HOME > Chowhound > Wine >

Dirt Cheap but good wines

l
luckycat Jun 26, 2008 08:43 AM

Hey all -

I am looking for a group of really cheap wines (is $6 an under possible) for large party. We are going to have a lot of it and need to keep costs down. Any advice on this is really welcomed.

Thanks so much.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. SteveTimko RE: luckycat Jun 26, 2008 10:54 AM

    $6 is a pretty tough price point for wines that aren't on close out.
    In the $8 price range, for reds try Panarroz Jumilla or Di Majo Norante.
    For whites, there's 1 liter bottles of Terry Thiese-imported gruner veltliner for about $10 or so.
    If those are too much, forget the pretension of fine wine bottles and look for a really good jug or box wine.

    1. MMRuth RE: luckycat Jun 26, 2008 11:00 AM

      My sister served a $3 Pinot Grigio from Walmart at her birthday last weekend - can't remember the name off hand, but it wasn't horrible, when very well chilled.

      1. danna RE: luckycat Jun 26, 2008 11:07 AM

        Cristalino (sp?) Cava is pretty good and Whole Foods has it for 7.99. You get 10% off if you buy 6 or more. Whole Foods had a Chardonnay from Argentina called Valley Shade ( I think) for $3.99 that was perfectly drinkable. More recently, they added a Chilean Chard to their by-the-register collection of cheap wine, but it was not nearly as good (I wouldn't drink it)

        A friend of mine goes to Aldi's, the grocery outlet. He says they buy excess from wineries that don't want to diminish their brands. He says the quality is variable, but you can buy one, pop it in the parking lot, and decide whether you want to stock your party with it or not. This is second hand, can't really vouch for the idea.

        2 Replies
        1. re: danna
          westsidegal RE: danna May 10, 2010 08:58 PM

          i've had pretty good sucess using your friend's system:
          buying one, trying it the same afternoon, and going back within hours to get more if it turns out to be good.

          1. re: westsidegal
            ChristinaMason RE: westsidegal Oct 3, 2010 08:52 AM

            This is true. Torres winery, for one, sells to Aldi.

        2. w
          whiner RE: luckycat Jun 26, 2008 11:09 AM

          @ $7.99 from World Market I like the '06 Garnacha del Fuego...

          I haven't had it recently, but I always liked the Bodegas Nekas Vega Sindoa Rose, which should be comfortably under $10.

          1. monkuboy RE: luckycat Jun 26, 2008 12:14 PM

            If there is a Costco near you, go check them out. They have a few selections in your price category that would be decent. Nothing great, but drinkable, though. For example they carry the Smoking Loon brand that is under $6 and not bad.

            1. ChefJune RE: luckycat Jun 26, 2008 01:15 PM

              The Bandit line of wines sells for $8 per LITER in New York. Not great, but definitely better than many wines that cost more....

              1. mrsfury RE: luckycat Jun 26, 2008 01:28 PM

                I don't know where you are, but I can get a case of Yellowtail Chardonnay for $58.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mrsfury
                  w
                  wineman3 RE: mrsfury May 17, 2010 10:12 PM

                  Yellow tail sucks for the price

                2. washingtonred RE: luckycat Jun 27, 2008 10:15 AM

                  Candido Salice Salentino is a favorite cheap go-to for me! Usually found in the $7-8 dollar range.

                  1. o
                    olasek RE: luckycat Jun 27, 2008 12:29 PM

                    be careful with "dirt cheap" wines. Often they turned up so bad I dumped them to the toilet. If you can't afford a reasonably priced wine offer your guest mineral water.

                    1. njfoodies RE: luckycat Jun 27, 2008 12:56 PM

                      NV Novella Chardonnay Estate (review cut and pasted from our BLOG:

                      This wine was an absolute shocker! Purchased at the Trader Joe's in Alexandria last year when I was on my way back to Fort Lee - VA for lab school, I stopped at a Trader Joe because I knew that they sold alcohol, and wanted to try the "Two Buck Chuck" so we could see if it was just as though people had said. I saw this wine there as well and picked it up as I thought it would be a good cooking wine. Since then, it has been sitting in our basement for over a year, and I grabbed it because "Zelda" needed something to put in the Indian dish she was cooking...which was delicious by the way.

                      After she used what she needed for cooking, she threw the bottle in the freezer to chill, and we figured we would at least try the wine with dinner "on the bistro." Needless to say, this wine did not disappoint, and it was a tasty $6 shocker!

                      This was a fruit salad on the nose, with hints of peaches, green apple, and lemon and lime on the nose. On the palate, the first thing you notice is the fresh churned creamy butter texture! This is delicious, and an incredible QPR to boot. Lots of kiwi, mango, grapefruit, and lemon on the plate, with a very gentle acidity, and a very smooth finish giving off more citrus tones as it mellow in your mouth. All in all, an incredible QPR, worthy of 87 points! Cheers

                      17 Replies
                      1. re: njfoodies
                        familyof3 RE: njfoodies Jun 27, 2008 09:11 PM

                        Barefoot isn't half bad for $6.

                        1. re: familyof3
                          l
                          luckycat RE: familyof3 Jun 28, 2008 04:58 AM

                          Thanks for all of this and, yes, there have been some surprises in this category. BJ's liquor store has a handful of wines in the $6 a bottle range, including Long Flat Red & White, which are nice and drinkable, if not earning a 97 in Wine Spectator. Lindeman's Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc was recently on offer for $6 a bottle and the Trader Joe's thing is a pretty fair deal. Interestingly, there are several nicely drinkable wines in boxes available. Well, there are 2 or 3, including Black Box and Hardy's. I like Black Box much better, by the way.

                          There's also Bancroft Station, as has been mentioned on these boards. I don't like it as their Sauv Blanc is usually too acidic for my tastes. Or it may just taste poorly, really.

                          We're looking for nice table wine for a party. Anything that you might add to the list would be great.

                          We're looking for good wines at a good price for a fun party.

                          And yes, we will be starting off with some more expensive wines and are more likely to spend $8-10 a bottle, not Rhine Wine on Tap, but there are definitely some cheap hidden gems out there.

                          1. re: luckycat
                            s
                            stephanieh RE: luckycat Jun 28, 2008 09:28 AM

                            What are you serving? My hubby and I have made it a "game" over the years to only buy wines under $10. We've found some good ones, and I've kind of kept a list of them, when I remember to write them down. Price has almost nothing to do with quality. Sure, we've had some we wouldn't buy again, but it's surprisingly easy to find good wines for $10 or less.

                            1. re: stephanieh
                              o
                              olasek RE: stephanieh Jun 28, 2008 03:38 PM

                              >> Price has almost nothing to do with quality

                              I beg to differ with this.
                              Price is not a guarantor of quality but is a good indicator - I am probably 20 times more likely to find wines that pass my own threshold of drinkability when I shop in the $15-30 range than in below $10 range. It all amounts to where is your threshold and what you consider "good". I would love to keepy buying bottles for less than $10 but I have given this up long time ago - in 95% of cases I was so very disappointed and felt it was all wasted money.

                              1. re: olasek
                                s
                                stephanieh RE: olasek Jun 29, 2008 10:37 PM

                                You know what, I'll re-phrase that a little. Price has almost nothing to do with how good the wine tastes. And, I did say "almost". There are quite a few factors that affect the price of wine. Region is the biggest. Certainly a winemaker's reputation, a good score, the age of the wine, and weather conditions and crop size in a given year, plus wine "trends". So, yeah, a wine that gets a good score will be priced higher. And that often means it tastes better, but there are so many wines that taste good that go under the radar. Think of how many wines are produced each year. You probably do need to pay more for some particular wines, like French wines, for example. And I haven't found a good Pinot Noir for less than $10 (but it's not my favorite grape anyway).

                                We're not cheap people. We pay more when there's a reason to. Hubby just spent almost $200 on a 40 year old scotch. (I'm not a scotch drinker, but there was a difference, and it was worth it for him, albeit he's not turning it into what we'd call his "every day scotch".) I've just not found that same price/taste connection with wines.

                                It kind of sucks that you can't enjoy the $10 wines. You get so much more that way! Are you absolutely sure that it's not a psychological thing? We had a $75 bottle of cabernet that my brother raved about. I tried like heck to make that taste like $75... held it in my mouth longer, savored it. It was above average. But, no matter how much I wanted to experience something like wine nirvana, it didn't even make my top five, flavorwise. I guess I'm more likely to be critical of an expensive bottle, holding it to a higher standard. Whereas there have been studies that show that others, when told a bottle is more expensive, report they enjoy the wine more.

                                Sometimes I read CHs reviews of restaurants on these boards and they're so critical, I wonder if they ever get to really enjoy food. If somehow that means that my palate isn't quite as refined as others, then thank god for that. I'm the one that's enjoyed a whole lotta $10 wine and good cheap food.

                                1. re: stephanieh
                                  o
                                  olasek RE: stephanieh Jun 30, 2008 12:00 AM

                                  >> Are you absolutely sure that it's not a psychological thing?

                                  I assure you it is not, and it applies to other wine connoisseurs (pardon for counting myself in this group) too, not just me. Maybe you should really check prices on bottles your brother is feeding you .. ;)

                                  1. re: olasek
                                    s
                                    stephanieh RE: olasek Jun 30, 2008 12:43 AM

                                    You said you find wines that pass your threshold in the $15-$30 range. Do you find that $30 wines are exactly twice as good as $15 wines?

                                    I'm not trying to argue. I just want the OP to feel comfortable serving less expensive wine and just have a good time at his/her party. It's a party for goodness sake. With wine. They're going to eat, drink and be merry. I personally think Luckycat can have a success with wines in the $6 range, or a little higher. You said 95% percent of the cheaper wines you bought were a disappointment. Maybe you could recommend the 5% that weren't a disappointment, and we'd all benefit from your experience.

                                    1. re: stephanieh
                                      o
                                      olasek RE: stephanieh Jun 30, 2008 06:50 PM

                                      >> You said you find wines that pass your threshold in the $15-$30 range. Do you find that $30 wines are exactly twice as good as $15 wines?

                                      And do you find a $50,000 car twice as good as $25,000 one? Or do you find a $100 hotel room twice as good as $50 one? Or do you find a $9.00/lb New York steak 50% better than a $6.00/lb tri-tip? Such questions make little sense.

                                      >> Maybe you could recommend the 5% that weren't a disappointment, and we'd all benefit from your experience.

                                      You must know that it is impossibility. Such wines are gone very quickly, availability of wines is very dependent on what local merchants carry. Also you must excuse me but I stopped buying wines in your price range long time ago and you should see why - I was losing too much $$ on mediocre or poor wines so occasional good wines I came across were simply not worth all the $$ I lost in between. My life is too short, I am limited by how much alcohol I can consume daily therefore I decided I have no time, monies or room in my stomach to conduct experiments with cheap wines in vein hope I will come across a real gem.

                                      1. re: olasek
                                        b
                                        BN1 RE: olasek Jun 30, 2008 07:19 PM

                                        I’m no connoisseur, just a wine drinker, but my wine drinking experience is the same as olasek’s. There are some outstanding wines in the $15-$30 range. With red wine at anything below $12, you really need to know about that particular wine. I’ve gotten close-outs at wineries in the $8.50 range that I still really enjoy, but that was from tasting. I have a special wine shop that sometimes puts me onto some real deals at the low end. There is a sea of wine below $15 that I find undrinkable and some that are drinkable but boring; it’s a minefield.

                                    2. re: olasek
                                      jkgourmet RE: olasek Apr 22, 2010 02:40 PM

                                      I know this is an old thread, but I had just read this article the other day and just HAD to add it for Olasek's benefit.

                                      http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pi...

                                    3. re: stephanieh
                                      Foodandwine RE: stephanieh Jul 4, 2008 09:08 AM

                                      taste and value are subjective. why not answer the OP's question and not argue your point. In the $6 range I would personally look for ads from local wine shops that have lower price points. Ask them, buy a bottle or two do a quick recon on your own and make a decision. There is nothing wrong in that price point that with a little research will bring the wine to you party at the price you will enjoy.. and taste that you enjoy as well..

                                      1. re: Foodandwine
                                        s
                                        stephanieh RE: Foodandwine Jul 4, 2008 12:27 PM

                                        I did answer the OP's question. See below.

                                      2. re: stephanieh
                                        k
                                        Kinnexa RE: stephanieh Jul 20, 2008 11:49 AM

                                        You said it, stephanieh! I think I'd be awfully depressed if I had a 'refined' palate. There are cheap wines I don't enjoy, usually the absolute bottom-of-the barrel stuff, but I've been known to relax with a bottle of no-vintage Golden Gate cab ($2.99 at the supermarket) and be perfectly content. Mind you, if I've got the coin I'd rather "splurge" --some nice supermarket treats I've had recently include Sebeka shiraz and P.K.N.T. carmenere, and I'd never turn down a bottle of Bolla Valpolicella, all under $10. I'd love to find a wine shop where I could try some slightly more 'upscale' or at least different wines for my buck, but yes, I'm intimidated! I can hear the Chowhounds' laughter and sneers as I type...but I'm happy with my plonk. And isn't that what it's really all about?

                                        1. re: Kinnexa
                                          s
                                          stephanieh RE: Kinnexa Jul 24, 2008 12:28 PM

                                          Kinnexa, I love carmenere, and haven't heard of P.K.N.T. I'm making it my mission to try to find that here. We're pretty lucky in Austin. We have a few liquor "superstores" (a local chain) that make it easy to be cheap and happy without having to deal with potential wine-snobbery. However, when we've gone into other wine shops, we've found the staff to be pretty un-condescending (I just made up that word) and respectful of our price range. Then, we've also gone completely incognito buying online at wine.com. No sneers there. Not even that raised eyebrow look.

                                          1. re: stephanieh
                                            k
                                            Kinnexa RE: stephanieh Aug 10, 2008 12:07 PM

                                            Re: P.K.N.T.: look for the looong chili pepper on the bottle. CheapWineRatings.com turned me on to this one! $6.99 at my supermarket.

                                            I think I'll explore BJ's and what passes for 'wine shops' here in central Maine. Online buying is, unfortunately, a no-no according to Maine law, which also prevented me from buying two bottles of cheap Muscato at Wal-Mart after work one night--no booze sales between 1 am and 6 am, and until 9 am on Sundays! I guess they want us to get it at communion first. ;)

                                            Anyway, thanks for reminding me not to accept intimidation! I may have strange tastes in wine, but my money's as green as the next snob.

                                2. re: familyof3
                                  w
                                  wineman3 RE: familyof3 May 17, 2010 10:13 PM

                                  Will never drink this either full stop

                                3. re: njfoodies
                                  katiei RE: njfoodies Jul 10, 2008 01:19 PM

                                  Agree with njfoodies about Novella-- my husband and I tried and really liked that one. If you don't have Trader Joe's nearby, we found a Chard called Sebeka (~$7-$8) from our local grocery store (Publix) that we love, love, LOVE. For a really tasty, really cheap Cabernet, you can't beat Two Buck Chuck (Trader Joe's).

                                4. f
                                  fern RE: luckycat Jun 28, 2008 09:46 AM

                                  This is Master Sommelier Alpana Singh's list of summer favorites. There's an $7 white and a $9 red.
                                  Also, we have enjoyed a Prosecco from Trader Joe's that was around 7 or 8.
                                  Definitely ask any store if they offer a discount on cases. Many do and it could get you just where you want to be price-wise.
                                  Good luck!


                                  SPARKLING
                                  -Gruet Blanc de Noirs - New Mexico $13

                                  WHITE
                                  -Aveleda Vinho Verde - Portugal $7
                                  -Ruffino Orvieto Classico Abbocato - Italy $8
                                  -Weinland Gruner Veltliner - Austria $10
                                  -Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc - New Zealand $14

                                  RED

                                  -Artadi Orobio - Spain $14
                                  -Boutari Nemea Red - Greece $12
                                  -Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo - Italy $9
                                  -Clos de la Brosse Beaujolais "Saint Amour" - $15
                                  -Susana Balbo "Crios" Rose of Malbec Mendoza $10

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: fern
                                    f
                                    fern RE: fern Jun 28, 2008 09:55 AM

                                    Also, are sangrias or wine cocktails possiblities?

                                    Here's a Chow link to some wine and ____ mixes. Surely there are many more. I can't vouch for any of these but I was thinking of mimosas which led me to thinking about other wine drinks.
                                    http://www.chow.com/tags/7131-wine-co...

                                  2. Caroline1 RE: luckycat Jun 28, 2008 03:41 PM

                                    My experience is that no one here is likely to be able to give you a reasonable answer. Why? Because there are so many wines that can vary so greatly in price that it all depends on what any particular wine merchant has stumbled onto! So the best thing to do is go shopping! Walmart, Sams, Costco, and such have some low cost wines but the problem there is that they all buy in such huge volumes that they don't bother with the small vintners who have really good wines at really reasonable prices in limited amounts. You have to look for those in your local wine shops, and sometimes even a local vintner. Good luck!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Caroline1
                                      o
                                      olasek RE: Caroline1 Jun 28, 2008 03:48 PM

                                      I agree completely.

                                      1. re: olasek
                                        l
                                        luckycat RE: olasek Jun 30, 2008 07:07 PM

                                        Well, thanks everyone. I think I will just have to go off & go shopping. Clearly, I should have mentioned that the intent for a lot of this is for sangria & various wine drinks, though a lot of it will be drunk straight. And I really have had a lot of nice pleasant wines for under $10. Not amazing, no. But nice.

                                        Perhaps the question should be a best bang for the buck wine. Thank you all in any case.

                                    2. b
                                      bclevy RE: luckycat Jul 1, 2008 11:45 AM

                                      My 2 cents on this. First it depends on what part of the world you live in.
                                      I grew up in France and still return regularly, and for between 6 and 10
                                      Euros, I am certain I can find very enjoyable wines. The reason is that
                                      while the rest of the world competes for top bordeaux and burgundies
                                      the French drink everything else, and somewhat surprisingly they are
                                      amazingly cheap when it comes to wine buying. So it is easy to
                                      buy a lesser Bordeaux or Rhone wine or a top Cahors or Chinon
                                      at a very affordable price.

                                      But this is not true of California wines. Most of the wine retailing
                                      below $15 is mass produced and of limited character. The only
                                      2 exceptions are a) close-outs at wineries where it is easy to
                                      buy a case of $20 wine for $8 a bottle, or b) wines produced
                                      when there is a surplus of a certain type of grape in a given year.
                                      However, when I like a wine, I like to be able to come back to it
                                      year after year, and I really do not believe it is possible to
                                      produce a high quality and dependable wine year after year
                                      for less than $15.

                                      I generally agree with the $15-$30 range as making the
                                      best sense for quality reliable wine. And $30 wine need
                                      not taste better than $15 wine. The range is due to the
                                      fact that different grape varieties sell for very different prices
                                      on the wholesale market, so barbera, merlot, zinfandel are
                                      generally cheaper than cabernet. But a well made $20
                                      merlot can be way better than a poorly made $30 cabernet.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: bclevy
                                        o
                                        olasek RE: bclevy Jul 1, 2008 06:51 PM

                                        Some excellent points. I was always a big fan of Zinfandel so with the zin grapes being more 'economical' I thought I would be just happy drinking a lot of good Zin. But life likes variety so all of a sudden I found myself getting some really excellent $28 Syrah or a $40 Sonoma cab (which all I tasted ahead of time). I like my present arrangement - I found a local wine store that does offer wine tasting of multiple wines every Saturday (for a symbolic fee). Now I will never buy a wine that I will regret its purchase later.

                                        1. re: olasek
                                          familyof3 RE: olasek Jul 1, 2008 08:08 PM

                                          http://www.reddiamondwine.com/wines.html

                                          the merlot is excellant for 7.99 a bottle...

                                      2. mangiabeve RE: luckycat Jul 2, 2008 07:29 AM

                                        10 good wines for Under $10:

                                        Monte Antico Toscano 2004 IGT Italy
                                        Colosi Sicilia Rosso Nero D’Avola 2005
                                        Santa Carolina Reserva Carmenere 2006 Chile
                                        Straccali Sangiovese Di Toscana 2004 IGT Italy
                                        Bodegas Zabrin Garnacha de Fuego Old Vines 2006 Spain
                                        Casal Thaulero Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2006 DOC Italy
                                        Fattoria di Bibbiani Poggio Vignoso Chianti 2005 DOCG Italy
                                        Rocca Delle Macie Chianti Classico DOCG 2004 (375 ML) Italy
                                        Rocca Delle Macie Rubizzo Sangiovese di Toscana 2006 IGT Italy
                                        Rocca Delle Macie Campomaccione Morellino Di Scansano DOC 2006 Italy

                                        ciao

                                        Dave T
                                        http://www.vignauvavino.com/vuv_winef...

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: mangiabeve
                                          v
                                          Val RE: mangiabeve May 10, 2010 07:27 AM

                                          I know I'm bumping an old thread...but 3 weeks tried Colosi Rosso from World Market and loved it...tried to buy another...Gone and she won't be getting anymore in. Total Wine had it but it's almost gone, I got second to last bottle. Really a lovely Italian red, I must say!

                                          1. re: Val
                                            westsidegal RE: Val May 11, 2010 10:38 PM

                                            the 2007 colosi rosso is available here in los angeles in my neighborhood near the LAX airport for $8.
                                            dunno where you are located.

                                            1. re: westsidegal
                                              c
                                              comestible RE: westsidegal May 12, 2010 08:30 AM

                                              It's so interesting that your reactions to this wine are so different from mine. I recently bought the same Colosi Rosso from two different local stores (attractive price point, attractive label) and didn't like either one.

                                              Then again, I don't recall whether "Nero d'Avola" appeared on the label. Maybe there are slightly different Rossos.

                                              1. re: comestible
                                                westsidegal RE: comestible May 12, 2010 09:18 AM

                                                actually, i've never tried it myself.
                                                thought, after reading val's post that s/he may still be searching for it and having seen it recently was giving him/her a heads' up.

                                        2. thomasso51 RE: luckycat Jul 2, 2008 08:18 AM

                                          For cheap Chardonnay, I like Talus which we have gotten for as little as $3.97 a bottle at WalMart, it usually sells for $7-$8ish. Another is Bogle which sells for about $8. We prefer oakie/buttery chardonnay.

                                          For a light summery white try Picopoul de Pinet .

                                          1. s
                                            stephanieh RE: luckycat Jul 3, 2008 08:10 PM

                                            Luckycat, here are some "bang for your buck" suggestions.

                                            Famega Vinho Verde from Portugal (we got this at World Market for $4.99) - We're not usually white wine drinkers... we like it, but prefer red. However, we served this at a dinner party with dessert (not as sweet as a dessert wine, also less sweet than a riesling or gewurtztreminer, but there is a sweetness). Even though everyone had been imbibing all night, they heartily drank this one up with dessert. We almost ran out. It's nice for summer because it's crisp and citrusy.

                                            Wrong Dongo Monastrell from Jumilla Spain (about $8-$9). This is our "go to" wine, and works really well with red meat or anything barbequed. We served it at the same dinner party with steaks. It's hearty and flavorful. SteveTimko above suggested the Panarroz Jumilla, which I've also had and enjoyed. I'll give a slight edge to Wrongo Dongo, although that might be sentimental because we "discovered" it first and measured everything else after that. Another plus, it has a name that's a conversation piece, and a silly slogan "Dongo to the party without it".

                                            (Oops) Cabernet "Voluptuous Beauty" - (Target, $8.50) Hubby bought it for me as a joke because I say "oops" a lot (and, sadly, not because I'm a voluptuous beauty). Turned out not to be a joke, because it was so good we kept buying more.

                                            A few more to look for - Dog House Checkers Cab (Cabernet); Big House Red (got a 90 rating and our friends like it, we found it "middle of the road"); Gnarlyhead Old Vine Zinfandel, and Papa Joe's Big Red Reserve Merlot from Chile.

                                            And, in general, it's nice to have an Italian red, like a Montepulciano or Chianti, which is pretty easy to find under $10. They are less tannic, and tend to please people who don't think they like reds. We just had the Villa Rogole Chianti that we got for $6.99 and hubby declared "worth every damn penny". The Levata Montepulciano ($6.30) was also very good for the price.

                                            Have fun shopping and tasting! Hope your party's a smash!

                                            1. w
                                              wildfire RE: luckycat Jul 10, 2008 08:03 AM

                                              If I were you, I would look for varietals of grape that tends to be lighter bodied. For example, I would imagine it is much easier to find an under $10 montepulciano than an under $10 merlot. (Though I once had an $13 Malbec that was absolutely amazing, I really wish I could remember the name of it). Go to a wine store and tell them your price range and what you personally like in wine. The salesperson might actually enjoy the challenge, and you'll be much more likely to like the wine that you get!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: wildfire
                                                f
                                                fern RE: wildfire Jul 10, 2008 01:17 PM

                                                I once had a malbec we really enjoyed priced somewhere in this neighborhood.
                                                I remember Santa Julia. That's all I can recall about it.

                                              2. d
                                                Deer Aint Peggy RE: luckycat Jul 20, 2008 04:28 PM

                                                Estrella (California) makes a very friendly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (very friendly = can be drunk young) that I get on the East coast for $5.40/bottle with the 10% discount per case. The wine stores don't typically stock it hereabouts, but they are able to get it from one of their distributors. They also have a Chardonnay, but the distributor does not carry it. Don't know what else they have.

                                                1. c
                                                  chefdilettante RE: luckycat May 11, 2010 05:32 AM

                                                  Agree with many of the posters that Spain and Portugal are good sources for drinkable quaffing wines. My go to wines:

                                                  Grao Vasco Dao: (Portugal) $7/btl before case discount
                                                  Protocolo Tempranillo" (Spain) $8/btl before case discount

                                                  Have a great time. Let us know what you chose and how it was--

                                                  1. b
                                                    bricap RE: luckycat May 11, 2010 09:18 AM

                                                    I'm going to start by saying that raising your limit to $15 will open up a whole different world. It seems like a lot of the best QPR I've run across is in that $10-15 range. You can get a lot of value in Spain and Portugal, as others have suggested. Italy has value, too. I bought a Nobile di Montepulciano from Trader Joe's for $11 or $12 and it was phenomenal. Marques de Caceres Rioja can be found at Costco for $11.

                                                    There are values under $10, but they are much harder to find. You will kiss a lot of frogs in your search. I have experimented a lot in this price range, often just to determine if I fundamentally like a particular grape, blend, or region. A Monastrell from Castano (Spain) is less than $10. Altano, a red from Portugal, runs about $10 to $11, and it got rave reviews from Asimov at the New York Times. You can get Bonarda from Argentina for $10 or less, usually, also. And yes, vinho verdes from Portugal are almost always less than $10. Espiral from Trader Joe's, that's my VV pick, and it's only $4. Many Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wines are under $10, as are Nero d'Avola bottles. Southern Italy is a place that has a lot of more obscure grapes with value to be found. I had a vermentino from Sardinia for only $4-5 from Trader Joe's not too long ago, also.

                                                    When you're going under $10, always try a new grape/blend/region if you can. Make it a new experience instead of feeling like you're settling for something. "Hey guys, bet you haven't tried this kind of wine before. Let's give this one a shot. We can laugh about it if it sucks, or I can tell you where to get more if you like it." It's just a lot more fun to drink cheap when you get to expand your horizons. Best of luck.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: bricap
                                                      c
                                                      comestible RE: bricap May 11, 2010 09:17 PM

                                                      Good points, bricap. My mainstays have been Portuguese or Spanish wines under $10 (really under $8) as daily "food" wines, but though they are solid, they are all much the same and offer little that titillates. They're still better than Calif. jugs or magnum bottles from South America or Australia.

                                                      If what you say is true, I'll think about raising my threshold. I didn't think there would be such a difference.

                                                      1. re: comestible
                                                        c
                                                        cajundave RE: comestible May 16, 2010 12:59 PM

                                                        I agree that under $8.00 is a tough one. I also agree that Spain has a lot to offer. I am not a wine expert so I go to wine tastings and try as many as I can and weed out the bad ones. If I just randomly try out wines I get burned 80 % of the time.

                                                        Great Spanish wines for under $15.00. My wife and I picked these out of 50 wines at a wine tasting recently at Binny's Schaumburg. The Alceno Roble 2007 is a Sarah for $12.59, the Agoston 2008 is a cabernet/temperanillo for $8.99 and the Barco Piedra 2008 temperanillo is $13.49.

                                                        Great post idea! Hope we get lots of replies.

                                                         
                                                        1. re: cajundave
                                                          PolarBear RE: cajundave May 16, 2010 05:57 PM

                                                          At that price point I'd throw in Tres Picos garnacha and Juan Gil Jumilla (100% monastrell).

                                                    2. k
                                                      karenmae1983 RE: luckycat May 17, 2010 09:58 AM

                                                      I'm not a wine expert by far, but I think I'm fortunate because of my location. I'm from the vineyard area of Michigan, and they produce a lot of nice wines, and really pretty reasonable in price! (with the exception of the ice wines). I think the highest I've seen a local bottle price for is about $12.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: karenmae1983
                                                        b
                                                        BigWoodenSpoon RE: karenmae1983 May 17, 2010 10:50 PM

                                                        Lucky you! Bel Lago has a really good Auxerroix that's delicious and isn't incredible expensive. Unfortunately they don't ship outside of Michigan. : (

                                                        1. re: BigWoodenSpoon
                                                          k
                                                          karenmae1983 RE: BigWoodenSpoon May 18, 2010 09:37 AM

                                                          I have heard they are looking to change this. Hopefully so! It couldn't hurt our revenue!

                                                          1. re: karenmae1983
                                                            b
                                                            BigWoodenSpoon RE: karenmae1983 May 18, 2010 10:13 AM

                                                            Yeah, with the economy the way it is, there's a LOT of good juice out there just waiting to be snatched up. The wines we've carried over the past 5 years have steadily improved (with the exception of Mr. Shaw of course) and I look forward to discovering more delicious bargains for y'all along the way.
                                                            I'll report back on the $9.99 Pinot Noirs as soon as I can schedule a Tasting.

                                                            1. re: BigWoodenSpoon
                                                              Foodandwine RE: BigWoodenSpoon May 18, 2010 07:21 PM

                                                              Aguijon de Abeja Malbec
                                                              Aguijon de Abeja Torrontes
                                                              Domiciano de Barancas Malbec
                                                              Pasion 4 Malbec
                                                              Siete Cuchillos Malbec
                                                              All in the Los Angeles area for less than $10.99 and much lower if you hunt. Great QPR for those wines..

                                                      2. g
                                                        GraceA RE: luckycat Jul 16, 2010 08:33 PM

                                                        I like Blackstone Merlot and Cabernet Sauvinon but they're like $9.00 at Walmart. Mix them with Mountain Dew and they make good wine spritzers as well.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: GraceA
                                                          invinotheresverde RE: GraceA Jul 17, 2010 10:53 PM

                                                          I can't tell if you're joking or not.

                                                        2. s
                                                          seattleviking RE: luckycat Jul 17, 2010 09:05 AM

                                                          Tefft Cellars sells a 4 liter box of Washington state Cabernet-Merlot and it's one of the best wines for the price you can buy... but then you are cursed with the mark of box for all eternity. http://www.tefftcellars.com/tasting/p...

                                                          1. y
                                                            yellowlablover RE: luckycat Jul 18, 2010 08:15 AM

                                                            We recently tried Oxford Landing GSM (Grenache, Shiraz, Mourverde blend) which goes for $5.95 at our local wine store. This is a nice summer red, good every day drinking red which is a nice wine for the price.

                                                            1. h
                                                              henmonster RE: luckycat Sep 9, 2010 12:46 PM

                                                              Milton Park Shiraz at $8; Vega Sindoa Tempranillo/Merlot for $8; Anakena Sauvignon Blanc for $6; most cavas

                                                              1. t
                                                                timmytime RE: luckycat Oct 21, 2010 09:12 AM

                                                                Great red everyday table wine.............. "Third Wheel"........$8.99

                                                                1. r
                                                                  roadfix RE: luckycat Oct 22, 2010 05:01 PM

                                                                  I only buy cheap $5 bottles of wine. When I have guests I decant them into a wide bottomed decanter to let the wine breathe and that seems to improve the taste greatly.....and not reveal the label....:lol:...

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: roadfix
                                                                    d
                                                                    DukeOfSuffolk RE: roadfix Oct 26, 2010 07:32 PM

                                                                    Ditto what roadfix said. I remember once in particular, one wine that actually had a fertilizer/feces note (I thought I was a bit crazy, so I hopped on google and found comments indicating the same, a few indicated feces while others indicated tobacco or similar, LOL)

                                                                    It was horrible, so I put aside my glass, forgot it for a while, then swirled (hey, why let it go to waste :D) and it tasted MUCH better (though the note was still there)

                                                                    I tried an Aldi shiraz ($2.97!!!) cost less than my orange juice! that also benefitted from some time to breathe

                                                                  Show Hidden Posts