A list of good, but cheap, wines for these hard times
Probably like yourself, I’ve been feeling like my money just isn’t going as far as it used to. With a weak dollar and high oil prices, I’ve been looking for wines that I can afford to buy and still enjoy. This has been a necessary quest for me, because let’s just be honest, I don’t have any intention of not drinking wine.
We’ve reviewed a fair number of cheap but tasty wines in our Wine Reviews section, but I thought I’d list out some of our favorites for easy reading. If you have your own list of go-to value wines, please tell us about them in the comments section – we’re always looking for more.
Good but cheap red wines
Pascual Toso 2006 Malbec ($10) – This Argentinean Malbec is a fantastic everyday wine. It’s medium-full bodied and a nice inky purple color, and has dark fruit and a touch of smoke on the nose. In the mouth, the wine has lots of well-integrated fruit, and a great smooth mouth feel, light tannins, and a decent finish.
Marquis Phillips 2006 Roogle Red ($10) – It’s hard to go wrong with wines made by Chris Ringland, and the Roogle Red is no exception. This Australian wine is aged in seasoned American and French for 12 months, and it is a blend of 50% Shiraz, 30% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. There is dark but not over-ripe fruit, healthy tannins, and some acid, with a medium-full body. It’s good to drink on its own or with burgers or pizza.
Don Miguel Gascón 2007 Malbec ($12) – Another cheap but good Malbec from Argentina (is there a trend here?), this wine is dark purple with dark fruit and a bit of smoke on the nose. In the mouth, it has light tannins and nice acid.
Stephen Vincent 2006 Crimson ($12) – A blend of 75% Syrah and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma and the Central Coast, the 2006 Crimson is a Rhone-style wine… and I really like it. High on acid, with dark cherry notes, this wine would pair well with lamb. If you’re into acidic wines (which I am), the Crimson is also just great by itself as a cocktail and contemplation wine.
JP Azeitao NV Vinho Tinto ($7) – Currently, this is my favorite value wine around Austin. Made from 85% Castelao, 7.5% Tempranillo, and 7.5% Syrah, it is a great table wine with enough acid to pair with many types of dishes. Red fruit and pepper are in the nose and mouth, and this simple wine is pleasant and very drinkable.
Good but cheap white wines
R Winery 2005 Pure Evil Chardonnay ($10) – Another great wine from Chris Ringland, this is a nice choice for those who don’t want an overly oaked Chardonnay. In the nose, there’s apple, pear, and butterscotch. In the mouth, the ripe apple carries through with a good but very nice amount of acid.
Macon-Lugny 2006 Les Charmes Chardonnay ($10) – The Les Charmes from Cav de Lugny is the best selling white Burgundy in the US. It is produce from a single vineyard of old vines, and this results in a white Burgundy that is a little richer and rounder in the mouth than most. There are notes of green apple, a little mineral, and a touch of parmesan cheese. Enjoy this wine alone or with food.
Good but cheap rosé wine
Care 2007 Rosé ($8-10) – This rosé is from the Carinena region of Spain, and it is comprised of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Tempranillo. The must was allowed 12 hours of contact time with the skin before it was drawn off, and the resulting wine is powerful with a deep strawberry color. The nose offers rich strawberries with floral notes, and in the mouth, the wine is full, with plenty of structure and a long finish.
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