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Where to find cheap booze that will still impress your holiday guests

HOUSTON – Whether it’s a party or for house guests or hostess gifts, beer and wine are easy go-to’s, but knowing which bottle or six-pack to pick is not so easy. Consumer expert Amy Davis asked 5 Houston-area retailers to name their 3 best wines under $10 and their best value beers. Use the list try something new or to pick up some inexpensive gifts this holiday season. No one has to know how little you spent.

Wine Under $10

Aldi recommendations

HEB Primo Picks

  • Ochagavia Cabernet Sauvignon $9.99
    • Chilean cabernet. Offers incredible value for your money. Chile has great quality grapes, but the cost of land and labor is much lower in this country, making the price of their wine much more affordable than those of the same quality from California.
  • Joliesse Vineyard Pinot Noir $9.98
    • From a California winery. Joilesse is french for beauty and grace. Light-bodied and elegant, this wine has a cherry flavor and just a little smoke that makes it really complex.
  • Arte Latina Cava $7.98
    • To be legally called “cava” or “champagne,” the wine must be naturally carbonated and aged for nine months in the bottle. This cava gives you a beautiful bubble, complexity and richness that you don’t normally get in a bottle of wine under $10.

Kroger recommendations

Spec’s recommendations

  • Ca’Momi Rosso di Ca’Momi Red Blend: $8.99
    • Founded in California’s Napa Valley in 2006, Ca’Momi is a relatively young winery that has made a big name for itself in the wine world over the decade-plus it has been producing. Its namesake “Rosso di Ca’Momi” is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot and Petite Sirah whose medium-full body and soft tannins offer consumers great versatility when pairing to dishes. Previously awarded 99 points and a Double Gold from the California State Fair.
  • Fernlands Sauvignon Blanc: $9.99
    • Fernlands comes from a producer in Marlborough named Marisco, who in 2011 was named New Zealand Winery of the Year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London. Fernlands is the entry-level wine in the Marisco portfolio and is one of the best values from its category on the market. With vibrant acid, ripe citrus notes and a light body, it’s no wonder why this is one of our best-selling Sauvignon Blancs.
  • Versant Rose: $9.99
    • Much of the world’s great rose wine comes from the South of France, which is where Versant is located. Comprised entirely of Grenache, the Versant Rose is made from fruit that is lightly pressed before fermentation to preserve aromatic intensity, resulting in a refreshing, juicy wine that can be used as an accompaniment or an aperitif.

Total Wine and More recommendations

  • Martin’s Pick Up: $6.99
    • This cabernet is from Australia. It’s nice and smooth. Perfect if you need several bottles for a party or if you’re giving a bottle to a friend.
  • Cloudbreak Chardonnay: $8.99
    • A well-balanced chardonnay from California. Bits of apple, pear and some oak notes. Good for big events. Anyone who likes white wine will like this one.
  • Borassca Cava: $9.99
    • From Spain, this cava is dry in nature, but it has a little fruitiness to it. Perfect for mimosas or for drinking by itself.

Even if you’re not a beer drinker, this curated list of brews will have something you’ll want to try.

Cheap beer that won't disappoint.

Beer Under $10

Aldi recommendations

HEB Picks

  • Strongbow Hard Ciders: $6.99
  • Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing IPA: $8.99
  • Back Pew Brewing Hyper Light: $7.99

Kroger recommendations

  • Saint Arnold Christmas Ale: $7.99
  • Karbach Yule Shoot Your Eye Out: $7.99

Total Wine and More: