Cheap Wine That Doesn't Suck
Cheap pinot noir that actually tastes like pinot noir is ever rarer than that, as it's a finicky, difficult, high-maintenance grape, the enological equivalent of Lindsay Lohan.
So when you run across a pinot noir with the smoky, earthy, tart raspberry fruit nuances of... you know, pinot noir, and it costs a rather amazing $6.99, well, you gotta give a big shoutout to the 2008 Maurel Vedeau Saveurs Veritables. Given its vintage, it's a pretty young wine, certainly drinkable now but worth laying down for a year or so to give it time to mellow.
If I were grilling a couple of fillets of salmon, roasting a chicken, sautéeing some veal medallions, or whipping up a bowl of fettucine al pesto, I'd pop a bottle of this and be pretty damned happy.