Monday is quickly becoming my wine review day. I like lumping all of these together on one day with a “recommended – or not” style rating.

I have two whites and a red for consideration at $14, $16 and $29.

E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc – I have been experimenting with Cotes du Rhone region whites and continue to find the wines just delightful alternatives to Sauvignon Blanc (I’m a big fan!) and Chardonnay (I’m not!)

The 2009 Guigal white is 60 percent Viognier, so you get all the lovely floral notes, with several other lesser-know Rhone white grapes. The strong floral characteristics would allow the adventerous cook to try something crazy like pair this wine with spicy food. (E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc, $12-$14, Recommended)

Thierry Germain Soliterre Samur – This 2006 Chenin Blanc just rocks! The wine is Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley in France. I got a deal on this wine and bought four bottles. It retails normally around $17.

The Chenin Blanc has really nice acidity with mineral, lime, pear, and floral notes. This is a wine that is better not chilled as much as you might other whites. I think the acidity and flavor profile of the wine would work nicely with rich or fatty foods.

One of the great glasses of wine I had in Italy – of all places – was a Vouvray. That’s also a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. That was a 1997 bottle I tasted in very early 2010. I put one bottle of the Samur in wine storage at home and decided to keep that one a few years to see how it ages!(Thierry Germain Soliterre Samur, $16,95 Highly Recommended!)

Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah – The 50-50 blend of 2007 Cab and Syrah is a big glass of beautiful wine. You get the big plum of Syrah in a full bodied wine. I picked up hints of vanilla. I’d call the mouth feel on this big Paso red ‘plush.’ The marriage is a perfect blend of the Cab characteristics with the juicy fruit of a Syrah.

Eberle, the first to plant Syrah in the Californa Central coast region, is a Paso Robles icon. This wine won Best of Class at the New World International Wine Competition, Double Gold at the Lodi International Wine Awards, and a “best buy” designation, along with 90 points, from Wine & Spirits. (Eberle 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah, $29, Highly Recommended.)

Send comment or questions to: