Holiday wine bargains

Last reviewed: December 2009

There promises to be a lot of belt-tightening this season but when it comes to finding an affordable holiday wine, you won't have to skimp on flavor. We've found a number of tasty varietals in the $10 range that will complement your holiday meals. For our holiday wine reviews, our experts conduct blind taste tests, with no knowledge of the wine brand or price.

This year our experts tasted three reds (Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Zinfandel) and three whites (Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, which are all available to subscribers) and found more than 30 CR Best Buys for your holiday table or gift basket.

Some of our CR Best Buy wines might now be available mostly in a later vintage year than what we tested. We recommend trying them anyway. In our periodic tests of different vintages, the new year's wine is often very similar to its predecessor. Even when wines change from year to year, they often do so only subtly. For example, one of our CR Best Buy zinfandels slipped a little in overall quality in its latest vintage but the experts still judged the new vintage to be worthy of recommending.

About these listings

Prices are suggested retail; stores might offer better deals. All wines are very good overall, except the excellent Mud House sauvignon blanc, and are generally shown in order of quality within varietal, from top (best) to bottom.