Author mug By The Glass

By Chuck Furuya

Wine values for
summer sipping

I am sure you will agree that finding great wine values is a continual challenge. Here are a few I have recently stumbled upon, for your consideration.

2001 Nadaria Bianco "Alcamo": Here is a very refreshing, medium-dry to dry, light-bodied white wine from Sicily. Produced from the regional inzolia grape variety, this is a tasty, interesting white wine ideal for afternoon sipping on a hot summer day. It is also great served with the summer's bountiful seafood, for example a simple pan-fried fish (akule or moi). At less than $8 a bottle, this is a terrific value.

2001 Esser Chardonnay: You shouldn't miss this value-oriented chardonnay! Owner Manfred Esser used to run Cuvaison and has created this tasty, elegant, uplifting chardonnay under his own label. It is quite the value and well worth searching out, especially at $11 or less a bottle.

2000 Monte Antico: This red wine is ideal for summer and hot weather. Produced mainly from the sangiovese grape, this is a light, tangy, bright, slightly rustic chianti-like wine that tastes especially good when slightly chilled (8 to 10 minutes in the ice). Consider this value red with grilled pizzas, hamburgers, meatloaf and with dishes featuring grilled or roasted vegetables. Look for it at your favorite wine store for less than $10.

2001 Castano Solanera:A sensational value from Spain produced from a blend of 70 percent ungrafted, old-vine monastrell and 30 percent cabernet sauvignon, bottled unrefined and unfiltered. The 2001 is ripe, surprisingly deeply flavored and lush -- very round on the palate. The best thing is the price ... less than $10 a bottle. Grab it while you can, as the wine was recently rated 93 points.

2002 Paringa Merlot: Here is resoundingly rich, deep, ultra-ripe merlot from the Land Down Under. For anyone who likes ripe, wonderfully supple Californian cabernet, here is a well -priced ($11 a bottle) Australian alternative that you should definitely check out!

Chuck Furuya is Hawaii's only master sommelier. This column is a weekly lesson in wine pairing written by a rotating panel of wine professionals.

This column is a weekly lesson in wine pairing written by a rotating panel of wine professionals. Write to


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