I'm always searching for great values in the world of wine to share with anyone who will listen. Here are a few new wines and notable values that I've been able to taste recently and thought you might like. Come on in, check them out,and be sure to ask the folks in the stores if they have any favorites of their own.   Also, don't forget about our Weekend At Binny'stasting program special tastings are being held every Friday night and Saturday afternoon at Binny's locations all across Chicagoland. After all, there's no better way to find a new favorite than to taste it first for free!    

Value From Italy

  From Italian wine superpower Antinori's estate holdings in the Puglia region comes the 2008 Tormaresca Neprica.It gets its name from the grapes that go into the blend: NEgroamaro, PRImitivo, and CAbernet sauvignon. It has a good, deep nose, with a depth that suggests a heftier price tag. The wine is bright and fruity,showing deep plum and ripe red cherry, and I'd swear I taste cocoa or vanilla in the lightly tannic finish. Not only does it display an amazing amount of depth for a Stainless Steel aged wine retaining the freshness and ripeness of the fruit without limiting the wine's complexity but the Neprica is an absolute steal at this price, at under ten bucks.    

New From Portugal

  I'm usually cautiously skeptical about red table wines fromPortugal (though lots of people around here will disagree with me).I've had too many roasted, burnt, or pruney reds that lack charm and come across as one-dimensional. So whenever I try something from that country that stands out, I usually take extra note. New to Binny's shelves are the Quartilho wines labeled with a plain Q.The 2006 Quartilho Tintocaught my attention right away with it's fresh, expressive fruit on the nose from tart red springtime cherries to a deeper red raspberry,with just a touch of vanilla. It's a modern, almost flashy wine, with plush and lively fruit with just a touch of oak, and an exceptional modern red from Portugal. It's white counterpart, the 2007 Quartilho Branco,isn't bad either. Made from locally popular Portuguese varietal Fernao Pires, this white is zippy and refreshing, lively with acidity, with hints of fruit cocktail and citrus, and underlined with grassy herbaceous qualities. You'll find both of these Portuguese delights on Binny's shelves for $11.99 every day.    

Value From Washington State

  Binny's has carried this wine for a while, but I was at a big Washington wine tasting this week, and was reminded of just how great of a perennial value it represents. We've carried the Bookwalter red blendfor years they used to label their blends with lot numbers, but theyrecently changed their marketing to incorporate literary themes (theyrefer to their mailing list as their 'book club') and now the multivintage blend is called Subplot. Yeah, that's sort of clever, I guess (Also, keep an eye out for the similarly named Foreshadow, an absolutely fantastic merlot from Bookwalter). At any rate, the wine is great I tasted Bookwalter Subplot #23- a good representation of Washington's signature of balanced, pure and beautiful fruit supported by solid, modern winemaking techniques. Akitchen-sink blend of six or seven different grapes that spans several vintages, this sleek red is driven by ripe cherries underline with notes of cola, and finishes broad and deep, with hints of cocoa. It's quite a value in the mid-teens.