Wine of the Times

Furloughs. Foreclosures. Layoffs. Damn, you need a drink. 

And your champagne tastes are starting to, um, wine about the beer-budget drinks you’ve been sipping. Time to think outside the El Cheapo gallon-size box when it comes to wallet-friendly wines. 

Mavi Escudero and Susan Rojas, owners of the chic little Hawaii Kai bottle shop D’Vine Fine Wine and Spirits, know just what you need. Here, they share their top 5 great wines for $15 or less.

So you can put a cork in your budget worries.

1. Charles Smith House White 2007
This Chardonnay blend is full of beautiful, floral flavors, with citrus, pear and peach notes and a touch of butterscotch. 

2. Charles Smith House Red 2005
A Cabernet blend made to pair with all your red meat dishes. It’s silky with a medium body and smooth finish.

3. Stella Pinot Grigio 2007
Light and refreshing, this is recommended as an aperitif with antipasti, pasta courses and seafood. 

4. Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir 2006
A great everyday wine with aromas of berries, vanilla, and a touch of fennel. An earthiness balances the big strawberry and cherry flavors.

5. Root:1 Carmenere 2007
The rich flavors of plum, blackberry and spice pair perfectly with pasta, vegetable soup, spicy entrees and grilled meats, as well as with ingredients that are difficult to match, such as garlic, bell peppers, fresh herbs and eggplant.

D’Vine Fine Wine and Spirits, Koko Marina Shopping Center, Hawaii Kai, 808.394.5801.