I’m taking a slight chance in recommending these wines, simply because they’re non-vintage, and therefore the batches I tried may not be the exact same wines you find on the supermarket shelf. Nonetheless, I feel that Gallo, which makes the wine, has sufficient resources to duplicate the style again and again (in the same manner that the French turn out a particular style of non-vintage champagne). These unpretentious wines are both very good and astonishingly inexpensive. They are also widely distributed.
Barefoot California Pinot Noir:
I first tasted this in a blind tasting where it competed with wines that were 8 to 10 times the price, and it held its own quite nicely. A big, brawny, full-bodied Pinot, its candied fruit core is complimented by notes of chocolate, violets and spice. What it lacks in finesse, it more than compensates for with gobs of mouth smacking fruit, as well as some spicy complexity. Price varies. I’ve seen the 750ml bottle from $4.50 to $9.00, and the 1.5 lt. bottle go for $6.50 to $11.00. 89 points.
Barefoot California Pinot Grigio
Aromatic, with scents reminiscent of an Asian pear with a squeeze of lemon, the Barefoot Pinot Grigio is pleasantly round on the palate with flavors that call to mind white peaches and Granny Smith apples. The finish may be short and tart, but it works well as an aperitif or as a palate cleanser, and it won’t break the bank. Though the price varies, depending on promotions, I’ve seen the 750ml bottle go for as little as $4.50 and as much as $9.00, and the 1.5 lt. bottle range from $6.50 to $11.00. 86 points.