If you’re in a quandary about which wine to order at a restaurant or bring to a party, it’s hard to go wrong with a red, white or rosé from France’s Côtes-du-Rhône. While these wines might not have the prestige of some of the famous Rhône Valley appellations such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Hermitage, and Tavel, there are certainly some outstanding Côtes-du-Rhônes to be found at very reasonable prices. The following white and red wines are both affordable gems that should definitely be on your radar.
Maison la Berthaude 2020 Cuvée Laura, Côtes-du-Rhône, France
Bought • Wine Merchant, 7817 Forsyth Boulevard, in September for $12.99
Description • This fragrant, luscious white comes from family-owned Châteauneuf-du-Pape producer Domaine Roger Perrin, managed by oenologist Véronique Perrin-Rolin and her son Xavier Rolin. A blend of mostly viognier with lesser amounts of grenache blanc and marsanne, this is a plush, medium-bodied white that has a rich mouthfeel and tastes of juicy tropical fruit, apples and pears with a bit of bakery spice. It ends with a long finish and would go well with seafood, fish or chicken and dishes prepared with cream sauces.
Château Malijay 2017 Opus de Malijay, Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu, France
Bought • Wine Merchant, 7817 Forsyth Boulevard, in September for $14.99
Description • Delicious and intriguing, this complex red has earned well-deserved high scores from critics. It comes from Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu, a relatively new southern Rhône appellation that sits between two prestigious neighbors: Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas. A blend of grenache and syrah, this is a medium- to full-bodied smoky red that combines dark fruit flavors with savory spices. Beautifully balanced, it has fine tannins and good acidity and would pair with roasted meats and flavorful hearty dishes.