We’ve already laid out our argument for why you should start buying wine with screw-caps. Now, in no particular order, here are seven wines that prove corks are not necessarily necessary.
Clos Pegase Pinot Noir
As a great example of Not Cheap Hooch, this Los Carneros yum-bomb is a $40.00 investment and it is rockin’ the Stelvin capsule (known to you and me as Le Screw-cap) with grace and aplomb. It’s a beauty – cherries and blackberries and tea and spices. Completely delicious.
Les Dauphins Cotes Du Rhone Reserve
There are white and pink versions of this wine, available for about $12 (which is a steal for anything brought to you by France). I vastly prefer the pink one, which is a combination of Rhone A-listers Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. A bit of lychee, a bunch of white nectarine, a full-flavored, fruit-forward, super-drinkable wine.
Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare
Dude, Randall Grahm has had an asteroid named in his honor, and I am pretty sure he’s the only winemaker to earn that distinction. His “Cigare Volant” (Rhone Valley for flying saucer) with its iconic spaceship label is also a not-cheap screw-capped wine, and it’s excellent, but my most common go to from Bonny Doon is their Vin Gris de Cigare, its rosé cousin. At around $18, it’s not the cheapest pink on the shelf, nor should it be. A silky, sleek, elegant little vixen of a wine, heavy on alpine strawberries with beautifully layered stone and herbal notes.
Domaine Bousquet Malbec
I’m a high-maintenance date where Argentine Malbecs are concerned. I like this one. Deep violet-red, plumier than a lot of Malbecs, which I like, with a little blackberry and maybe currants. It’s got a powerful bouquet, good structure, and the tannins are a lot more reined in than a lot of stuff I have tasted from Mendoza. For about $12 you could do worse. This is a good grill-watching wine if you’re on BBQ detail.
Sorry, I just really like pink wine. This one is a “Yes Way” Rosé collaboration with Club W (about $18) and to be honest, I kind of thought the bottle smacked of branding and was skeptical. No; it’s good. Light florals, a good bit of strawberry, reasonable minerality – extremely drinkable.
La Val Albarino
A tasty Spanish white, this wine is both richly flavored and really refreshing, like many Albarinos, There’s a lot of lemon here, but also herbaceous and floral notes and a lingering stone fruit finish. This bottle is generally to be had for a little over $10 and it is something you’ll want a case of, for… well, just in case.
Charles Smith Velvet Devil
Look, the fact is, I adore Merlot. When handled well, it is a plush, plummy, curvaceous wine with a ton of depth and a great finish. Brennon Leighton knows how to treat this grape, and the result is as velvety as the name suggests. Dominated by black fruit but also full of cedar and stone and black cherry, it’s generally in the $12 range and if you were blindfolded you would probably assume it was a lot more expensive. Great dinner party wine.