Out of time and can't get to your local wine shop to pick up a few bottles for dinner? If you're already at Costco — buying shrimp or a skirt steak or even a storage shed — you could head to the wine section for one of these bottles, found recently at the Costco in Los Feliz. (Note that not all Costco stores carry the same wine selection.)
Any of these bottles would be welcome on the table:
2012 Etude Chardonnay Carneros on sale for $13.99 (normally $19.99)
A great price on an always reliable Chardonnay, estate grown at Tony Soter's Etude Wines in Carneros and affordable enough to make it your house wine, at least for the summer. This vivacious Chardonnay may inspire you to join Etude's Wine Club, if only to join in on the Pinot and Pig Wine Club party later in June.
2012 Tablas Creek "Patelin de Tablas" red (Paso Robles) $15.89
A blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Counoise from four Paso Robles sites, this Rhone-style red will pack some punch for the barbecue. Rich in deep dark fruit, spice and herbal notes, the Patelin rouge carries the true taste of the southern Rhone, albeit with a Central Coast accent. A terrific wine and a terrific value. Note that there's also a Patelin de Tablas white and a rosé, but only the red is at Costco at the moment.
2011 Quinta de la Rosa Douro D.O.C. Red (Douro Valley, Portugal) $14.99
Portuguese wines offer some outstanding values lately, too. Whites, such as Vinho Verde, are better known than the reds from the Douro, which deserve more attention. Made with the traditional grapes Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz grown on steeply terraced hillsides, Quinta de la Rosa is fresh and vibrant with flavors of rich, dark berries and herbs. It’s a versatile food wine that has the structure to stand up to grilled meats and roasts.
2012 Ponzi Vineyards Tavola Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Ore.) $18.49
This is Ponzi Vineyards Pinot Noir made for everyday drinking and it's a definite winner, blended from as many as 10 vineyards. It's made in a fresh and lively style, meant to be drunk now. Think of it as a youthful Pinot leading with lots of supple, bright fruit, spices and gentle tannins.
2014 Hermanos Torrontés Valle de Cafayate (Salta, Argentina) $11.29
It's practically summer and you need white wines, right? Here's one from Argentina and a very good price. The Torrontés from Hermanos is made from 25-year-old grapes grown at high altitude. Crisp and refreshing, this pale yellow wine pairs wonderfully with grilled shrimp or salmon — or a chilled seafood platter. Or just drink it as an aperitif with a bowl of toasted almonds.