Grape & Vine Wine Company
I found this brand one day while I was browsing through CVS, trying NOT to buy anything, while I waited for my prescription to be filled. I had never heard of this company before, but for $3.50 a bottle, I couldn't say no. They have different flavors including Merlot, Sweet Red, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Moscato. It is vinted and bottled in Livermore & Ripon California and has a 12.5% alcohol by volume. The White Zinfandel has a touch of sweetness but isn’t too over powering. My favorite of the bunch is the Chardonnay because it’s only got a hint of sweet to it, but it’s smooth and not overly dry. Either way, you can’t go wrong with a bottle from the Grape & Vine Wine Company.
Where to find: CVS
Price: $3.50/bottle with CVS Card
Lu Mil Vineyard
I was fortunate enough to find a representative from this vineyard when I went to the Farmer’s Market in Raleigh, NC. They allowed us to taste test the wine before we bought (which was fantastic) and this was one of my favorites. This wine is a semi-sweet mid harvest white wine, made with Scuppernong & Carlos grapes. This wine goes good with salad, poultry or fish (or anytime). It is on the sweet side, so if you like drier wines, this may not be the one for you. It is bottled at Lu Mil Vineyards in Elizabethtown, NC. The bottle is 25.4 ounces and has a 12.5% alcohol by volume. While the description may say semi-sweet, if you’re sensitive to sweetness, be forewarned that this is sweeter than most traditional white wines.
Another wine I tried at the Farmer's Market was Lu Mil's Cape Owen Red. This is a sweet, traditional southern red wine. You can smell and taste the Noble grape used to create the wine. It has a slight acidic finish and goes great with meat, snacks or dessert. IT is also 25.4 ounces and has a 12.5% alcohol by volume. With this one and the Taylor Divine, you can smell the grapes as soon as you open the bottle. That smell is *almost* as good as the taste…almost.
Where to get it: http://lumilvineyard.com/index.html
Oak Leaf Vineyard
I also found this wine by accident. We went to Walmart for Christmas decorations, but then I needed cookies and then I saw the wine. It was almost as if the price tag was screaming at me! I promptly bought six bottles and have not regretted it. The Chardonnay is a medium-bodied wine that pairs excellent with shrimp or any garlic dish. It has smells of green apple and pineapple and has a nice smooth finish. As I am a big fan of Chardonnay in general, it came as no surprise that I enjoyed this bottle immensely. Plus, at that price, you just can’t go wrong. There’s no such thing as bad wine. The bottle is 750 mil and has a 12.5% alcohol by volume.
For those who prefer drier wines instead of super sweet wines, Shiraz is always a good choice. The bottle I found at Walmart boasts ripe blackberry aromas with notes of black pepper. The finish is bold. It pairs well with red meat and is 750 mil and 12.5% alcohol by volume. Now, I’m not a huge Shiraz fan because of the dryness, but I found that I enjoyed this one. Maybe my tastes are changing, who knows, but either way, this is a great choice.
Most bottled Sangrias I have found just don’t seem to match up to what I believe Sangria tastes like, but this one sure does! It’s a juicy mix of fruits that has a hint of sweetness (not too overwhelming) and has a nice, cool refreshing finish. Not to mention, the smell once you open the bottle will bring to mind a tropical paradise with white beaches and crystal blue water. It’s a great drink for summertime, so serve it in a nice, big glass over ice. The bottle is 750 mil and 9% alcohol by volume. Oak Leaf Vineyards also have other options including Pinot Grigio, White Zinfandel, Sweet Red, Moscato and more.
Where to find: Walmart
Miguel Pessanha, Mateus Rose Original
This wine I hold near and dear to my heart, as I discovered it in 2006 when I was stationed in the Azores (near Portugal). It’s the first wine I ever really enjoyed and I still enjoy it now. As the name implies, it’s Rose in color and is fresh, young and slightly sparkling. It’s sweet, but not overwhelmingly slow and has a nice smooth fizzy finish. Another unique part of the wine is the bottle it comes in. Instead of the traditional straight-up bottles, it’s in a rounded bottle with a beautiful design that catches the eye. You can find this wine if you go to the Azores or Portugal, but I have also found it in some stores in the United States. I found my most recent bottle at Atkins grocery store in Asheville, NC. The bottle is 750 ml and has an 11% alcohol by volume.
Where to find: Some stores in the United States or at
Price: Variable, but usually about $5
**Editors Note: You can find some of this wine on Ebay, but it's typically overpriced.**
Another great Walmart find! This wine caught my eye because of the name, Christmas Wine, and the picture of Santa enjoying a glass of wine on the bottle. I had to have it. This beautiful sweet red wine is made with Muscadine grapes and is laced with a hint of spice. I found it at Walmart for $8.97, but you can also buy it from their website (Link 5) for $9.99. The bottle is 750 mil and has an 11.5% alcohol by volume. Duplin Winery is located in Rose Hill, NC. They have all the traditional types of wine like Merlot and Chardonnay, but they also boast a wide array of unique wines, including kits to make spiced wine!
Where to find: Walmart, Amazon, Winery Homepage
Price: Varies depending on type
Gatao - Vinho Verde
This wine has to be my most all-time favorite. It’s another wine I discovered when I was stationed in the Azores. One sip of this wine and I was hooked. It’s a Vinho Verde (green wine) and gets its name because of the region the grapes are grown in: The Vinhos Verdes Region in Portugal. It’s technically a white wine, but the grapes are very young when they are harvested for the wine. It’s a delicate, medium-dry wine that goes down smoothly. It’s perfect with dinner, while hanging at the beach, or really just any time. The bottle is fun with a picture of a snobby cat (Gatao loosely translates to cat in Portuguese) and comes in both the long, tall, traditional bottles, and also the round, squat bottles similar to the Mateus Rose wine. The wine has a fresh taste and is something to savor. The 750 mil bottle has a 9% alcohol by volume. *Note: This wine is only sold by one winery (that I have found) in the United States. It’s Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Virginia. Their prices are reasonable (the more you buy the less a bottle is) and while they quote long shipping times, I’ve never had to wait for more than a week for the case to arrive.
Where to buy: http://www.chainbridgecellars.com/site/search.cfm
Price: approximately $8.00/bottle
© 2014 Megan Tracy