Best wines for the holidays for $10 or less

LOS ANGELES

"We found more than 20 wines we designated best buys. They're ideal for a holiday meal or a party. And you may even find some of them at Costco, Target or 7-Eleven," said Paul Reynolds of Consumer Reports.

In blind tastings, wine experts evaluated six varietals, which included two that are popular for the holidays - chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon.

"We found several good values in our tests of cabernet sauvignon, which pairs well with hearty food including red meats," Reynolds said.

Both the 2008 Columbia Crest Grand Estates for $10 and an $8 bottle of Cherrywood Cellars from 7-Eleven were rated "very good" by Consumer Reports.

Chardonnays can be served before your meal or paired with foods like fish. The 2009 Bogle Chardonnay for $10 also rated "very good."

For even less, consider Costco's Kirkland Signature 2009 Sonoma County Chardonnay, which sells for just $8.

But don't despair when shopping for these wines if you can't find the exact year.

"We've found that wines in this price range are fairly consistent from year to year. So you'll probably be fine choosing the same wine from a recent year," Reynolds said.

Zinfandel is another red wine that's popular at Thanksgiving because it pairs well with a traditional turkey dinner. Consumer Reports recommends the 2009 Dancing Bull as a best buy for $10.

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