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Good $15-20 red wine suggestions?

I hate drinking poor $10 bottles of wine, and have resolutely decided to move up to the $15-20 range. I still miss sometimes though, and get a not-so-good wine. Does anyone have any suggestions for wines/vintners/wine shops that are good and in my price range? I'm living in Gramercy.

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  1. No doubt, Astor Wines on Lafayette. Alternatively, Discovery Wines on 1st and A. Go on a Saturday and the owner is generally there - he can make excellent individual wine recommendations.

    1. Astor Wines. They always have the best prices and a great selection and I'm generally happy with the recs. They have a a great selection of reds from the Loire, such as Chinon, in the $15-20 range--I think I liked the Chinon Picasses 2002 from Olga Raffault, which was $17. They also have many good Italian and Spanish reds in that price range.

      Also, although they're mostly known for their high-end stuff, I think Sherry-Lehmann has a good selection of French wines in the $15-20 range, especially lesser wines from top domaines. Their web site has extensive wine descriptions of most of theirs wines, so I'll print out a list of several that look good, and then ask a salesperson to help narrow it down.

      1. Hey there,
        I would make the trip to PJ Wines. It's the last stop on the A but $15-20 there might very well get you a remarkable wine. Especially if you're interested in drinking wines from Spain.
        Enjoy!

        Jeremy

        1. If you buy more than, I believe, $75 worth of wine, then there's no need to take that loooong subway trip to PJ Wine. Just call, ask for some suggestion (as I assume that you would, since you're asking around here), and have them deliver for free. Or, you can do everything on their web site, if you know what you want.

          I agree that PJ Wine has good selection of nicely-priced and well-stored wines.

          1. Warehouse Wines & Spirits (Broadway, right near the 8th Street subway) also has tons of stuff (including some back vintages) in that range. Gruff service, but the wine is great.

            Nosher

            NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

            4 Replies
            1. re: Nosher

              but the quality at Warehouse can be spotty! I second the recs for PJ, I LOVE that place (and I love Spanish wine).

              Another thought is Moore Brothers--I haven't gotten over there yet but my friends from Philly swear by it and they tell me that they have lots of carefully chosen, interesting stuff you won't find anywhere else, even in the $15-20 range. Europe only, I think. http://www.wineaccess.com/splash/moor...

              1. re: kenito799

                I've only ever had issues with Warehouse's restocking policy. Never any quality problems though. What kinds of spotty quality have you experienced there?

                Nosher

                NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

                1. re: Nosher

                  Well, you have to be selective with their cheap stuff, a lot of it is just cheap and mediocre. Of course a lot is cheap and great QPR--you just have to be careful and not grab just anything. The guys in there are fairly helpful in steering you to decent stuff.

                  Two quality issues I had were just old wines--a Provençal rosé I picked up was way too old and no good anymore...yes it was a 2002 so I should have known better. The same with a Delas Cotes du Rhone 2000 which peaked 3 years ago and is still on the shelf. But you shouldn't have to sift through stuff than isn't drinking well anymore, the store should have some responsibility to clear out old inventory. That's not to say that over the hill, poorly stored jerez fino and sake aren't pretty much the norm in wine stores all over this town, there's a lot of caveat emptor, but the best wine shops take that guesswork out of the equation.

                  1. re: kenito799

                    Gotcha. I agree with you about the guys there, too. With back vintages (esp. pre-2000), I always ask about the wine to avoid exactly the problem you describe.

                    That said, I have a good friend who had good luck returning a moribund bottle of Bordeaux to them.

                    Thanks for the reply, kenito, btw.

                    Nosher

                    NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com