When the weather outside is frightful, wine by the case is delightful
November 30th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

Winter is coming (and no, I’m not talking about "Game of Thrones"). This means you should buy wine in large amounts, not because you’ll be drinking more, but because going outside - especially if you live in the Northeast - just won’t be pleasant. Conveniently, most wine stores offer case discounts on wine; usually 10 percent. On a case of $12 bottles, that translates to a bottle free, and change.

To keep everyone from driving out into the sleet, snow and the dreaded “winter mix” - which sounds like a snack food but is really just wet, cold stuff blowing in your face - simply because they’re out of wine, here are four great less-than–$12 bottles to buy by the case, and one not-quite-that-cheap-but-still-a-steal Pinot.

2010 Castello Banfi Col di Sasso ($9)
A Super-Tuscan–style red for a distinctly non-Super-Tuscan price, this blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon is brightly fruity and not too high in alcohol (about 12.5 percent), making it a great cocktail or dinner party pour.

2011 Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling Columbia Valley Dry ($9)
I probably recommend this wine too often, but since it manages to be an absurd value year in, year out, it feels like a disservice not to point it out again. Crisp and lightly citrusy, it’s light enough to pour as an aperitif but flavorful enough for dinner.

2011 Farnese Trebbiano d’Abruzzo ($9)
Trebbiano, the workhorse white grape of Italy, certainly has the capacity to produce utterly blah wines, but the folks at Farnese in Italy’s Abruzzo region have instead crafted a peachy, aromatic, extremely food-friendly version; it’s hard to resist.

2011 Altos Las Hormigas Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda ($10)
This long name roughly translates as “ants heights/colony of the rabbits,” which is exactly the sort of name I’d give a wine if it were up to me. The wine is from Argentina, but it’s from the lesser-known Bonarda variety, rather than Malbec: a bit less tannic, more bright berry fruit.

2010 Toad Hollow Goldie’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($19)
A bit pricier, but with 10 percent off if you’re buying by the case, that results in a Russian River-designated Pinot - and a good one at that, full of succulent dark cherry fruit - for a not-too-painful $17. It’s definitely worth the extra outlay.

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soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    {Bienvenido a la tienda espaola oficial The North Face. Aqu puedes comprar con envo gratuito
    the north face espaa http://northfacetiendas.blogspot.com

    December 15, 2013 at 8:12 am |
  2. KAS

    I was given a bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle and couldn't stop drinking it. It is a fantastic wine with an abundance of flavor which goes with nearly anything. One of the top 5 white wines I have ever drunk.

    December 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  3. Luke

    What's with the overuse of Chateau Ste. Michelle Rieslings on these lists? There are just as inexpensive and much better quality German Rieslings you can find at almost any liquor store.

    December 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  4. HarleyGirl

    Where does the weather get that bad that you have to buy wine by the case? Just sounds like an excuse to me! lol..
    @geeworker- so true, and thanks for the laugh.

    December 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  5. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    Don't forget to sniff the cork. It's the only way to tell if the wine is any good.

    November 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • geeworker

      like so many things in life you must sniff it before you taste it to make sure its good

      December 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫


        December 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
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