Chatting about value wines became trendy when the economy took a fall ,but most of us have been chatting about value wines for years. While it is easy to build a cellar with a wad of cash in one hand and a Wine Spectator in the other, buying wines that offer quality at a reasonable price takes more research and time. In fact, I love it when someone comes into Cellar Door with a value bottle to try. Personally, I like to taste the wine first, write down my conclusions and then ask about the price tag. When the number hits the sweet spot ($10-$13) range, I get a little excited. With another sip, I quickly develop a  new appreciation for the wine. Most recently, my best value finds have been coming out of Spain.

2008 Vevi Rueda ($9): Crisp, light and packed with grassy, grapefruit aromas. This wine is a must for backyard sipping.

2007 Tortoise Creek, Central Coast ($10): If you like oaky Chardonnays with citrus, brioche and vanilla notes that sips easily with or without food than give this wine a try. It is not the best Chard you will ever sip but it is a crowd pleaser perfect for large-scale events.

2007 Chateau Virgile, Costieres de Nimes ($12): Exotic floral and citrus aromas finish with a slightly bitter edge. A blend of Marsanne Rousanne and a dash of Viognier, this is a nice little bottle of wine.

2007 Masia d Bielsa, Garnacha ($9): OK this is exactly what I am talking about. Layers of vanilla, herbs, dill, dark berries are forward and pronounced. The grapes are “vinas Viejas” or old vine and it shows. Not the best wine I have ever sipped but look at the price again and think about buying a case. Perfect house wine.

2006 Chateau Virgile, Costieres de Nimes ($12): This time, it’s red. A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, the wine has firm tannins, vanilla, oak aromas balanced by yummy meaty/earthy notes and a chocolate finish. Simply a good value find.