By Chef Jeff Hearn Special correspondent,

Chef Jeff (L) Q105’s Mason Dixon (R) (Photo credit:

Some of these wines are my “go to” wines and others are new discoveries. All are available at most well stocked grocers or wine stores around Tampa Bay. Keep a nice selection on hand for impromptu summer gatherings.

If you are confident you have some good wines on hand, the impromptu becomes a more regular event. Take the good juice to a friend’s house and see if you get invited more often!

VILLA MARIA – $15 – $16

Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Private Bin 2011 – good with seafood.

This is a new addition to my list that will help you cool down as the weather warms up. Serve chilled.

KIM CRAWFORD – $13.99 – $18

Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2011 – every vintage is good, serve very cold.

My go-to Sauvignon Blanc. Always highly rated and crowd pleasing. Keep an extra bottle in the fridge or wine cooler.

CHALONE – $23.99 – $25

Chardonnay Chalone 2008 – sip with appetizers or roasted chicken.

The hint of oak does not overpower the melon and citrus notes. At a dinner party you will often drink white wines before reds wines with dinner. Start with the really good stuff , Chalone, while your guest’s palate is fresh.  Later in the night they won’t care what they are drinking. The 2009 is good, too.

BOGLE – $11 – $12

Petite Sirah California 2008 – Great value red wine.

Noted as a Best Value by one of the fancy wine magazines. I discovered this at Moon Under Water in St. Pete. Petite’s are not petite. They are big and flavorful.

Seghesio – $22.99 – $24

Zinfandel Sonoma County 2010 – great with grilled meat and BBQ.

My favorite Seghesio memory: The day after Thanksgiving my brothers and I carried the pre-set dining room table out through double doors to the back porch so our family could enjoy the beautiful weather and some family style BBQ. We had a Seghesio Zin with that evening.

To read Chef Jeff’s restaurant review of St. Petersburg’s Z-Grille click HERE.

Here is a list of some Tampa Bay stores that carry these wines:

Most Sweetbay and Publix supermarkets

Tosti’s Spirits and Fine Wine
5125 34th St S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33711
(727) 867-7772
Bern’s Fine Wines & Spirits
1002 S Howard Ave. Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 250-9463
Top Shelf Liquor Wine & Cigars
915 Lithia Pinecrest Rd, Brandon, FL 33511
(813) 661-1800
Jeff Hearn has been perfecting his cooking skills for than 25 years and is the co-host, with wife Donna, of the syndicated reality cooking show,  “Eat Cheap Drink Rich.”  Take a look at all 26 episodes and join the conversation on

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