Here's a case -- a baker's dozen, actually (consider it a case discount) -- of under-$15 bottles that prove it's still fun to love wine in hard times. All of these are exceptional values.
(All Good Values)
Domaine de Bernier Chardonnay 2007
Loire Valley, France, $10
Don't drink this one too cold: It's lean and crisp, with apple, pear and quince flavors that open as it warms. A budget Chablis.
Bacchus: in the District at Ace Beverage, Rodman's and Sheffield Wine & Liquor Shoppe; on the list at 1789, Brasserie Beck, Hank's Oyster Bar and Old Ebbitt Grill. Maryland: Rodman's in Wheaton.
Domaine du Tariquet "Cote Tariquet" 2006
Gascony, France, $13
An unusual 50-50 blend of chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, this wine is already showing some age. It is deep golden in color with acacia honey notes and good acidity that keeps it dry despite the sweet flavors that come from late picking. Splurge on foie gras and save money on this wine. Great with Asian foods.
Robert Kacher/Washington Wholesale: in the District at Calvert Woodley, MacArthur Beverages, Pearson's, Schneider's of Capitol Hill, Whole Foods Markets (P Street and Glover Park).
Castelvero Cortese 2007
Piedmont, Italy, $12
This is fresh and lemony, ideal for salty snacks, salads or appetizers. It's an easy one to shrug off on first sip, but it rewards a second taste.
Country Vintner: in the District at Circle Wine & Liquor.
Chereau-Carre Chass' Blanc 2007
Loire Valley, France, $8