In blind taste tests of 40 cabernet sauvignons and sauvignon blancs, Consumer Reports experts found terrific choices at several price points.
The top-rated cabernet is this Louis Martini, from Napa Valley. But for $25 a bottle, you might want to save it as a special gift.
"The good news is that about half the wines we like cost around
$15 or less," Sue Perry of Consumer Reports said.
That includes this Consumer Reports Best Buy, an $11 bottle of cabernet from "14 Hands" which goes nicely with an
herb-roasted chicken. Want a white instead? Even the top-rated sauvignon blancs are pretty reasonably priced. Spy Valley took the top spot for $15. Tasters called it delicious, with tropical fruit notes and it's food-friendly, particularly with sushi.
Spend even less, $12, for Villa Maria Private Bin sauvignon blanc. It's full-flavored and complex, and works really well with grilled shrimp.
"If you're hosting for the holidays, as a general rule, cabernets go really well with heartier foods like roast turkey with stuffing and gravy. But on the other hand, if you're serving mostly fish on your menu, you might want to consider one of the sauvignon blancs," Sue Perry of Consumer Reports said.
If you're shopping for a good sauvignon blanc or looking to order a glass in the restaurant and don't see one you recognize--choose one from Marlborough County, in New Zealand. The region boasts more than 140 wineries that turn out that type.