Choosing Wine at the Grocery Store

About a month ago, my friend and Lifestyle Consultant, Cara Crowley asked me to serve as a guest blogger on the topic of easy to find wine.  The following appeared on her blog last week and I wanted to share the same info with you all.  

Guest Blogger Susan Brown Uncorked on Choosing a Great Bottle of Wine

If you are anything like me, you turn down the wine aisle at your local grocery store and suddenly get overwhelmed, sidetracked and end up choosing a bottle of wine by the label.  I know there are amazing wines down these aisles but I’ve always just been too embarrassed to ask for help selecting a bottle out of fear that the person that I’ll ask might have the most expensive bottle of wine as their personal favorite or that I’ll have to drive all around town finding just the right bottle, and really who has time for that!?.  This year as the holiday season swung into gear I turned to my friend and Certified Specialist of Wine, Susan Brown for help. Susan put together an amazing list of wines to use as a guide to find the perfect bottle at any price range and at any location, including my favorite one stop shop, Costco.  Here are her tips and selections~Cara 


On the 1st Day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Chardonnay under the tree!  I don’t know about you guys, but I blinked sometime in early November and the next thing I knew it was the holiday season.  All of this shopping, wrapping, cooking, feasting and plenty of merrymaking are cause for some tasty wine in my book!

Wine is always the perfect beverage, especially at this time of year.  Whether it is sparkling, red or white, this elixir of the vine is the perfect accompaniment to most of our typical holiday meals.   I’ve got so many things to think about right now, the last thing I am worrying about is which specific wine goes with which food; this month I’m shooting for tasty and reasonably priced!   What I like about wine over other holiday drinks is that it’s easier on my fragile constitution than copious amounts of stuff like bourbon and eggnog.  Seriously, a simple glass of champagne is completely festive and leaves you feeling fine in the morning.  Even a glass of luscious red sipped fireside can put you in the spirit.

Another great plus when it comes to wine is that there is a bottle at everyone’s price point.  Better yet, plenty of decent bottles are readily available at your neighborhood grocery.  During the hustle and bustle of these last few weeks before the New Year, it is certainly helpful to multi-task;  doing your wine shopping when your on one of those 80-million trips you’ll take to Safeway, SaveMart, Nugget or Costco, can be a godsend.

Rather than knowing exactly which store is selling which wine at any given time, I go armed with a list in my head of the wines I know I am likely to find at most grocery stores.  I don’t pay attention to which vintage from which maker is best.  When it comes to big label, mass distributed, grocery store wine, most of the time you’ll have good luck with reliable labels, year after year.  I save my over analysis for specialty and boutique wines.

Below I have listed some of my “go-to” wines when it comes to a stop at the supermarket.  It takes quite a bit of work to navigate 5-high shelves on your own, so use these names as a guideline.   If you don’t see the exact wine, try one by the same maker or one from the same region.  If you do, you are likely to have success!  Give something new a try this season; it may end up being one of your favorites.

Cheers and Best Wishes!  xoSB

Under $10
Segura Viudas Brut Riserva Cava (Spanish sparkling)
Juame Serra Cristalino Cava (Spanish sparkling)
Hangtown Lot 46 Red Blend (made by Boeger)
Folie a Deux, Menage a Trois Red Blend
Smoking Loon Cabernet
Kendall Jackson Reserve Chardonnay
Kirkland, Sonoma County, Chardonnay
La Marca Prosecco
Chandon, Brut or Brut Rose
Mumm Napa Valley, Cuvee M (*when on sale—now!)
Frei Brothers,  Russian River,  Pinot Noir
La Crema Pinot Noir
J Lohr, 7 Oaks, Paso Robles, Cabernet
Louis M. Martini, Sonoma County, Cabernet
Bogle Petit Sirah
Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc
Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc
Fess Parker, Santa Barbara County, Chardonnay
Gloria Ferrer Sonoma County Brut
Catena  Malbec, Argentina
Chateau Souverain, Cabernet
Napa Cellars Cabernet
Napa Cellars Merlot
Talbott, Monterey County, Chardonnay
La Crema Chardonnay
Over $25
Rombauer Chardonnay
Talbott, Santa Lucia Highlands Estate, Chardonnay
Provenance, Rutherford, Cabernet
Frank Family, Napa Valley Cabernet
BV Tapestry Cabernet Blend

 Check out Cara’s blog at  It is filled with design ideas, gorgeous pictures and creative projects/recipes.  There is a darling Christmas candy plate you just might want to make yourself!


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