Booze 101: Easy drinking summer wines under $15

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It’s back to school season, and for the staff at Harrisburg-based WebpageFX, that meant a lesson in wine.

We recently partnered with the local internet marketing company for a custom series of events exclusively for their employees.


Class is in with Booze 101, and the first course was on wine. Earlier this month, my dear friend, Level 2 WSET certified connoisseur Lauren Gutshall, joined me to lead the group in a special wine tasting course, where employees tried new-to-them wines, learned the basics of tasting, and were able to ask questions.


Lauren smartly selected wines under $20 (most under $15) to share with the WebpageFX crew, and in our research, we were inspired to share a post on great inexpensive wines for hot weather.

Because we love you, these are all available at most Pennsylvania Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores (and links are included to help you find them). Those that we shared at WebpageFX are marked with the wine glass icon ? as well.

Easy drinking summer wines under $15

by Lauren Gutshall, Level 2 WSET

Summer may be winding down, but that means we’re approaching that time of year when hot days are tempered by pleasant evenings. The following wines easily transition from the last days of summer’s heat to those cool September nights outside. The best part is that they are perfect to share with friends and won’t break the bank.

We were fortunate to share some of these with our new friends at WebpageFX earlier this month. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Here are nine great wines to get you through waning days of summer, the start of the school year, and those late September nights.


2015 Echo Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand – $14.99 ?

I love Sauvignon Blancs from Marlborough, New Zealand, and this one is quickly becoming my go-to. It has bold aromas of gooseberry, tropical pineapple, and citrus fruits like lime and grapefruit. The pleasantly puckering acidity makes me reach for more. It’s perfect for an evening picnic. The best part is that like the vast majority of New Zealand’s wine, this one has a screw cap, so don’t worry if you forget a corkscrew.

2014 Zuccardi Serie A Torrontes, Argentina – $13.99

Torrontes is Argentina’s signature white wine. It’s more floral than the Sauvignon Blanc and is known for aromas of white flowers, white peach, lemon, and orange blossoms. This wine maintains acidity that is balanced by the full floral and tropical flavors. It’s for wine drinkers who look for something just slightly out of the ordinary.

2015 Carl Reh Piesporter Riesling Spatlese, Germany – $12.99 $10.99 ?

The sweetest of the white wines, this German Riesling has complex notes of stone and tropical fruits – ripe peaches, fresh apricot, a little bit of pineapple, and honeysuckle. Riesling tends to be low in alcohol and high in acid, but in this case, the acidity is balanced by the wine’s natural sweetness. That natural balance of acidity and sweetness is great for a crowd of people who have varying tastes.


2015 Clair Diamont Cotes de Provence, France – $12.99 ?

The Cotes de Provence wine is the lightest and most nuanced of the rosés (possibly of all of the wines on this list). As is typical of rosés from Provence, it’s bone-dry and complex, with aromas of both red berries and melon. A blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah, this wine has lovely subtle flavors. Chairman’s Selection.

2015 Chateau La Variere Cabernet d’Anjou, France – $11.99

This semi-dry rosé from the Loire Valley in France is made with the Cabernet Franc grape. Unlike the dry rosé from Provence, this wine has more wild fruit characteristics of red berries, cherry, and bramble that are balanced with a hint of spice and a little bit of residual sugar.

2015 Rustenberg Petit Verdot Rosé, South Africa – $13.99

While French rosés are common and America still loves its White Zinfandel, blush wines are made all over the world. This next rosé, made using Petit Verdot, comes from the Stellenbosch District of South Africa. It’s the biggest of the rosés, marked with full flavored strawberries, cranberries, and red cherries, but finishes dry.


2011 Vina Real Reserva Rioja, Spain – $14.99

The refreshing nature of whites and rosés make them typical summer quaffs, but that doesn’t mean we should eschew reds entirely. The Vina Real Reserva from Rioja, Spain, is dominated by the Tempranillo grape and is aged for two years in American and French oak. It has cherry and cooked fruit aromas, but has lovely round tannins that make it easy to drink on late summer nights. Chairman’s Selection.

2015 Quinta de Aveleda Follies Touriga Nacional & Cabernet Sauvignon, Portugal – $13.99

This Portuguese wine is a blend of 70% Touriga Nacional, Portugal’s most common indigenous red grape varietal, and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a little darker, heavier, and richer that the Spanish Rioja; its rich berry flavors are balanced by vanilla and spice notes that come from being aged in French oak for 12 months.

2013 3 Rings Shiraz, Australia – $14.99 ?

Our last wine also happens to the one we finished with during our WebpageFX tasting. The 3 Rings Shiraz from the Barossa Valley is the boldest of the reds. It has a big fruity nose of blueberry, dark cherry, black plum and dark chocolate. This wine has also been aged in French oak, so there are leather, tobacco, and earth notes. It’s for wine drinkers who love big, expressive reds.



If you’d like to book a custom event for your company, contact me!

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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