery social events and, thus, an event planner’s dream. The biggest detractor of most cheap Chardonnays is a certain alcoholic bite, similar, one must imagine, to drinking a can of diesel fuel or a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Well, that’s cheap Chardonnay.The Angeline is value Chardonnay—there’s a big difference—and the Angeline is tremendous value. Like an underpriced stock that pays a 5% dividend. Like a comfy t-shirt that gets softer the older you get. Like an oversized coffee mug. A feeling of deep satisfaction is the residual effect of receiving great value, because you know that the repeated rewards you reap far outweigh the one-time price you had to pay. –J.M.
Great Wine: Roederer Estate Brut