2009 Domaine de Coussergues Chardonnay-Viognier
How about a Chardonnay-Viognier blend from an estate founded in 1495 by a land grant from Charles VIII — and one that sells for $10 or less? I don't propose to know how Baron Arnould de Bertier (the 15th generation to run the domaine) not only makes wine at that price but also gets the importer's and distributor's cuts plus the transport from southwest France out of that tenner. But he does, and that's good news.
Good inexpensive white wines are the toughest to find. And this one has none of the headache-making sweetness that mars so many cheap whites. Domaine de Coussergues' Chardonnay-Viognier is lean and focused with a pleasant aftertaste and an aromatic lift from the Viognier.
It's a great party wine for the price. Serve it with salty nuts, olives, tapenade, shrimp toast, pad Thai or other spicy food.
Region: Pays d'Oc, France
Price: About $10
Style: Lean and focused
What it goes with: Nuts, olives, Asian and spicy food
Where to find it: Amazing Grapes Wine Store in Rancho Santa Margarita, (949) 888-9007, http://www.amazinggrapeswinestore.com; Chronicle Wine Cellar in Pasadena, (626) 577-2549, http://www.cwcellar.com; Fine Wine House in Pasadena, (877) 981-6555, http://www.finewinehouse.com; Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, http://www.hitimewine.net; and Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454, http://www.winex.com