Origin of best QPR Wines
Taken from another discussion ("Have you researched your local 'boutique' wine store?" http://www.chowhound.com/topics/426352 ), what country and/or region do you think produces the best QPR wines (i.e.: the best value for the money)?
For the sake of this discussion, let's try to avoid the plummetting dollar vs. foreign currancies, and just look at the market as it is today.
Clearly much depends upon one's own personal taste preference -- it doesn't matter how mnya people rave about that $$$$ bottle of Shiraz from Antartica -- if I don't like it, it's not a very good wine TO ME, and I'm not going to buy it. Conversely, even if that bottle of Icelandic Pinot Noir is only $1.99, if I don't like the way it tastes, it holds no QPR for me. Be that as it may . . .
While I don't think anyplace on the planet makes better jug wines than California does, I don't think there is anyplace on the planet that offers better QPR than France. Spain and Portugal, along with Italy, come close behind . . . for me.
What about you?
QPR, as all ratios, are tricky.
Let's say for the sake of discussion we use Q = WA rating, P = price.
Then let's say we have two bottles, one with Q=100, P=100, Q/P = 1
The second bottle has a Q=70, P=70, same Q/P=1.
Which one would you choose?
Going back to your question, Jason:
A region with consistently low quality AND low prices could fair pretty well in a Q/P contest versus another region with consistently high quality AND high prices.
In order to make your question more meaningful, some other parameter must be thrown in. Perhaps limit quality and/or price within a certain range?
While I agree that there can be *great* QPR in a bottle that's $10, and in one that is $100 (if it tastes like a $500 bottle!), I reject the notion of using a numerical ration (i.e.: point score) as the guideline. That presumes that we all agree that "x" writer/publication is the arbiter of all things tasty . . . blech!
Furthermore, I strongly disagree with your comment that, "A region with consistently low quality AND low prices could fair pretty well in a Q/P contest versus another region with consistently high quality AND high prices." On the contrary, they would BOTH fair POORLY! The nod, however, would go to the high quality/high price, because -- to coin a phrase -- "quality is Job 1." ;^)
I don't agree with your logic either. Great QPR is really not Q/P but HighestQ/LowestP. Everyone I know is looking for a wine that costs $10 but drinks like it costs $40, not a great $40 wine priced at $40 (though there's nothing wrong with that). I think that's why the wine mags make such a big deal of their "90 Point Wines under XX$" issues. The concept is more value for less money.
For a while now I've seen really good QPR (my definition) coming out of Spain and Argentina, although there are still occasional values in most regions.
Spain - from all over but especially "lesser" regions; garnacha, tempranillo and blends. For my money the most drinkable and interesting sub $15 wines (often under $10) wines out there.
Cotes du Rhone - again, lots of good wines around the $15 and under range.
I agree with France, especially the Loire Valley. Lately I've found some nice values in the Languedoc-Roussillon region too, although that's more of a minefield.
But one of the best $10 wines I ever had was a Romanian "Burgundy" called Vox Populi that drank like a $25 Bourgogne. Haven't had the opportunity to sample other Romanian wines, so I don't know if that's atypical.
For the ultimate "bang for MY buck," I still go to Spain and Portugal, regardless of the $ vs. the Euro (could not find its symbol in my character set... ). I've had better fortune with excellent wines from FR, but at higher price-points. There are some, and problably many that I've miss, as I'm in AZ, that do well at the lower end of the price spectrum, but most of those, that I encounter in London, just do not do it for me. Same for OZ - the cheap ones are, well cheap, and the good ones cost, but are worth the expense in many cases.
I've seen comments on the wines of Chile from the '80s. I never experienced those, but, with one glaring exception, have not found one that I'd actually pay for, and at all price ranges.
South Africa has some good value wines, but one has to be lucky, or know what to buy, to get the values.
I am always surprised, when I find a "value" wine from the US. I love US wines, but from about US$20/btl. up.
After all of that - it's Spain and Portugal.