After the ridiculous success I had last week with the 2007 Herding Cats Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz, (you may remember that it “kept” on my kitchen counter for five days!) I decided to try one of their whites this week. I was not disappointed. The Herding Cats 2007 Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay, at $7.99, is a true value. The nose of this wine is wonderfully floral; the aromas jump right out of the glass! I’ve said here before that I can’t smell saddle leather, but I can smell flowers and I smell them in this wine. The flavors are crisp and light and fruity. The finish is clean and, though I didn’t pair this wine with food this time, I am looking forward to trying it with many of my favorite chicken dishes. One that comes to mind is roasted chicken breasts with red onion, parsnips, and bosc pears.

To total $19.98 for the week, I also spent $9.99 on the Foppiano Lot 96, Bin 001, Sonoma County. This is a delicious blend of Sangiovese, Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah. Foppiano produces some of my favorite red wines, most of which are priced out of this column. How excited was I when Foppiano released this wine and priced it under $10?! An everyday red from Foppiano? Somebody pinch me! The Lot 96 is soft and approachable and is intended to be thought of as a “House Red.” The Zinfandel brings the fruity spice, the Sangiovese brings the berry notes, and the Petite Sirah brings some mild tannins to balance it all out. I tried this wine with homemade spaghetti and meatballs and it was really, really good. Next time I cook baby back ribs in BBQ sauce, I’ll get myself some more of the Lot 96…at that price, I’ll probably get more than one bottle.