Substitute wines to enjoy during a "California Wine Mixer" virtual tasting

My curated list of easy-to-purchase, affordable bottles that serve as great substitutes for the wines in In Good Taste's "California Wine Mixer" flight.

Some context

I've been hosting a lot of virtual tastings of In Good Taste's "California Wine Mixer" flight. It's a classic collection of iconic grapes from all over California. But sometimes the wine can't be shipped quickly enough, or doesn't ship to a particular state. So, here's a collection of easy-to-purchase, affordable bottles (under $30 each) that mirror the grapes (and often, styles), of the wines in the California Wine Mixer flight.

(Note: the following post contains affiliate links, so I may make a small % for any purchases made through these links)

California Wine Mixer wines

For those not familiar with the flight, these are the wines:

  1. "La Pluma" Sauvignon Blanc - Central Coast, 2019
  2. "Fortune Favors" Chardonnay - Santa Rita Hills, 2018
  3. "La Pluma" Rosé - Mendocino, Lodi, Solano, High Valley, NV
  4. "Stealing Thunder" Pinot Noir - Central Coast, 2018
  5. "Stealing Thunder" Syrah - Central Coast, 2018
  6. "Balance of Powers" Red Blend - Sonoma County, 2018
  7. "Balance of Powers" Cabernet Sauvignon - Napa Valley, 2017
  8. "Fortune Favors" Paso Robles - Napa Valley, 2018

Easy substitute wines

Here's my list of corresponding similar wines with links, as they ship to most states (and even have an Amazon Prime-esque program called "StewardShip" that will get you free shipping all year long for just $50!)

  1. Justin Sauvignon Blanc 2019 ($14)
  2. Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2017 ($29)
  3. Alexander Valley Vineyards Dry Rose of Sangiovese 2019 ($17)
  4. Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir 2017 ($24)
  5. San Simeon Syrah 2017 ($20)
  6. Angels & Cowboys Red Blend 2017 ($21)
  7. Avalon Napa Cabernet 2017 ($17)
  8. DAOU Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 ($26)

If can't ship to you for some reason you can be a useful tool to find wine locally.

Another tip for doing tastings with full bottles is to use a Coravin. A coravin punctures a very small hole in the top of the cork that wine can be poured our from, without actually opening the bottle (and hence starting the ~5-day shelf life countdown)! I own one and find it to be magical.

Source: Coravin

I hope all the above is helpful to you! 

- Kyle

March 10, 2020
Kyle Weeks
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