Thanks for the recommendations. I was on a Chardonnay kick for awhile, then I switched to red. Here is what I've tried if anyone is interested..
-Green Barn Organic Chardonnay, 2010. Paid $9.99 at Trader Joes. A decent Chardonnay, but for me I like my flavors bold, and this one didn't cut it. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the superb Mezzacorona Chard we carry at the restaurant. Won't buy again.
-Kirkland brand (yes, that's Costco's house brand!) Chardonnay, 2010. $7.99. I liked this one better than the former. If memory serves me right, the apple really came through on this one. Would definitely try it again.
-Honey Bunch Chardonnay, 2010. $7.99 at Trader Joes. Wow, this one was different! Strong vanilla notes overpowering the classic apple/butter/oak chardonnay. At first I didn't like it at all, but I warmed up to it with the second glass. Might give it a second try.
-Apothic Red, 2010. $11.99 (on sale) at Meijers. I'm slightly ashamed to admit that I bought this (mostly) because of the pretty bottle! But it turned out to be a great buy. Subtle vanilla and mocha notes make this a real treat...WITHOUT being sugary sweet (I really don'tcare for sweet wines.) I can see this going really well with a burger and caramelized onions and mushrooms on top.. Can you tell I'm hungry?! :-P
-Cupcake Red Velvet blend, 2010. $9.99 at WalMart. Probably the most disappointing buy yet. :-( I tried it because the label description sounded a lot like Apothic Red, plus our friends who turned us on to this whole wine adventure had good things to say about Cupcake. I found it 'cloying', way too heavy on blackberry and lacking body.
Next I think I want to try this bottle of French Pinot Noir I've been eyeing at Sam's.