Wine by the Dollar

A few weeks ago, Bill Daley profiled Carolyn Evans, author of “Good, Better, Best: A No-Nonsense Guide to Popular Wines” in the Chicago Tribune.  I ripped the piece out, set it aside, and forgot about it – until tonight.

Next week I’m having a few friends over for spring cocktails and so I began the clean up of “the good enough apartment” tonight.  I started with reorganizing the piles of papers and – voila! – treasures like this article found!

In “Good, Better, Best: A No-Nonsense Guide to Popular Wines“, Carolyn Evans helps real people like you and me figure out the best wines to purchase at different price points.  Looking for a good Chardonnay under $10? She suggests Columbia Crest Two Vines ($8).  Or how about an inexpensive Pinot Noir? Mark West Pinot Noir Sonoma County apparently fits the bill. Actually, I can vouch for that one personally – yum!

Good, Better, Best: A No-Nonsense Guide to Popular Wines” will be added to our bar shelf and I suggest you do the same.  In the meantime, check out Carolyn’s Web site here or follow her on Twitter by clicking here.

The Trib article included Carolyn’s Top 10 “Must Try” wines available under $15.  That list includes:


1. Cavit Collection Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie, Italy; $7

2. Columbia Crest Two Vines Chardonnay, Washington; $8

3. Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Riesling, California; $12


4. Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon, California; $22 (for 3-liter box)

5. Gabbiano Chianti, Tuscany, Italy; $9

6. Mark West Pinot Noir, Sonoma County; $10

7. Bogle Petite Sirah, California; $10

8. Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet, South Australia; $11


9. Korbel Brut California Champagne, California; $9


10. Sutter Home Family Vineyards Moscato, California; $6

So, do you have any to add to the list? Share with the rest of us!

Thanks for reading Bright- Yellow!


Earth Week – Time for Trees

Happy Earth Day! In addition to Earth Day today, Friday is Arbor Day – that famous of all tree loving holidays! Get ready to celebrate all that is wonderful about trees! How to celebrate Arbor Day you ask? Easy – plant a tree. If, however, you are like me and don’t really have a yard to plant a tree, there are a few other ways to love trees.

If you live in the Chicago area, you can spend Arbor Day surrounded by lots and lots of trees at the Morton Arboretum. Admission is normally $11 for adults and $8 for kids but on Friday it is FREE!!!! Plus, the weather here on Friday should be gorgeous so head on out to Lisle and hang out with the trees! If you can’t make it all the way out to Lisle, you can also check out the Arboretum’s big tree on Michigan Avenue – not quite the same as being there but it’s an easy way to say “yay trees” when you’re downtown.

Another way to love the trees is to stop cutting them down just so they can become the junk mail that we all hate. Did you know that we get about 41 pounds of junk mail and that junk mail destroys 100 million trees every year? I didn’t and those numbers just disgust me! It’s so easy to remove your name from junk mail lists. I love the site Catalog Choice where you can select catalogs that you no longer want to receive. You can use this site for those catalogs that come to the person who lived at your house before you, too. I also stumbled upon the site Eco-cycle that has a great page about stopping junk mail (that’s the page that is linked to Eco-cycle above) as well as information about other ways to recycle. Eco-cycle also links to where, for a fee of $41 per year, they will take care of removing your name from all of those nasty junk mail lists.

If you can’t do any of this, just smile as you see a tree or two on Friday – and every day!

Remember, please add comments and forward Bright-Yellow to your friends. You can also follow me on Twitter (username jenhp).