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Cheap Riesling, Cheap Sauvignon Blanc

Cheap Riesling Wines.

Riesling is a well-known white wine grape from Germany that now grows in Alsace, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, upstate New York, California, and Washington. The growing conditions and timing of the harvest strongly affect the character of the wine, which may be dry, semi-sweet, sweet, or sparkling.
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Regardless of the style, Riesling grapes produce wines filled with floral and fruit aromas and tasting of fresh fruit -- a bit of citrus, a tad of apple. In its drier states, the residual sugars and natural acidity make it a good wine for many foods, from fish and pork to spicy Asian cuisines.

Although some experts say it's close to impossible to get a good Riesling for under $10, our review turned up a few that fit the bill. At the top of the list is Barnard Griffin Riesling 2012 (starting at $8, Wine.com), which hails from the Columbia Valley in Washington state. A Riesling review at Snooth describes it as medium dry with flavors of orange and spice. Wine Enthusiast's review of this Riesling gives it a whopping 91 points for its balance and, again, that hint of spice. From Germany comes Peter Mertes Private Label Riesling 2011 (starting at $8, Wine.com) with noticeable hints of caraway and a brisk finish. This budget Riesling can be found on many restaurant menus.

Cheap Sauvignon Blanc Wines.

Sauvignon blanc was originally a French grape but now grows in regions with cooler climates, including Canada and Chile. New Zealand and Australia are well-known for varietal Sauvignon blanc wines, as well. Sun levels during the growing season and degree of ripeness at harvest affect the finished product, and under the right conditions Sauvignon blanc wines will be dry, crisp, and tangy with hints of melon, citrus, bell peppers, and even grass.

Sauvignon blanc is the second most popular white wine in the U.S., according to the Wine Institute. California vintners sometimes call this wine Fume blanc, and the style ranges from quite dry to fairly sweet; the wines often have a high alcohol content. Sauvignon blanc is a versatile wine that stands up to pungent tastes, such as garlic and tomato, and also works with cheese, fish, and even sushi.

Review continues below

We found good cheap Sauvignon blanc wines from Washington, California, Chile, and New Zealand. Among our top picks, and one of our tasting panel's favorites was a French entry, Sauvion Les Eglantine, Touraine 2012 (starting at $10, Sherry-Lehmann.com). The panel's Sauvignon blanc review concluded this one is dry yet light, lemony and brisk, a combination that our tasters said would go well with seafood. From California, Mason Pomelo Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (starting at $9, Wine-Searcher.com) is redolent of citrus without being sour, and, according to a

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