Vino File: Take a sip up

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

It's a free pass to splurge.

Plenty of wine prices have dropped recently, as wholesalers are reducing prices in an attempt to move merchandise during a slagging economy.

Regular customers have been getting a surprise when they get to the register at Chateau Wine & Spirits, said assistant general manager Chris Brown.

"They're like, 'Are you kidding? Are you sure? Did you charge me for all the bottles?' " Brown said. The Polaris Parkway store formerly known as Corner's Beverages changed names - but nothing else - two weeks ago.

Even if your normal bottle isn't on sale, consider this the chance to dabble in something you might've skipped over before, Brown suggested. Below, find some of his favorites, all down from $3 to $10 for at least the next two weeks. -Brittany Kress

Parson's Flat shiraz-cabernet (2004)

Region: Australia

On sale for: $30

Flavors: Strong jammy flavors and smoky cocoa notes

Pairs well with: Grilled ribeye or filet

Chris Brown's advice: "Australia's had some issues with quality lately. There are some wines that still shine - like this one - but they're having to mark their wines down, because they're just not popular right now."

Louis M. Martini cabernet sauvignon (2006)

Region: Sonoma County, California

On sale for: $14

Flavors: Red cherry and blackberry with a hint of herbs and sage

Pairs well with: Pork or beef dishes, hearty cheeses

Chris Brown's advice: "If I don't believe it's good, it doesn't come in [to be sold]. This is a good bottle of wine."

St. Francis Winery Red (2005)

Region: Sonoma County, California

Cost: $10

Flavors: A full-of-berries blend of merlot, syrah, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon

Pairs well with: Grilled or charred pork or beef, anything with barbecue sauce

Chris Brown's advice: "It [usually] runs $12.99 to $14.99, and right now is a good deal. It's a kitchen-sink kind of wine."