Gimmicky labels shouldn’t chase you away from some surprising wine bargains, said Kara Newman in Slate.com. You don’t have to be a Duck Dynasty fan to appreciate the “creamy butterscotch notes” of the chardonnay sold under the show’s banner, for instance. I recently tried 13 such wines, and, to my surprise, “none of them sucked.”
2010 Fifty Shades of Grey ‘Red Satin’ ($18). This nicely balanced California blend tops my list. It offers “lots of rich raspberry and black cherry notes” and “an elongated finish.”
2009 Star Trek ‘Mirror Mirror’ ($25). Close behind was this Sonoma red. Though “bursting with bright fruit,” it has an “earthy and plummy” nose.
Duck Commander ‘Wood Duck’ Chardonnay ($10). Edging out a Downton Abbey entry, my favorite white married butterscotch and ripe apple notes with “just enough acidity to keep things interesting.”