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Copyright © 2016
Forkmedia LLC


by Fred McMillin
for December 2005



The Most Bang For the Buck In 2005

Here are our best wine buys of the year, the winning Chardonnay, Merlot, Chianti, etc. The biggest bargain is listed last. That is, the further you read the better the buy.

Importer's name is in parentheses.


The Winning Wines

Rank   Category & Winery
26th - Pinot Grigio, Meridian, California, 2003, $11
25th - Viognier, Gascon, Argentina, (Pasternak), 2003, $12
24th - Zinfandel, Montevina, Sierra Foothills, 2002, $10
23rd - Chianti, Ricasoli Formulae, Italy, (Wm. Grant), 2001, $10
22nd - Rhone Cosumnes Red Blend, C. Mitchell, 1997, $9
21st - Pinot Noir, Rincon, Argentina, (Gaucho), 1999, $10
20th - Malbec, Gascon, Argentina, (Pasternak), 2003, $12
19th - White Cotes du Rhone, L. Bernard, France, (Boisset, USA), 2001, $11
18th - Pink, Sobon Roh-zay, Amador, 2004, $10
17th - Crianza Rioja, Campo Viejo, Spain, (Allied Domecq), 2001, $10
16th - Electra Muscat Dessert Wine, Quady, 2004, $10
15th - Tawny Port, Benjamin, Australia, (Beringer), $12
14th - Semillon-Chardonnay, Jacob's Creek, Australia, (Pernod-Ricard), 2003, $8
13th - Merlot, Vin d'Oc, B&G, France, 2002, $7
12th - Shiraz-Cabernet, Jacob's Creek, Australia, (Pernod-Ricard), 2002, $8
11th - Vouvray, G. Meugey, Loire, France, (Boisset USA), 2003, $11

And the Top Ten

10th - Mourvedre, Chateau La Paws, 2002, $11
9th - Chenin Blanc, Bogle, Clarksburg, 2003, $7
8th - Petite Sirah, Bogle, California, 2003, $10
7th - German Spatlese Dessert, R. Muller, (Winesellers), 2002, $9
6th - White Cotes Luberon, L. Bernard, Etance (Boisset USA), 2002, $8
5th - Cabernet Sauvignon, Reynolds, Australia, (Trinchero), 2002, $8
4th - Barefoot California Chardonnay Champagne, $7
3rd - Chardonnay, Falling Star, Argentina, (Wildman), 2004, $5
2nd - Sauvignon Blanc, Crane Lake, California, 2003, $4
1st - 1st Shiraz, Leaping Horse by Ironstone, Lodi, 2001, $5

So What Region Won?

First, the best overseas source:

ARGENTINA—We won! We had four on the list including the best buy of all the imports, the $5 Chardonnay.

FRANCE—We won. We beat Argentina. We also had four on the list, averaging 12th place. Argentina's averaged 17th place.

AUSTRALIA—We won. We had FIVE on the list, not four. Furthermore, we had three under $9, which the others didn't.

What About California?

CALIFORNIA says: We're better than the imports. Look at the ten best buys. Six are from California, including three of the top four bargains.


As a consumer, I'm delighted. Good buys are coming from all over the globe!

And a Parting Gourmet Chuckle

My favorite San Francisco hot dog cart sports a brilliant yellow umbrella with the words, MUSTARD's LAST STAND!

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.




This page created December 2005

Copyright © 2005
electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc.