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Cheap Wine that Doesn't Suck

Hey guys! I'm new to the forum, and also relatively new to this whole wine thing.

When I shop for wine, my choices are dictated mainly by cost: as a college student, I'm on a limited budget, so I consider $15 a serious splurge, and try to shoot for under $10 if I can. The problem is that often it's a crapshoot as to the quality of the wine at that price. I found a blog a while ago called Cheap Wine that Doesn't Suck and thought, "This is exactly what I need!" Unfortunately they stopped their weekly updates in July, leaving me clamoring for more.

So, would anyone be willing to share their cheap wine that doesn't suck experiences? Keep in mind that I live in Pennsylvania, whose draconian liquor laws prohibit any alcohol purchased outside the state. So ordering online isn't an option for me.

Cheap wines that don't suck...GO!

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  1. The Wine and Cheese Cask on the Somerville Cambridge line (Cross of Beacon/Washington Streets) features cheapo wines every month that they sell off until done. We usually pick up a bottle of it, and more if we like it. It's always around $7-9 in price and can be quite tasty at times.
    But don't complain if you don't like it...for a few dollars more, the choice is phenomenal in there. Simply ask any employee for your preference....price, paring, color, country etc.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Waidesworld

      Sounds like a phenomenal place...if I lived anywhere near there! (Did I post in a location-specific forum by accident?)

      I found their website, though, and I checked out their wines of the week...looks like our overlords at the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board are offering some of them to us! Thanks for the recommendation.

    2. My "go to" line of inexpensive wines are Montpellier from California. Also good inexpensive lines are Gnarly Head, Leese-Fitch, Castle Rock (many different labellings, take note) & Angeline. They're all Cal based. Calatrassi is good Italian plonk. Particularly the primitivo. Gran Sasso is good Sangiovese. There's a lot of good inexpensive juice out there from South America (Argentina & Chile) as well as Spanish & Portuguese wines too. Enjoy.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Iowaboy3

        Funny, Montpellier is only available by special order in Pennsylvania...same deal with Angeline. But I'll check out some of the others...thanks a lot!

        1. re: Iowaboy3

          I'm a big fan of the less expensive Spanish and Portuguese wines for everyday drinking. Were it not for them, wine would be a weekend-only thing.

          I stock up at Bayway Wines & Liquors in Elizabeth, New Jersey; their selection is abetted by a local Portuguese population. Some Portuguese wines there are as low as $4/bottle, most $6-7. They often have sales on selected basic French and Italian bottles too.

          1. re: comestible

            Oh, if only I could venture out of state to buy wine in New Jersey or Delaware (no sales tax, I'm told) and abscond with it across state lines! Unfortunately I'm currently situated literally at the geographical center of the state, so that's not exactly feasible. :-(

        2. There are many good to great wines from 8 to 12 bucks, do you like red/white the first that comes to mind is Los Vascos cab from Chile. 8-9 bucks and very good. Give me more specifics and I can send you a list.

          Ciao-

          1 Reply
          1. re: bklynsausage

            I like both red and white, depends on my mood. Most of my experience with reds has been Cabernet, so I'm eager go in other directions. Grenache does hold a special place in my heart, since I lived briefly in the South of France...but it's awfully hard to come by here. As for whites, I prefer fruity wines to the oaky stuff, in general. Sauvignon Blanc is a personal favorite, and I'd like to get my hands on some good Viognier. I'll drink a wine from anywhere so long as it's good, but I particularly enjoy a good French wine...take a wild guess why. :-)

          2. Here are a couple that I had recently that are really good and you should probably be able to find in the $9-12 range depending on where you live:

            2007 Lavradores de Feitoria, Douro Portugal. A bit of a quick finish, but some nice dark fruit and sour cherry on the nose. Not bad for the price.

            2006 LAN Crianza, Rioja - Lots of deep earthy flavors with some spice and cigar box. This is a great bargain.

            1. We recently drank a bottle of Murari Soave 2009 from Italy. Even here in Tokyo, it only cost about $6 U.S. -- Quite nice. Dry yet smooth, and a good match with a broad variety of food.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Tripeler

                Just tried it. It was lovely and cheap, cheap, cheap! Funny enough, I also had it in Japan - they must export most of it here.