We've gotten quite a few requests from friends and family to cover more lower-priced wines. Cheap bastards! No, just kidding. We definitely understand the importance of being able to go into a wine store and come out of it without an empty wallet. (Or money clip. Tim is really into his money clip.)
So in the interest of saving ourselves and anyone who might be following this blog from imminent bankruptcy, we tried a $12.99 bottle of 2006 Quinta do Feital Auratus from Portugal. This straw-colored blend of 50% Alvarinho (the same grape as the Spanish Albariño) and 50% Trajadura grapes was a terrific aperitif wine-- really bright and interesting. Its glycerin-y texture, high level of acidity, and apple flavors worked together nicely. It had some substance to it, which you can't always say about a sub-$15 white. You could pair it with goat cheese, much like a Sancerre, or with the traditional Albariño partner, oysters.
Of course, if you're having oysters, you might be throwing the whole budget idea out the window. But hey--at least you'll be drinking good wine while doing so. We give this one an 8.0 out of 10.