2006 Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
Before your carbonara hits the table, uncork this robust, surprisingly complex Abruzzese red and keep it flowing. ($9)

2008 Iche Vin de Pays de l'Hérault les Hérétiques
An essential dinner-with-friends option, this blend of Carignan and Syrah shines when paired with anything grilled. ($10)

2008 Benaza Godello Monterrei
Pour this vibrant Galician white with salty pre-meal snacks—it will upstage any Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc you've tried. ($13)

2008 Hofer Lanowein Zweigelt
No need for a corkscrew. Just pop the cap on this liter of peppery, crowd-pleasing Austrian red and have at it. ($12)

2008 Terres Dorées Beaujolais Blanc Chardonnay
When you need an all-evening white, opt for this French wine, which balances fruity lushness and bracing minerality. ($15)

2008 Gravillas Vin de Pays des Côtes de Brian Sous les Cailloux des Grillons
This rustic blend of seven red grapes is food-friendly without being submissive—and the bottles look great lined up by the dozen. ($13)

The Advanced Wine-Buying Guide
Five Impressive Wines for Under $25
The First-Date Guide to Ordering Wine