You could always get by with magnums of YellowTail or Barefoot Cellars – not that there’s anything wrong with that … if that’s what you like. Barefoot is extremely popular and it generally delivers your $5’s worth. But since it’s so ubiquitous and conspicuously inexpensive – ever notice the floor-to-ceiling display at the end of almost every grocery store wine aisle? – it practically screams “bulk wine” to your guests.
A better alternative is possibly the all-time best affordable wine, which comes in both white and red (rosè too in some wine shops), and is on sale locally for $5 a bottle, the lowest price in the country.
“The Perrins’ greatest success is undeniably their enormous quantities of high quality, inexpensive wines called La Vieille Ferme, a white from the Cotes du Luberon and a red from the Cotes du Ventoux,” wrote influential critic Robert Parker in the October 2011 issue of Wine Advocate.
The 2011 vintage of La Vieille Ferme Cotes du Ventoux, a blend of Rhone Valley grapes – grenache, syrah, carignan and cinsault – is on sale at Calvert Woodley for $4.99 a bottle (regularly $7.99) and earned a recommendation from Parker for the ninth consecutive year. In the October 2012 Wine Advocate he called the red, “another delicious, fruit-forward wine that the world needs and gets from the Perrins,” noting that it, “exhibits a deep color and loads of berry fruit as well as hints of Provencal herbs and spice.”
The white from Cotes du Luberon is also on sale for $4.99 and has the same nine-year string of solid scores from Parker, who called it “an interesting blend of Vermentino, Ugni Blanc and Grenache Blanc, completely naked, fresh and light to medium-bodied, with crisp grapefruit and citrus notes, as pure as a high alpine water source.”
If you can’t get to Calvert Woodley in time for your holiday party, both the red and white “chicken-label” Le Vieille Ferme is on sale for $5.49 a bottle at Chevy Chase Wine, and costs just $5.99 every day at Total Wine stores in Maryland (previously called Corridor Wine & Spirits and Beltway Fine Wine), and $6.99 at Total Wine in Virginia.
At those prices, you might want to buy these wines by the case, and hope there’s a few bottles leftover from your party to enjoy by the fire this holiday season.
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