I have long been an advocate for chenin blanc. It’s a welcome alternative to chardonnay, it grows almost anywhere that wine is produced, and it can be used to make exceptional cheap wine.

Which is one of the reasons for being for Vinum Cellars, which makes the CNW (about $10, available at Central Market, purchased) – or Chard-No-Way (CNW, get it?). It’s one of several quality, inexpensive wines the winery makes, using lesser known grapes from lesser known parts of California.

How much did I like this? After the first couple of sips, I knew it was $10 Hall of Fame quality and I was planning to buy more. It’s everything that a $10 chenin should be – dry and crisp, but not overly fruity. Look for a bit of lemon and lime. Would that Texas winemakers did this sort of wine. Drink the CNW chilled on its own or with almost anything that isn’t big red meat. Highly recommended.