Consumer Reports' best picks for cheap wine

Consumer Reports' best picks for cheap wine
Tastings at wineries allow you to try the wine before you buy it. That's not usually the case at the store where the choices can be overwhelming.

Consumer Reports has some tasteful advice. wine experts tested more than one hundred bottles of red and white wine. The results are worth toasting.

"We found more than 20 wines we designated best buys," said Paul Reynolds of Consumer Reports. "They're ideal for a holiday meal or a party. And you may even find some of them at Costco, Target or 7-Eleven."

In blind tastings, wine experts evaluated six varietals which included two that are popular for the holidays - chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon.

"We found several good values in our tests of cabernet sauvignon, which pairs well with hearty food including red meats," Reynolds said.

Among those that rated very well - the 2008 Columbia Crest Grand Estates for $10, and an $8 bottle of Cherrywood Cellars from 7-Eleven!

"It has loads of fruit flavor, and it feels nice on your tongue," said Erin Gudeux of Consumer Reports.

Chardonnays can be served before your meal or paired with foods like fish. The 2009 Bogle chardonnay for $10 also rated very well. And for even less, consider Costco's Kirkland Signature 2009 Sonoma County chardonnay for just $8!

"It has decent fruit and a bit of wood," Gudeux said.

But don't despair when shopping for these wines if you can't find the exact year.

"We've found that wines in this price range are fairly consistent from year to year. So you'll probably be fine choosing the same wine from a recent year," said Reynolds.