Yeah, I know it depends on the recipe. However, I tend to like wines with less fruit... more earthy notes. For instance, I made beef stew this weekend and used Columbia Crest Shiraz... too fruity. However, looking back, a CdR would have been perfect. For Osso Bucco, (and seafood dishes) I like to use Gavi. I try to find wines that cost less than $10, but receive a mid-80 or higher score from WS, RP or ST.
Ditto Board-O's CdR suggestion. Guigal's 2003 is readily available in 375's ($6 or so), which is particularly convenient. For a recent tenderloin in Cabernet sauce, I used a 2002 Grayson Cellar Cab ($12.) For a Boeuf Bourguignonne I used a 2002 Acacia Pinot Noir (just under $20.)
If I open whatever I am drinking with the meal, it tends to be gone by the time I actually get to the meal. For whites, I prefer either Gruner Veltliner, or some inexpensive Chilean Chard that I bought a case of, just for cooking. I strictly adhere to the policy of "never cook with something that you wouldn't drink."
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