Ten-dollar Chardonnays don't usually come this classy, but the 2002 Carneros Reserve from Claudius is an exception. A hint of citrus and French oak on the nose is enhanced by that sexy Chardonnay texture. Ripe, but dry and crisp, the 2002 plays just as well with food as it does as an aperitif. A good little Chardonnay for the price.
-- S. Irene Virbila
Region: Carneros, Calif.
Price: About $10
Style: Bright and snappy
Food it goes with: Grilled salmon or halibut, sauteed fish in sauce, wild mushrooms.
Where you find it: Green Jug in Woodland Hills, (818) 887-9463; L.A. Wine Company in Marina del Rey, (310) 306-9463; Wine Country in Long Beach, (562) 597-8303; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454 or (800) 76-WINEX; and various Bristol Farms markets.