This week, I’ve found two value wines – both on sale – that really surprised me.

I was at Earth Fare, my local store that’s like a Whole Foods, when I noticed the Sea Ridge wines from Napa, CA, on sale for $4.99, marked down from $9.99. You know that I love a great deal, and a 50% markdown will always get my attention. I picked up the Sea Ridge 2006 Chenin Blanc and was extremely hopeful as I took my first sip. I really really wanted to like this wine, given the price. I was so very pleasantly surprised! This wine is floral on the nose and very fruit forward, with crisp acidity on the palate to beautifully balance it all out. Wow! I went back to Earth Fare today, to see if these wines were still on sale, and, yes !, they were. I bought the Syrah today, along wtih more of the Chenin Blanc, so be prepared to hear about it in the coming weeks.

Since I’d only spent $4.99 of my budget, I went to Cost Plus World Market with $15.00 burning a hole in my pocket. Because I don’t usually have the opportunity to talk about a $15 bottle of wine in this column, I wanted to pick a winner. I chose the Chalone Vineyard 2006 Pinot Noir from Monterey County. I’d never heard of this wine before, but I am a big fan of Monterey Pinot, so I was optimistic. The price for this bottle was $14.99, on sale from its usual price of $16.99. I was giddy at the thought of being about to talk about almost $27 worth of wine this week; I was so pleased with the sales I had found. This Pinot did not disappoint. It offers lots of berry aromas on the nose, followed by a smooth, velvety texture on the palate that is divine. I enjoyed this wine with last night’s dinner of slow-cooked pork tenderloin in hoisin sauce with noodles and honey-glazed baby carrots on the side. It was a comfort-food sort of meal, and this wine complemented it perfectly.

I only left a penny on the table this week, but I really did get my money’s worth – and then some!