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Local Experts Dish Their Ten Favorite Wines Under $15

Image by Naoko Kakuta

Even snobs drink on the cheap. Here, local wine experts divulge their thriftiest picks.

1. Skouras White 2010 (Greece), $10
“From one of the greatest 
producers in Greece, this blend of roditis and moschofilero is a super-crisp, refreshing white with tons of peachy stone fruit. It’s perfect for the Indian summer.”
Paul Einbund, Frances beverage director

2. Hugues Beaulieu Picpoul de Pinet 2010, Coteaux de Languedoc (France), $11
“This fresh, racy wine is 
delicious on the deck and pairs well with just about any light food. It’s also fun and out of the ordinary.”
Christie Dufault, Culinary Institute 
of America wine instructor and Quince sommelier

3. Domaine Chiroulet Cotes de Gascogne 2010, Les Terres Blanches (France), $12
“This perfect aperitif wine comes from the chalky, south-facing hills of Gascony in the southwest of France. It combines all the refreshing citric properties of the Sauvignon Blanc grape with the floral and honey-scented notes of gros manseng while maintaining the bright acidity of Ugni Blanc.”
Eugenio Jardim, Jardinière wine director

4. Črnko-Jareninčan 2010 (Slovenia), $12
“This wine gets its backbone from the Sauvignon Blanc 
and a peach and cantaloupe character and opulence from the Chardonnay and Riesling.”
Shelley Lindgren, A16 and SPQR wine director 
and owner

5. Marcel Lapierre, 
Raisins Gaulois 2010 
(France), $13
“This is an entry-level wine made by one of the greatest Gamay producers. And 2010 was a terrific vintage in Morgon. We pour it by the glass at RN74.”
Rajat Parr, Mina Group wine director 
and wine author

6. Quattro Mani Montepulciano 
d’Abruzzo 2009 (Italy), $9.50
“I love this wine for its ripe juiciness and spicy finish. It’s well-made and easy to drink.”
Amy Goldberger, Fifth Floor Restaurant wine director

7. Chateau la Coustarelle Cahors Cuvee Normale 2008 (France), $11
“This crowd-pleasing blend of Malbec and Merlot has enough soul to engage the wine folk as well as the masses.”
Chris Deegan, Nopa wine director

8. Frescobaldi Remole Tuscan (Italy), $9
“This is a steal. Its lusty, herbaceous, sun-dried tomato, Tuscan character wrapped in a succulent, soft, red berry-ness makes it pleasant to sip on its own with a light chill if you like.”
Andrea Robinson, Master sommelier and host of AndreaWine.com

9. Le Fraghe Bardolino 2010 (Italy), $12
“A Corvina-rondinella blend with a screw cap from Lake Garda, this is a totally chillable red. In fact, it should be well-chilled. It’s perfect for hot days.”
David Lynch, Cotogna wine director

10. 2009 Heron Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley), $12
“Made by one of the Bay Area’s top women in wine, Laely Heron, this snappy and juicy white is ideal for the dinner table or a party at the beach.”
Leslie Sbrocco, Host of Check, Please! Bay Area and founder of ThirstyGirl.com

Look for these wines at Blackwells Wines and Spirits, 5620 Geary Blvd. (at 21st), 415-386-9463; Bev Mo, 1301 Van Ness Ave. (at Sutter), 415-447-8483; Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, One Ferry Building (at Market), 415-391-9400; K&L Wine Merchants, 638 Fourth St. (at Brannan), 415-896-1734; Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, 1605 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, 510-524-1524; Wine Mine, 5427 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-547-9463.