A lot of white wines are inexpensive and deserve to be. A few are great, but still are available for a song. Here are two I love, starting with Walter Hansel Sauvignon Blanc 2017. You need to try this wine! It is most definitely not an ultra-citrusy “Sauv Blanc” like so many New Zealand offerings. Those are good when you’re in the mood for them, and some can also be had inexpensively. Hansel’s Sauv Blanc is far more nuanced. Yes, you can taste the citrus and other fruits, all there, but delicately so. Just tasting it and trying to put a name on the flavors is very satisfying; at least to me it is. Do not serve it too cold. If you do, you will taste nothing. (Most people serve red wine too warm (try no more than 65°F) and white wine too cold (51°F-54°F usually gets the job done).) You can get this wine only from the Hansel website, where it sells for the absurdly low price of $12 per 750mL bottle, INCLUDING FREE OVERNIGHT SHIPPING when you purchase a case (easily done if you share with friends who each get, say, three or four bottles each).

The other wine is Domaine Lafage Novellum Chardonnay 2017, a wine that renowned critic Jeb Dunnick rates at 92 points and has compared to an Aubert Chardonnay (usually priced at $100/bottle or more, and some are rated no better than this beauty). Jeb has this to say about the 2017: “Coming from 100% Chardonnay that was aged on Viognier lees, the 2017 Vin de France Novellum boasts sensational notes of ripe citrus, white flowers, and spice, with loads of classic Catalanes salinity and obvious minerality. Aged in 15% new barrels, it’s medium-bodied, has remarkable purity, integrated acidity, and is a total steal at the price. Drink it over the coming 2-4 years." This is an absolutely delicious and complex wine. Unbelievably, it sells for about $10; $9.99 at Wine Library.

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