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Apr 4, 2007 02:48 PM

Nice Bottle of Wine

Can anyone suggest a nice bottle of wine (red) for under $15.00?

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  1. I don't drink red wine often, but I've become quite fond of the Ladybug Red table wine from Lolonis. Very pleasant and to be had for closer to $12. And, if it matters to you, I realized while examining the bottle the last time I enjoyed a glass that it's an organic wine. Nice!

    1 Reply
    1. re: A.A.

      Agree, about the Ladybug Red. A nice glass of vino.

    2. Can you be any more specific as to the types of wine that you like and dislike?

      Also, you may want to check out this article from Food & Wine about 50 readily-available (big name, large production), reliable wines under $20:

      10 Replies
      1. re: Megiac

        A fan of Cabernet, Malbec, Shiraz, Pinotage. Would love to sample any of these, and others.

        1. re: drewames03

          Your initial question was so broad as to be extremely difficult to answer. Thank you for narrowing it down a bit. The next question I would ask you is where you live, as this, too, makes a significant difference in any recommendations.

          1. re: zin1953

            I live in Boston. I have access to a number of solid liquor stores/wine shops.

            1. re: drewames03

              Given your location, I would look for a wines coming out of the Languedoc-Roussillon area of France, as you will find some very tasty Cabernet-Syrah blends from there. And you can get some really good Cot (Malbec) from the regions of Cahors. I'd also look to Spain and Portugal for some excellent "$15 and under" wines. I sincerely believe that Europe is your best source for wines in this price range. But that's me . . .

              If you are really limiting your search to the four specific varieties you mentioned, I'd look to the Southern Hemisphere. It's really your only choice, for example, for Pinotage. And Malbec really thrives in Argentina, as dinwiddie has mentioned. (FWIW, I agree with his recommendations, too. Look, too, for Altocedro.) Chile has some very good Cabernets on offer (Cousino-Macul, Montes Alpha are but two options). And, of course, Syrah/Shiraz is at home in Australia (Grant Burge, Ross Estate, Tintara, Wirra Wirra, Yalumba, etc.).

              The BEST BET is to ask your local retailer for recommendations.

              1. re: zin1953

                You might also look for a nice Côtes du Rhône. Good choices in the under $15 price range are Paul Autard, Louis Bernard, Paul Jaboulet Aine, and M. Chapoutier.

              2. re: drewames03

                You might also find it useful and entertaining to check out Thor Iverson's oenoLogic blog. Though he travels a lot (his New Zealand wine-travelogues are superb), tends to shy away from the kinds of wines that push Parker's and Wine Spectators' buttons and tastes lots of over-$15 bottles, he's Boston based (used to write the Phoenix wine column) and so can give you an overview of some of what's available locally.


                1. re: carswell

                  AND he a) writes well, and b) has a very good palate.

                  1. re: zin1953

                    "has a very good palate"

                    Isn't that redundant with "tends to shy away from the kinds of wines that push Parker's and Wine Spectator's buttons"? ;o)

                    1. re: carswell

                      Yes but, again, more directed towards the Op than to you directly. ;^)

                2. re: drewames03

                  I'd recommend that you look for and try, The Glen Carlou Grand Classique. It is a well-constructed Bdx. blend from the Paarl Region of SA. When available at the local Costco, it was running US$12.00/btl. I hardly ever find a red at that low a price-point that I truly enjoy, but this was one of the few exceptions. It is best consumed rather young (seems that their releases are about 2.5 years from vintage), as the few bottles that I have cellared for a few years did not do it for me any longer. Not built for the long-haul, but then what <$15 red is?

                  I do not know their US distribution, but only know that the local (AZ) Costcos do not carry it any longer - major bummer!


          2. Here are a couple of thoughts:

            For Cabernet Sauvignon: Ch. Souverain from the Alexander Valley in Sonoma for around $15 or Wild Horse from Paso Robles for $13.99.

            For a blend (Merlot/Cab): Lyeth Meritage at $12.99.

            For a Pinot Noir: Chalone PN (Monterey) at $13.99.

            These wines are all reasonably widely available.

            1. I've never been much of red wine drinker, but I've become very fond of Malbec wines. I don't know if they're all from Argentina, but the ones I've bought are. The color is a gorgeous deep red, full-bodied and fruity. Great with Italian food. They're easy to find under $15.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Pat Hammond

                Malbec has come into its own in Argentina where it is the major grape grown. Malbec used to be more common in France where it was used as a blending grape in Bordeaux, but it has for the most part been torn out there and is no longer used to the extent it once was. There are some very good Malbecs for under $20, notably those from the Mendoza region by Bodega Catena Zapata and Bodega Norton. Even less expensive, and almost as good are some by Altos Las Hormigas and Familia Rutini (Trumpeter).

              2. I was introduced to Castle Rock Pinot Noir (Monterey) at a dinner gathering a couple of weeks ago. Really liked it - stumbled across it at Cost Plus for $10.00 and couldn't believe the price. Immediately bought a case. Should probably have kept this to myself.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cambriahound

                  Castle Rock can be an on or off wine. It is not a winery but rather purchased wines that are bottled under that label. As such it rises and falls with the vintage and what is available in bulk. There are years when it was great, and years when it was plonk. It also depends on where it is from. As you noted, what you had was the Monterey bottling (the 2004 was pretty good) but they also make a Mendocino and Sonoma bottling. In general CA Pinot Noirs under $15 are not very good, adequate but not good. For that price range, you are better off drinking some of the ones from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The ones from CA get a little better once you raise the price to $20, and much, much better at the $35-50 range.