Here, wine experts reveal their favorite bottles costing less than $17. Many of the selections are lesser known but absolutely worth the search.
Who: Matt Kaplan, general manager at Juniper.
What: 2013 Cooper Mountain Vineyards Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Why: “I discovered this really refreshing, tasty and inexpensive white when my brother-in-law and I took a trip to the Willamette Valley area in Oregon. After visiting several estates, our last stop was Cooper Mountain Vineyards where we met with vintner Gilles de Domingo, a down-to-earth guy who’s open to talking about the grittier, not-so-glamorous parts of winemaking. Gilles makes a tremendous effort to run a biodynamic vineyard, finding more organic, typically less-industrialized ways to tend to his land and facilities. He was proud to show us little details like the tanks’ musty smell produced by yeasts that were happily, naturally fermenting in the wine. After a day of traveling to high-end, established wineries, it was refreshing to hear Gilles explain his small-batch, unconventional practices. Cooper Mountain sells a higher- and a lower-end label. I admitted to Gilles that I actually prefer the lower-end bottles!”