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Good cheap wines

I can't find a relevant topic, so I started a new one.

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  1. Veuve du Vernay Brut Rosé is the best cheap bubbly I've come across in a while. It has a nice strawberry nose, toasty, creamy, floral flavors with a hint of white pepper and rose petals, and a long, dry finish. Though quite fruity, it's not sweet at all, and has bracing acidity.

    Per the label the wine is made in France and has 11% alcohol. The Veuve du Vernay Web site says it's 100% Tempranillo, which means the grapes are probably grown in Spain, but it nevertheless tastes French.

    The label recommends serving it at 6-8° C, which is around 45° F (refrigerator cold), but I think that's bad advice. The wine tasted much better after it had warmed up a bit. I'll serve it cellar temperature or slightly cooler in the future, around 55-60°.

    I bought this at K&L $6.99. http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku...

    The Veuve du Vernay Brut, made from Colombard, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay, is the same price, but not nearly as tasty. I drank one glass and used the rest for cooking.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      The 08 Gazella Vinho Verde is out and it's another good year...the price here in Ohio has gone up to $7 per bottle, but it's still cheap and yummy and low alcohol to boot. I also had a Steltzer Gruner Veltliner that was $14 for a liter that was very good last weekend.

      1. re: Niki in Dayton

        Going price for Gazela in most states is anywhere from (4.99 to 6.99), however if you go to Trader Joe's, they have a private label by Sopgrape (the producer of Gazela) called Espiral for 3.99. It is essentially the same wine, but a different shaped bottle instead of the newly designed one that Gazela currently uses.

        1. re: vinhotinto75

          Didn't taste like the same wine to me. Maybe I'll do a head-to-head.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            would love to hear results. I love Gazela but wouldn' t mind saving a few bucks.

        2. re: Niki in Dayton

          in southern california bevmo is offering a non vintage gazella as part of their 5cent sale (going on right now) at two bottles for $9

      2. Some other good buys at K&L, they're closing out some Touraine-Amboise wines from Grange Tiphane (Damien Delecheneau).


        2 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I haven't tried this one yet, but I bought a couple of bottles at K&L. It's on closeout and now less than 1/2 of the original release price:

          2006 Willowbrook "DuNah Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir


          1. re: baron45

            Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc ($9.99)
            Chidaine Touraine ($11.99)
            Moulin de Gassac red and white ($9.99)

        2. I haven't had the 2006 Tessier Couer-Cheverney, but the 2004 is very nice. The 2006 is being closed out for $8 at K&L. From Romarantin, what they call the riesling of the Loire.

          1 Reply
          1. re: SteveTimko

            Mmm, I'll have to try that one. $8.99, actually ("was $16).

          2. Santa Rita "120" Sauvignon Blanc ($9.00) from Chile is really good and a best buy.

            1. Got a case of 14 hands Cab from Washington the other day for about $6.80 a bottle, would be a good WBTG for a bar.

              1. Summer is getting closer. With that in mind, it's hard to beat the $4 bottle of Espiral vinho verde at Trader Joe's. Most vinho verde is priced in single digits, but for some reason this is the brand I keep going back to.

                I keep finding cheap bottles of Bonarda from Argentina, also. I've never been disappointed by a bottle that was under $10. Most recently I had a bottle that was 70% Bonarda / 30% Malbec made by Vinas de Balbo. I wish I could remember this other $7 bottle of 100% Bonarda I got awhile back. Bonarda is a great wine to drink by itself. I have heard there's a $2 or $3 bottle of Bonarda at Trader Joe's that is an absolute must, but I haven't seen it here in Chicago.

                1. Domaine des Baumard Crémant de Loire; Langlois-Château Cabernet de Saumur La Bretonnière Sec; Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano

                  1. JP Azeitao, from Portugal. Six bucks, bright & snappy med-body red, well made.

                    1. Like the others, vinho verde is my go-to for cheap wines. Dirt cheap and delicious. May even edge out beer and iced water for cooling summer drinks. :)

                      With summer, there's also the plethora of good to great rose wines - I very rarely pay above $15 for a good bottle (though my absolute favourite runs about $18), and my average rose bottle runs around $12 (half the time, we're talking single digits since I run into sales for rose wines all the time) for a nice, cooling summer drink.

                      For something "special," I look toward the cremant d'alsace and other sparklers. There's a particular bottle of cremant d'alsace I'm thinking of that runs $16 (and I dare say can stand up to most well-made NV Champagne), but both cava and proseco can be had for less.

                      There was a period where I could find a nice (if not great) moscato d'asti for about $11 per bottle, but I feel like I don't even see moscato d'asti around much anymore, much less know what they cost.

                      Mostly, though, I drop into Moore Bros and give them a price point. Nothing beats a knowledgeable wine guy for buying good, delicious wines! :) My best find there was the Marigny Neuf - a whopping $9, lovely acidity, and the secret ingredient in my apple crumble.

                      1. Trader Joe's is no longer carrying the Espiral, but Gazela vinho verde is currently $4.52 a bottle at Bevmo on their 5-cent sale. I'm not sure how long the sale lasts. The date on the label is 2009, so I guess that means bottling date rather than vintage.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          The Esprial goes in and out of stock all the time and its quite popular. We had some on my store's (Alameda) shelves as of last night. I don't remember seeing anything on the bulletin about it going away anytime soon. Lots of new value-priced wines came in last night so I guess I'll need to change my Crew Tasting for next week to include them.
                          I'll report back with any interesting findings.

                          1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                            I looooooove Trader Joe's for wine. Such a good deal for the price. Please report regularly on any cool new wines, would love to hear

                            1. re: janethepain

                              I very much enjoyed the VINTJS Sauvignon Blanc ($6) we tasted on Thursday.
                              Crisp, refreshing, tart & tangy. Jason noted in his review that it's a Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion blend and I'm looking forward to work tomorrow so I can pick some up.

                            2. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                              Nice to hear that the Espiral is avaialble again, but I like the Gazela better. Definitely worth the extra 53 cents.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                I actually like Gazela better too, even though they're supposed to be the same?? I saw Gazelas on sale at Warehouse Wines & Spirits in NYC for $3.99. I've seen Gazelas go up to like $8.99 at some other places

                            3. re: Robert Lauriston

                              Just arrived back in town, but TJ's still had the Espiral when I left two weeks ago. BevMo, in their questionable wisdom, hiked the price of the Gazella to $8-9, when they finally responded after three weeks that they had a case for me I said never mind, just put it back in stock.

                              1. re: PolarBear

                                Bevmo's regular price on the Gazela is $8.99, but on the 5-cent sale (still going on today) it's $4.52 when you buy an even number of bottles.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  I bought a bottle of the Gazela rose this weekend; first time I've seen it. It's priced the same as the vinho verde in our Ohio market ($6.99), and was quite good. The rose is slightly frizzante, and has a good deal of strawberry fruit, but finishes dry. For $7, I'll buy more, especially since most Roses are inching up in price in our market.

                              2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                the 5cent sale is still going on as of today

                              3. Had a really nice wine today: 2007 J. Lohr Monterey County White Riesling ($8.50: winery)
                                With just 4% RS & 11.5% alcohol it was lightly sweet with some nice lemon notes and a spritzy finish. Imagine combining the best elements of a Riesling and a Vinho Verde. Delicious!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                                  How's the acid level? 4% RS could be flabby (as CA rieslings usually are) without a lot of acid.

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    I think it was pretty good and the frizzante on the finish definitely helped.

                                2. A very cheap white that is great and really enjoyable is Two Oceans, Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa. Very light and easy drinking and only about $18/ 2L..

                                  1. There seem to be lots of good value deals around these days, likely due to the economy and winery/distributor's need to move inventory. I just bought some Domaine Alfred Goss Creek Chardonnay at HiTime (in Costa Mesa) for $7.98 a bottle; it used to go for closer to $16. A couple months ago they, and another SoCal retailer) had a New Zealand Pinot and Chardonnay on sale for less than half it's regular retail. I missed the Pinot but the Chard was amazing ($14.98 for a regular $35 wine) and tasted like every penny of the original price.

                                    Price discount certainly is NOT the only meter for getting an exceptional value, but it IS a guide when you know something about the winery or the vineyard location if not the specific bottling. I'd suggest getting on the e-mail lists of several of your local wine retailers as they are now very aggressive competitively.

                                    There is plenty of info out there about major quality California vineyards having to sell off fruit or finished wine to turn cash lately. A label like Cameron Hughes (direct and at Costco) should have some really good values in the coming months.

                                    I find BevMo to be a bit of a challenge. Their 5-cent sales sound like a great deal, but you need to compare their 'regular' price to other retailers to be sure of how good it really is AND, like anywhere, you need to know what you're buying. Just my $.02 on their $.05.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Midlife

                                      the best deals i've found at bevmo have not been part of their 5cent sales.
                                      it really requires some picking and choosing to dig out the good deals there. . . .

                                      bevmo, though, is a great resource to use to evaluate the deals offered by others, such as wines 'til sold out. sometimes the 'specials' offered by such online retailers are no better deal than the regular price offered at bevmo.

                                      i'm really lucky that i live near LA wine co.,. . .

                                    2. For 'good' and 'cheap' I really like A Mano Primitivo and Laurel Glen 'REDS'. Another fine QPR choice is Columbia Crest - their offerings all present good value but their Grand Estates series is really amazing quality for the price.

                                      1. if you are anywhere near southern california,
                                        the albertson's grocery chain is now having a sale on their chalone wines.
                                        the monterey cab is on sale for $9
                                        the chardonney is $8
                                        an additional 10% discount if you buy 6 bottles or more (mix and match works for this deal)

                                        amazing values for the quality