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Cheap Wine That Doesn't Suck

It wasn't something in the water but maybe in the soil, the climate, the vines, the heads of winemakers... whatever and wherever, for some reason, the 2007 vintage of California sauvignon blancs generally, well, sucks. Or at least puckers up really, really hard.

As thin as Ashley Olsen, as bland as Jay Leno, as character-free as Joe Lieberman, virtually every one of this batch of SBs I've tasted gives the "poor man's Chardonnay" a bad name. Except one, and it comes from super-giant-mega producer Beringer. Hey, I don't care if it comes from Chateau Manson; at least it tastes the way sauvignon blanc should. By that, I mean bracing aromas of green apples, lemon-lime, and fresh herbs and crisp, refreshing flavors of Meyer lemon, pineapple, and green apple with a backbone of orange- and peach-tinged acidity.

It's an excellent wine with seafood (see Charlie's recipe for easy bouillabaisse), is available just about everywhere, and at around $12 a bottle makes avoiding all those sucky sauv blancs a financially uplifting endeavor.

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