The world’s  best wine values may very well be found among

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inexpensive — and too often overlooked — white wines.


“That’s because it’s a little easier to get quality wine from white

grapes than from red grapes,” says Kendy Ferguson, the wine buyer at Whole Foods Market on lower Greenville. “Red grapes are a little more temperamental, and aren’t as easy to work with.”


The best values often are not Chardonnays, whose reputation often

inflates their price, but in Sauvignon Blancs and the drier Fume Blanc (both made with the sauvignon blanc grape). These wines are crisp (serve them well-chilled), and excellent for picnics, porch sipping, and the odd wine and cheese party.


Consider, for example, these choices:

  Hogue Fumé Blanc 1997 ($7). All Hogue wines are terrific values,

and this is the Washington state winery’s trademark. Inexpensive wine doesn’t get much better than this.

— Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc ($9). One of the first inexpensive

varietals to win a gold medal at a major wine competition. The secret has been out on this one for a while; a couple of years ago, it cost $2 less.

— Murphy-Goode Fumé Blanc 1997 ($15). This is a little fancier than

the other two, but still fits in if all you’re having for dinner is a salad and a loaf of bread.