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The Skinny Italian tweeted about "Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship"!

@Teresa_Giudice said: “Love love love Cathie Beck. Her memoir @Cheapcabernet comes out today. Go get it! xx http: //amzn.to/aB77zW ”

Deepak tweeted that he put "Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship" on his reading list!

Thank you oh so much Teresa and Deepak. Cheap Cabernet hit the shelves yesterday (July 20) and I’m sure there will be more than a few celebratory toasts.

Over the years, I've built a list of wines I think are special. To be special and make the list, they must be affordable, very drinkable and easily found. Those wines that make my list often have nostalgia attached to them. Like dining in New Orleans at a bistro in the 1980s and having the bartend simply open – without asking – an Estancia Cabernet. It was heaven and it's made the list for life. (Any year will do.)

Or the 2007 Melini Chiantic Classico found at an old-school Italian restaurant in north Denver (Patsy's), where the antipasti is as surprising and sensuous as this quiet little Italian treasure of a wine.

The point is that one's list is intimate, a sort of wine diary, if you will. Some hold their lists close to their chests. I like to pull mine out and stealthily add to it, like putting money in the bank – and then turn my friends on to the discoveries I've made – with the hope they'll do the same.

So here's a few selections from my own personal ongoing Friendship & Wine List. These are wines I keep on hand and encourage my friends to try. These are the wines I take to a dinner parties (and serve at dinner parties) and wrap bows around for gifts – because it's so enjoyable to watch others' enjoyment of same.

Share your list. If you're feeling reckless, create a blog or a Facebook Shared Wine Cellar Fan Page – put it out there for the world to share because, as the saying goes: The time to make friends is before you need them. (Proverb)

From Cathie Beck's "Personal Faves Wine List"

  • 2007 Melini Chianti Classico
  • 2007 Las Rocas Garnacha
  • Estancia Cabernet or Pinot Noir, any year
  • Chateau St. Jean Pinot Noir, any year
  • 2008 Francis Coppola Pinot Noir
  • 2007 Juan Gil Jumilla
  • 2005 Muga Reserva Unfiltered Rioja
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