Dan Adams, Owner of Grapes to Wine, Shares His Favorite Wines for All Occasions

When it comes to enjoying a nice glass of wine, there are many options—both expensive and moderately priced. Dan Adams, owner of Grapes to Wine in Bartonville, shares with us his top preferences for white and red varieties—both splurge-worthy and budget-friendly.

“It’s no longer written law that you must drink white wine with white foods or red wine with red meat,” he says. “You drink what you like.”

As for white wines, Dan says chardonnay is a popular choice. He says domestic chardonnays vary each year.

“Chardonnay right now in America tends to swing from year to year from oaky to non-oaky.”

He recommends those who prefer a lighter taste try an un-oaked variety. Other good options for white wine enthusiasts include pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc.  

Though there are several moderately priced options for red wines, Dan says individuals tend to splurge more on red wine.

“It’s a personal perceived value,” he says. “People’s palates have really changed a lot to where they are willing to pay a little bit more for wine.”

Dan says cabernet sauvignon, with its “big, bold flavors” is a popular choice. Other popular red varieties include pinot noir and Bordeaux, which are lighter and smoother.

“We call it the entry-level red wine,” Dan says.

Grapes to Wine has many options for tasting, including eight varieties on tap. For those who are unsure of which wine to try first, Dan says, “If you come in here and spend a little time talking to me, I will find a wine you absolutely love.”

For more information about Grapes to Wine, visit GrapesToWine.net.

Red Wines

Splurge: Sleeping Giant Cabernet Sauvignon, $110

This 100 percent cabernet from Dearden Wines of Napa Valley is a classic cabernet.

“It’s your typical cabernet with big, bold flavors,” Dan says.

Moderately Priced: Raymond Vineyard’s Sommelier Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, $27

This smoother, milder cabernet was crafted by a group of respected sommeliers from the finest restaurants, including the Gaylord Texan’s own Anthony Martinez.  


Splurge: Hestan Vineyards Stephanie, $100

Named after Hestan owners Stanley and Helen Cheng’s only daughter, Stephanie Red Blend is a blend of five classic red Bordeaux grapes grown at Hestan Vineyards in Napa Valley. Tasting notes include layers of blackberry, blueberry, coffee and clove with dusty tannins. It has a long and structured finish.

Moderately Priced: Chateau du Cayrou, Cahors, France, $23
This Bordeaux is a blend of malbec and merlot. It has bold and structured flavors.


Splurge: Revana Vineyard Alexana Pinot Noir, $80

This smooth red is elegant, light, perfumed and exceptionally balanced.

Moderately Priced: Left Coast Cellars Cali’s Cuvée Pinot Noir, $28

Named after the winemakers’ left-handed daughter, Cali, this supple pinot noir includes notes of ripe plum and cherry mixed with floral and spice.


White Wines

Splurge: Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Chardonnay, $60

Fermented and aged 10 months in French oak, this classically styled chardonnay has notes of Fuji apple, honeydew melon and a hint of cashew nut.

Moderately Priced: Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay, $23

This Sonoma County chardonnay has aromas of lemon, green apple, caramel and toasty oak. It has a long, crisp finish.


Splurge: Jermann Pinot Grigio, $41

This Italian pinot grigio has an intense, full and fruity aroma. It is dry, velvety and full-bodied.

Moderately Priced: Scarpetta Pinot Grigio, $21

This Italian pinot grigio is crisp and dry with notes of stone fruits, lavender, honey, pear and white flowers.


Splurge: Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, $33 

This medium-bodied sauvignon blanc from New Zealand has an elegant palate with ripe stone fruit and lemongrass.

Moderately Priced: R Collection by Raymond Lot No. 4 Sauvignon Blanc,  $24

This Napa Valley sauvignon blanc is crisp with bright aromas of citrus and white peach followed by notes of tropical fruits, green apple and lime.