What's your favorite cheap wine?

cecilia_md7a(7a/Baltimore,MD)February 28, 2006

The Wal-Mart has inspired me to ask this question.

Specifically, what bargain bottle do you buy when you only want to spend a few dollars, but want to bring something drinkable to a cookout or party? Or when you can't justify paying much for something you're just going to have a glass of every day at home?

Unfortunately, Maryland's prohibition-era liquor laws prohibit the sale of wine in grocery stores, so I haven't had the pleasure of tasting either Trader Joe's Two-Buck Chuck line or Aldi's private label wines (both owned by the same German company, I might add), or some of the other cheapies that people have been talking about.

I guess my current ultra-cheapie fave is Foxhorn Merlot. The cork dork at a local liquor story was almost embarrassed when he recommended it to me last year, at $6.99 a magnum!

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fedup321(7 NC)

I bought a bottle of Foxhorn White Zin at Food lion on sale for 4.99...and I have tried different brands...THAT was the best Zin I have ever had..

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 10:36PM
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Thanks, fedup, for being brave enough to chime in! C'mon, everybody - don't be embarrassed! Admit you slum it once in a while! What's your fave cheapie?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 7:37AM
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mrsmarv(M-H Valley/z 6A)

I don't know if $10.00 is considered "cheap", but we like Millbrook Winery/Vineyards "Hunt Country Red". And Sockeye's pinot noir 2002 is terrific ($8.00 on sale). We purchased 4 bottles and are cellaring them, since you can't get it around here any longer. From what I've heard, we'll be able to cellar them for about 3-4 years. They only produced a "small" amount and it's nowhere to be found. Loooove those dry reds ;o)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 9:00AM
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I rarely drink anything more expensive than these, and just as rarely anything less expensive.

A couple of summers ago I started drinking Thierry and Guy's Fat Bas-tard Chardonnay, from southern France; last time I bought it it cost $11.50, but you'll see it for less. It's pretty fat for a white wine, and although it goes well with food it's good alone, too.

For red my current favorite is an Australian Rosemount blend of 60% Shiraz and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2003 vintage is good with any meat or poultry, and I buy it on sale for around $8. Here's what it says on the bottle:

Style: Pleasantly soft, with rich berry fruit flavors.
Palate: The spicy Shiraz is balanced by intense casis-like flavours of Cabernet SAuvignon. Fine lingering finish.

I bought a bottle of Pellegrino Marsala at Trader Joe's for cooking, but it's just delicious in a little sherry glass with sliced pear. And not expensive.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 11:28PM
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jamies, I drink that Rosemount blend quite often. The Yellow Tail shiraz/cab ain't bad for a cheapie, either.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 3:59PM
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mrsmarv(M-H Valley/z 6A)

I agree about the wines from Fat Bas-tard...their merlot is quite nice. From what it says on the label, the name "fat bas-tard" was originally used to describe the wine with regards to body/depth/character. Interesting...another decent pinot noir (2003) is by Alamos, which comes from the Catena region in Chile. I can usually find it for about $11.00 a bottle.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 8:50AM
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trfk(Z3 MN)

Mine is St. Gabriel's Liebfraumilch.

I love it. It's a sweet white wine.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 4:46PM
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Cheap to me is under 6.98..this month i am favoring the little penguin cab from australian and the rosemont cab/merlot is also about 6.50 on sale..I love the fat batastards when i see them on sale..I find the australian wines to be of good value..

We are everyday wine drinkers..good for a bottle a day so we try to limit ourselves to lots of inexpensive wines and go for the 10 dollar bottles on the weekend..we just like to drink it too much..

My fav merlot if napa valley and second fav is robert mondavi private selection..love merlot, and love it warm.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 9:45PM
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This is great - I'm surprised at how many of the wines that you all have mentioned I have tried and enjoyed. I agree about the Aussie wines being a great value, and the Chilean ones, too.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 11:59AM
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I regularly buy Bella Sera pinot grigo: very inexpensive and so good!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 5:14PM
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Im think Ill buy a bottle of that bella sera pinot grigio..I keep looking at it and thinking it might be a rash too sweet, yes?

I am not a sweet wine drinker, more a bold dry drinker..

I've actually turned my husabands pallete in this direction also..

We were at a restaurant last week that served a variety of wine flights and we found that to be of great fun..like going to a tasting..

Do any of you drink fetzer as a cheap wine choice?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 10:11PM
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I make it a habit (and a fun challenge for myself) to never buy a bottle of wine that costs more than $6.99, tops. Favorites currently include J.W. Morris 2002 California Cabernet from Trader Joe's, $3.99; and an industrial-size bottle of Raymond Hill 2002 California Cab for $6.99, also from Trader Joe's.

Anyone else noticed that 2002 seems to have been a VERY good year for CA cabs? Very yummy indeed!


    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 2:27PM
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frenchy_fl(Z10 FL)

Why not make your own wine? It is cheap, and you can make any kind you desire. You can adjust the flavor to your liking. Very easy to make and not much work.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 10:12PM
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(I did the penguin illustration for Little Penguin wine) I was not the label designer, though. I also created the background pattern art.

I'm fond of the 10 dollar range of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. Trader Joe has a good selection.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 5:31PM
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barnmon, your Little Penguin is just adorable. For those of you who want to see what the illustration looks like, check the website below.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Little Penguin

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 12:21PM
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JohnGuelph(z5 on)

Our own homemade stuff from grapes.

Depending on the variety, I can usually buy a 36lb case of grapes for around $22-26 pe case. A case yields approx. 2.5 gallons so I figure it costs me around 8 or 10 dollars a gallon.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 8:49AM
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Blackstone style rich fruit aromas, elegant creaminess, supple oak flavors and round tannins. Blackstone Merlot is a perfect example of how each appellation contributes its own distinct personality to the final blend, creating a wine that is rich, elegant and full of luscious fruit flavors.
sells for $12.00 but I've have bought it for around $8.00 in the past

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 9:45PM
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Chateau Ste Michelle sauvignon blanc ($10) and chardonnay ($11) are quite good, and in areas other than the county where I live (which has bizarro wine/liquor laws), they can be found on sale for as little as $7.99.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 12:34PM
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otomato--I hate sweet wine. The Bella Sera pinot grigio is not sweet at all. I buy the big bottle for about $11.00--so it is really inexpensive!

BTW, I really got spoiled when I lived in Rome for a year. I'd walk down to the local market and buy a great bottle of local white wine for about $2.50!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 2:52PM
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Terrapots(3b Cent.CA)

Cecilia, aghast that you can't buy wine at the grocery store. Is there a law against selling pet food there also? LOL. We always considered wine a food and therefore always buy cheap. My latest cheapie is the box wines as you can just serve one glass and the wine keeps forever. We only have it with food but have been trying to remember to serve it regularly. As you can see, we're not wine conniseurs although I have tried to make my own in wine making class. It turned out pretty bad. Around here you can buy the juice to make your own for those really into it but heck, there are so many choices and it's really hard to get a bad bottle unless you buy it at Big Lots. Anyway, enjoyed reading all these opinions. Wine tasting is great fun but only adds to your confusion, too many choices.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 8:35PM
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terrapots, although MD is a progressive state in many ways, its liquor laws are practically puritanical. In my county (Baltimore Co.), you can't even buy alcohol on Sunday - except at a restaurant. And Maryland does not allow consumers to buy wine through the mail or over the internet.

Maryland's comptroller just issued an edict that could negatively impact the newest and smallest wineries in the State. The following is from marylandwine.com:

The Maryland Wineries were notified by the Comptroller's Office that as of May 31, 2006, they will no longer be permitted to sell and deliver wines to retail stores and restaurants in the State. Losing this ability will cause great harm to the wineries, the industry and the prospects for new growth in this vibrant new agriculture.

The Problem
Maryland has been sued by a Pennsylvania winery in Federal District Court. The suit alleges that Maryland law unconstitutionally gives advantages to Maryland wineries that are not available to out of state wineries. If this proven true, this is a violation of the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution and could result in the Federal Court imposing a ruling on Maryland Law.

The Peril
Based on the mere allegations in the suit, the Comptroller is ordering the suspension of parts of Maryland law that are essential to starting and a operating a winery in Maryland. Those laws allow wineries to sell their wine directly to restaurants and retailers. This becomes effective May 31, 2006

The Effect
No winery in Maryland can be started or grow without the ability to sell directly to restaurants, retailers, and consumers who come to the winery. Of Marylands 22 wineries, only four distribute their product through wholesalers due to economics, as well as marketability. Seventeen rely solely upon their ability to sell directly to retailers, restaurants and consumers who come to the winery in order to start their business and make it grow.

The Possible Solution
Legislation is to be introduced in both the House of Delegates and the State Senate which will modify Maryland Law in a way that is least disruptive to the current "three tier system" (manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer). This legislation will allow out-of-state wineries as well as in-state wineries to deliver their product directly themselves or by their employees to restaurants and retailers. This ability, if allowed equally to both in-state and out-of-state wineries, would end any alleged discriminatory effect of Marylands laws about wineries.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 2:21PM
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pricem11(z7 NC)

I had been drinking heck out of Hacienda pinot noir. The other day, I accidently picked up a bottle of the cabernet by mistake. I was very pleasantly surprized--very full-bodied, tobaccoey, blackberry, oakey. I find it a pretty good buy for $5.99, sometimes $4.99. I'm perfectly aware it's an extremely overworked wine, but I find it quite drinkable in front of the fire this cold rainy spring.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2006 at 4:11PM
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We're big fans of anything from Blackstone Winery. If you can get it when it's on sale it's around $8. They're all very solid basics. I cook frequently with Fetzer's Sauvignon Blanc, and adore it in risotto. That's usually less than $8, especially if it's on sale. My all time favorite with any seafood is the Pinot Grigio from Placido. That one can run a little more, but I still don't think I've paid more than $10 for it.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2006 at 9:46PM
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A public radio program "The Splendid Table" aired a segment on inexpensive wine today. I linked the highlights below, but you can go back to the main page and listen to the broadcast, which is worth hearing.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 7:50PM
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I love this thread. It is my final forum on GW after several hours almost nightly. After an hour in the tomato forum on heirloom tomatoes, i am thrilled to read about others love for cheap wine.

I always drink a glass of SOMETHING while i read GW (sometimes more than one)and i wondered if we might turn this subject from what ARE your favorite cheap whines to WHAT CHEAP WINE ARE YOU DRINKING RIGHT NOW?

So i'll start.

Actually, not such a super cheap one tonight-robert mondavi private selection merlot-one of my all time favs on sale for 7.88 a bottle. Think I'll pour myself a FULL glass at that price. I had a bottle of mirrasou merlot hanging around the other day and i am a fan of that too.
Maybe i just like alcohol.

JEWEL food stores offers a new line of super cheap wines-3 bucks a bottle..would love to see what they taste like but am afraid i might be in for a good headache. One night the dh and myself drank way too much two buck chuck and woke up sick as dogs-swore that stuff off for good, no matter what trader joes says it has to offer. Three dollar wine is just that-THREE DOLLAR WINE.

I don't care what they say about merlot being plebeian, i am its biggest fan.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 9:09PM
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I'm at work right now, so I'm not drinking any wine, but over the weekend I finished up a bottle of The Little Penguin shiraz, and started on a bottle of Black Swan Shiraz/Merlot.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 2:51PM
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It is Easter time, always love to drink Manischewitz Blackberry Wine. Now that is a cheap bottle of wine at $3.99.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 2:03PM
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Just opened a bottle of Renwood Winery 2003 Sierra Series Zinfandel, Don't recall what I paid for it but I'm sure it was in the 10-11 dollar range. Very good!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 3:10PM
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2003 Columbia Crest Cab - $6.99 every day at Trader Joe's. Tastes like it should cost twice that. The 2002 is also good but 2003 is better.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 7:22PM
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cherigw(Z7 OK)

Macaroni Grill Chardonnay ($6.98/1.5 ltr). . . I call it my "yard wine". . .you know. . .nice, light and one you take outside in the yard and don't go bonkers when you knock the glass over!!

Reds: Barefoot Merlot (about $10.50/1.5 ltr). They also have come out with a new "label" called Barefoot on the Beach (about $5)--a red and a white.

You think YOUR liquor laws are archaic. . . try Oklahoma!! We didn't have liquor by the drink until 1985. . .and as far as being able to buy a bottle of wine in a grocery store. . . OMG. . . .

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 6:54PM
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Has anyone tried Voga? I found it at Costco for 8.99 per bottle. It is a pinot grigio and it is yummy. Not too sweet, but very smooth. It is in a really cool cylander bottle.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 7:27PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I drink wine everyday usually as an apertif and like Marcus James Chardonnay. When I spend more it's still under 15 a bottle and I still go for chardonnays. Boring but what I like best.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2006 at 10:15AM
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dgriff(z8 VA)

Some good bottles

Alamos Malbec 2003 8
Pepperwood grove Merlot 7
Shooting Star Cab 2003 12
Simi Chard 10

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 10:32AM
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bumblbeez - never had the Marcus James chardonnay, but I did try one of their red wines - merlot? cab? and it wasn't bad.

dgriff - likewise, I haven't tried the Pepperwood Grove Merlot, but I liked their pinot noir.

Just had el cheapo Mirassou pinot with Easter ham on Sunday. Not bad.

I hope this thread never dies.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 11:50AM
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I hope this thread never dies, either..

I like the mirassou collection-pinot and merlots a lot..good drinking stuff, not heavy or over-bodied but mellowed..I'm drinking the merlot as i type..

I wish i could be as big a pinot fan as much as a big MERLOT fan that i am..somehow, the pinot never packs the punch for me like a merlot does.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 10:21PM
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After doing a search for best new wine on the internet, I came up with Yellowtail Shiraz. How really surprised I was when I found it at the grocery store for 7.99. Plus, I really liked it.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 3:54PM
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smart2surf(10B, N. Miami)

Anything from BERINGER Founders' Estate, especially the chardonnay (what I am drinking right now) and cabernet (my last bottle that I finished), $10-12/bottle - my all time favorites. TURNING LEAF has Delicious chardonnay, around $8-10, and their reds are nice, too. Australian BLACK OPAL shiraz, and chardonnay and the new yellow label Wolf Blass chardonnay and cabernet, and red blends are just great, and around $8-10. I have tried many of the wines mentioned on this thread, but little penguin will be new for me, and rosemount also. Never tried them before, but will now.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 10:55AM
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I just have to chime in and recommend Century Cellars. I bought a bottle of chardonnay to try and loved it. After examining the label, I saw that it is made by Beaulieu Vineyards and I adore BV Chardonnay. The Century Cellars is a very close match and is about half the price. My only problem is that it is difficult to find in my area. If you see it, give it a try.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2006 at 12:33PM
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How about Simonassi Malbec? My DH and friends, who are red wine drinkers, love it. It runs about $6.99. I enjoy pinot grigio, and would love some inexpensive suggestions.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 6:41AM
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Had a decent and inexpensive Pinot Grigio by Talus (Lodi, CA) the other night.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 11:43AM
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timgoodin(W KY z6)

I like the Livingston Cellars (bulk wine) Blush and Rose. It is usually very inexpensive and although it has a screw top can be a very tasty everyday wine. I really slowed down buying wine when we started making our own, this lets you customize to your own taste.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 6:50PM
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White: Lindeman's Bin 65 Chardonnay
Red: Gallo Hearty Burgundy

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 10:34AM
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I spotted a huge wine sale on my way out the grocery store today. Trying to remember what I'd read here, I dropped a bottle of B&G Chateaunuf (sp?) du Pape. I grabbed at the falling bottle and saved the wine but injured my foot. Actually punctured my skin without breaking the bottle. It bled and bruised up right away. Now it is so painful. I have a bag of frozen pearl onions on it, but I need to get out of this chair and elevate it. Ugh, I sure hope it's not broken. Darn that wine. It was reduced to $16 from $20-something.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 1:22AM
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I haven't visited this forum in a while, and I'm glad that this thread is still alive! A special thank-you to those of you who have linked to cheap wine websites.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 12:38PM
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My favorite cheap wine is Crane Lake. We can get three bottles for ten dollars--three for eight dollars on sale!

I appreciated it even more when I saw one restaurant charging $6.00 a glass for the stuff.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 2:33PM
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Our everyday cheap wine is the Yellowtail Merlot or Shiraz. We get the big bottle for about $10. One that I haven't seen mentioned here is Jacob's Creek, they've got a Shiraz abd Shiraz-Cab blend that are both pretty good for about $6 a bottle.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 3:38PM
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Never visited this discussion group before, what fun! I'll chime in with Cline, love their Zinfandel for under $10, and the Ancient Vines Zinfandel is even better for maybe $15.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 10:26PM
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2 Buck Chuck...Charles Shaw from Trader Joes...$2.99 a bottle
Merlot,shiraz,Cab Sav, Chard,& sav Blanc....great stuff

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 9:46AM
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I have founfd that Alice White lexus is a very good taste. The price point is good also I buy it here in La. for $ 4.49 not bad.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 10:54PM
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Alice White Lexia is a good choice for those who prefer a sweet white. It is Muscat-based.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 12:43AM
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Rex Goliath Pinot Noir 7.99

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 11:38AM
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Hmm. Gotta define cheap. I would love to find a wine under $7 or so that is good enough to justify buying, but rarely is it possible, at least in reds. Tried 2 Buck Chuck and Yellowtail. Both went down the drain. The latter especially was way too sweet - they either left a lot of residual sugar in it or added some. Nothing else going on. It used to be possible to get decent values for that price, but over the past 10 years or so that has changed. So we define $5 - $12 as cheap enough for every day. At that range, there is a lot.

Spain is a great source:
Artazuri Garnacha, ALtos de Luzon, Las Rocas, Juan Gil, Bodegas Arrocal, and the traditional Rioja crianzas or better, joven wines - Marques de Riscal, Marques de Murrietta, etc. Incidentally, Marques de Riscal has the reserva from 2001 out now. I had that last year from 1947 and 1964. I cannot think of another wine in the world that you can pay less than $12 for and keep for the rest of your life. And it improves w age.

Australia is always a good source - Rosemount has really decreased in quality, but is still OK w the whites, Oxford Landing, Two Hands (the Lucky Country is their only low-end red and the new imnporter is raising prices), Mollydooker (the new label from Sparky Marquis who used to make Marquis Phillips), Grant Burge, Jacobs Creek, Lindemanns, Penfolds and Peter Lehman all make a range of wines and their low ends are good.

Not much from Napa or Sonoma but if you go to somewhere else in California, you can do well - Fess Parker, Bonny Doon, Michael Phillips from Lodi. And Cline, as mentioned makes pretty good stuff, Ravenswood lower end isn't great - some people like it but go for their better stuff, they've really come back after a few off years. BV is sometimes OK w the Coastal label, but spend a little more - I think their Rutherford cab may be one of the best values in Napa - can find it for as low as $17 sometimes and worth it.

Washington has good values - the Chat St Michelle companies, including them, Villa Mt Eden and Columbia Crest, among others.

Italy if you stay south - Sicily has decent wines made from Nero d'Avola like Morgante, as well as from other local grapes but their prices are inching up. A-Mano is a primitivo (zinfandel) that is made in Puglia by Chris Shannon from California - it goes for around $8 and is a great value every year. May be the best primitivo from Italy, although Appolonio is good too. Salice Salentino is OK, Monte Antico is from Tuscany and is a pretty good value, as is Gabbiano - a Chianti.

Hungary has a few interesting wines - Craftsman is a label that was created to develop good, inexpensive wines as an intro to their grapes and wine. All of them are decent values if you can find them.

And don't forget Argentina, maybe the best place for the US right now, given the currency rates and how we are suffering against the Euro. You can get any number of malbecs and cabs - Sur, Ox, Gascon, Altos las Hormigas, Altos de las Terrazas, Norton, Dona Paula, etc. All are actually nice. And if you spend a few bucks more for the reservas, you will have excellent wine. The Terrazas for example, makes a reserva that I get for $14.99 and it can hold its own with wines costing much more. Also ages nicely.

Chile makes low-cost wines, but I find them rather green and rarely buy them.

Note - all of the above are "real" wine, not something from the supermarket that comes in boxes and says "natural wine flavors" or some other such.

But the more interesting spot is $12 - $20. There are way too many wines to list here, but even at the lower end of that range, say around $15, you can find really excellent wines.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 7:14PM
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Thanks, rosesinny, for all of your recommendations. I tend to buy in the 15-20 range for everyday reds and 15 and under for everyday whites. Crane's Lake I found to be completely undrinkable. Woodbridge is passable but I'm more inclined to open a bottle and pour it into my beef stew than drink it. I tossed the few bottles of 2 Buck I bought. They sat there and sat there until I was sure they were too old to bother opening. I had a nice bottle of Washington State Syrah, about 15.00. Danged if I can recall the winery, though. I bought it in Napa at a TJ but the TJ where I live doesn't carry it. Robert Mondavi Private Selection is okay everyday wine in the 8-10 range, I find.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 6:11PM
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Gardener972(7b-8a DFW)

Yellow Tail Shiraz and Fetzer Gerwerztrameiner (sp?) which is sweeter.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 1:22PM
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Peachy Canyon Zinfandel; usually around $9 or $10 a bottle.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 2:01PM
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njtea(NJ Z6)

Yellow Tail pino grigio - often hard to find for me, but worth the hunt.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 2:35PM
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I can't believe no one has mentioned Gossamer Bay.

I bought it at $3 for a 1.5 liter.

I bought it and was going to serve it to guests who do not appreciate wine as well as most, but I tasted it and I was impressed.

I went back and bought 20 bottles of the stuff. I've only tried the shiraz and the cabernet, not the whites.

I served it to some of my friends who were more picky about wine and they were floored when I showed the the bottle and told them the price.

I had Turning Leaf served to me at a dinner party and I was surprised to find out that I was enjoying a 'grocery store' wine that is advertised on TV. I would recommend it.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 6:48AM
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msprettyky(Z6 KY)

I tried Alice White also. I love their Alexia. It is a great sweet wine. Not too sweet, in my opinion. Great wine for parties and gatherings.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 5:05PM
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suzieque(z5 MA)

Hi! I'm pretty new here, but glad to find this thread. I prefer red wine, but always have some white in the house just in case. I opened a bottle of Yellow Tail Reisling the other night and it was great! I think I paid $7.99 for it. That'll probably be my stock white for awhile.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 5:25PM
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protea_king(Western Cape)

My favourite cheap white is Blossom Hill Crisp and Fruity (California) and favourite cheap red is Spier Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch, South Africa). Both of them under £6 pounds from my local supermarket. Much more of a red drinker myself ;-)

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 9:11PM
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msprettyky(Z6 KY)

I tried a bottle of Funf reisling on Saturday and was impressed. At about $9, you cant beat it. A keeper in my book! I have paid alot more for the same taste.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 9:26AM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

I see no one has mentioned the California Painter Bridge Chardonnay, website Painter Bridge. It is a very good chardonnay.

We buy it at Spec's in Houston, Texas by the case, and it averages about $8.00 a bottle because of the case discount. Otherwise, I think it sells for around $9.00 a bottle.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 10:41AM
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I love Meridian Chardonnay and also their Pinot Noir - both around $10 per bottle and sometimes on sale for less. Great quality for the price!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 6:28PM
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puttmossman(Z6 CT)

My favorite mass market brands are:

Twin Fin - Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, or Chardonnay $7.00.
Papio - Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Chardonnay $5.00.
Sutter Home - Red Zinfadel or Muscato(Excellent for you sweet wine lovers - my wife's favorite!) $5.00.
Barefoot Red Zinfadel $6.00.
Little Penguin Pinot Noir $6.00.
King Fish California Chardonnay $5.00.
Gazela Vinho Verde(Portugal), my favorite light fizzy summer sipper at 9% alcohol $4.00.(not always available, I buy it by the case when it comes around)
Pindar(Long Island N.Y.) - Winter White 1.5L bottle on sale $9.95.
Anything from Concha y Toro(Chile), especially the Frontera line is good and cheap.

And if you are ever in Connecticut:

Ct. Valley Winery(Just west of Hartford) - Deep Purple, Midnight,or Cabernet Franc. (Nice reds, not too tannic).


Sharpe Hill Vineyard(Pomfret) - Ballet of Angels, the state's award winning, best selling wine at $9.00.

And finally, Taylor Brook Winery(Woodstock) - Makes an excellent Autumn Raspberry wine at $9.00 and a MUST TRY Chocolate Essence, which is a Chocolate infused Merlot Port, although this one is not cheap. http://www.taylorbrookewinery.com/


    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 9:18PM
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gardener64(zone 5)

Bully Hill Winery in NY their
Sweet Walter in either red or white

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 2:35PM
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grandpoppa(z6 VA)

Posted by timgoodin (My Page) on Thu, May 25, 06 at 18:50

"I like the Livingston Cellars (bulk wine) Blush and Rose. It is usually very inexpensive and although it has a screw top can be a very tasty everyday wine. I really slowed down buying wine when we started making our own, this lets you customize to your own taste."

Liking a dry wine, I prefer Amaden Mountain Burgandy. 5 liters for under $11.00.

Yes, but much cheaper than that and also mostly pretty good are the homemades. I have had as many as 8 5 gallon carboys going at the same time. Country wines can be quite good. Best I ever made was from red raspberries. Strawberry, blackberry, peach and plum wines can be very tasty also.

The famous dandalion wine is also very good, but it requires too much work, so isn't worth the effort!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 8:16PM
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puttmossman(Z6 CT)

Hi grandpoppa,
I also make my own wine with excellent results. If there's a Wal-mart or Sam's club near you, pick up some of their store brand White Grape-Peach juice($1.99 a half gallon), and throw in some wine yeast and sugar(You know what to do). My friends and family go crazy for this stuff! I see you also like your store bought wine in bulk, and would suggest Carlo Rossi Chianti at $9.99 a gallon.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 6:30PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

This is my first visit to this forum. I've enjoyed reading your comments.

Never have considered myself to be an expert - but do like a glass of white wine with meals - especially Chardonnay, but also like Rhine or Reisling.

Last year, I planted a Sauvignon Blanc grape vine that seems to be taking hold. Two other vines - Thompson Seedless - I think, are still either dormant or perhaps already succumbed. With our recent cold winter, though, I'm still hoping it will produce as it has already spread across the arbor we built.

Anyway, I've never made home made wine. Sorry, I know there have been lots of posts explaining how easy it is, but guess I was too busy to pay attention.

So - all of you nice folks - what do you think of the grape Sauvignon Blanc for making wine at home. Also, how do I go about it?


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 9:03AM
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msprettyky(Z6 KY)

Anyone tried BOSC moscato asti? I tried it while I was on vacation and I loved it! Can't find it here so I asked the liquor store to order it for me. Paid 9.99 for it and would pay more now that I have tasted it.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 9:58AM
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Don't only look for that particular moscato d'Asti. There are a lot of producers making it. It is a friendly grape. If you like that floral type, try some viognier from California or France, or some torrontes from Argentina.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 2:41PM
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Redcliffe Sauvignon Blanc. It's $9.99 for 1.5L at Costco. It's a typical New Zealand (Marlborough) Sauv Blanc and to me, it rivals Kim Crawford, Drylands, Villa Maria, Babich, Brancott and a lot of others that cost 2-3 times more.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 8:03PM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

While buying wine in quantity for a party last year I stumbled upon the 2005 Casillero del Diablo Carmenere. Our PA state stores sell it (along with a merlot and a cab) for $9.99, but I got it on sale for $7.99. It's an interesting wine, rather unusual, and I was surprised at how much I liked it, considering the low price. I've since bought several bottles.

A review I read recently mentioned that the Wine Spectator had named it "Wine of the Week." The reviewer also said:

Very rustic and powerful. I enjoyed this wine, but I would be careful on who you serve this wine to - this will probably not go over well with casual wine drinkers.

Now I'll go read the other responses. Good thread!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 9:05PM
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pablo_nh(z4/5 NH)

Little Penguin ("tha F$#@!in Penguin" after a couple glasses) or Yellowtail Shiraz- two faves.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 3:41PM
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ilovepoco(z5 Boston USA)

Our usual plonk is Bear's Lair Cab from Trader Joe's - $4.99/bottle. It can't be just me, because I often have to get down on my knees to scrounge out a case from the wayback of the shelf.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 10:10AM
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I'm a real red lover.
Three Knights - $4.99 at Trader Joe's - has real nice black current, dark cherry tones

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 1:58PM
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yellowlablover(z5 upstate ny)

My husband and I just got into drinking red wine last fall and have tried many wines. The following wines can all be found under $15 a bottle and are our favorites-for a good everyday wine the cheapest of the bunch is Rock Rabbit Shiraz/Syrah (California)-can be found for around $7.50 a bottle, Terrazas de los Andes Malbec (Argentina) (under $10), Chalone Pinot Noir (California), MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir (California) and Bridlewood Syrah (California) (these last 3 run around $12-$15). These wines are all really good and taste more expensive than they are. I can really taste the difference between Bridlewood Syrah and Yellow Tail Shiraz for example. As you can probably tell we have discovered our favorite reds are Syrah/Shiraz and Pinot Noir! If anyone tries any of these let me know what you think.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 7:20PM
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My favorite reds are Macaroni Grill Chianti (California) and Yellow-Tail Shiraz (Australia). I also like Barbera de Alba (Italian, any label)to drink with pepperoni pizza. Barefoot Chardonnay is my favorite inexensive white.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 2:33PM
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What a great post - I wonder if anyone is still checking it? Thanks for all the great suggestions. I used to enjoy $25 bottles of wine regularly as my everyday wines, but having had to recently 'downsize' my budget changed that. During travels in Italy & France I was always able to find cheap local wines that were more delicious than the more expensive wines I got in the US. In fact, some of the best wine I ever had was in Venice, and it was poured into a big jug (that I provided) by a woman who operated out of what looked like a closet, selling her own homemade wine. Cost about $1.50 for a gallon and was outstanding!

After many trials and errors (mostly errors) The best cheap wine I have found so far is from Searidge, out of California. Their chardonnay, merlot and cabernet are all quite drinkable and surprisingly tasty. And even more surprising is that they are all $5/bottle! I definitely recommend giving them a try.

Here is a link that mentions some other wines owned by Bronco Winery, who ownse Searidge and some other bargain labels.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 10:50AM
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Corvo. It is an Itallian table wine and I always find it at small Itallian neighborhood grocers.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 2:53AM
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For a very good Asti you might want to try Mondoro from Italy. It is our favorite Asti. We had it at our daughter's wedding and, yes, we ran out. Everyone kept coming back for more. It is light and refreshing and definitely goes down easily! It usually runs from $10-$13 a bottle but my son-in-law bought some at Costco for under $10.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 4:25PM
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The best tasting cheap wine-and in a box (!) Is Almaden Mountain Chablis. Why? Its very dry, and has a decent fruity flavor. Makes an easy non pretentious house wine. At $10.99 for 5 liters- you cannot go wrong.

Another great buy- a bit above Almaden in flavor complexity, still in a box is Corbett Canyon Pinot Grigio- 3 liters for around $10-11 bucks.

Another great buy 750ml bottle is Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc -$6.99 a bottle. The Cabernet is excellent also.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 6:57PM
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I discovered charles shaw wines.I usually drink the Cab.the chard won 2 gold medals this year. for $3.99 a bottle you can't beat it..I buy cases of it when I go.no not all for me. many of my friends buy 2 and 3 cases when they go to trader joe's. I have passed it on to people who have expensive wine tastes and have had some converts..for $3.99 (in NJ) it's worth a try.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 8:09AM
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hoping that someone would jump in again. I would like to know what the current favorites are.

Am trying many of the other suggestions TIA

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 2:29PM
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mikeinmo(Z6 MO)

I'm not sure if this is new or not, but new to the stores here, but Gallo's Muscato is GREAT. $6.94 for the big bottle at WalMart.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 1:14PM
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scaldude(Sunset Z23 SouthOC)

My personal favorite "cheap wine" is Novella "Synergy", but Bronco Wine Company is the Uncontested Champ of Cheap Wines!

Charles Shaw (2 Buck Chuck) was very popular when it first came out, but it's really not very good and I burned-out on it quickly. Bronco's Black Mountain label, also available at Trader Joes, is WAY BETTER!!!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 5:07PM
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wild_rose_of_texas(z8b TX)

Greetings from Texas!

This is my first post on the wine forum. What a great little thread to start with, and get to know you all! We recently took a nice little trip into the Texas Hill Country, where there are wineries every few miles, and in downtown Fredericksberg there are wine tasting rooms on every single block. I was unfamiliar with most wines in general and Texas wines in particular........ it seems to have started a domino effect, now I am reading wine, drinking wine, and this evening, evening CHATTING wine ONLINE! Ha!

During that vacation we tried some wines from Texas naturally, and most were pretty affordable. I have lots of questions for you wine savvy folks that I'll save for a new thread, but to add to this thread I wanted to mention my recent finds that have been pretty good to my tastes"

McPherson Viognier
Zellebration from the Fredericksberg Winery
Sutter Home White Zinfandel (I know, I know, but it is still pretty good even if it's "pedestrian")

And the most surprising, very inexpensive white is one from Argentina, listed as a nonvintage wine, is called "New Age". Fruity and crisp. It was 8 bucks a glass at the B&B restarant, enjoyed it overlooking Enchanted Rock the evening of our anniversary. I contacted our local liquor and wine store (Spec's) when we got home, they ordered it for us, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it was only 8 dollars a bottle! Tastes like a couple of whites I have tried that were 4 times that cost.

Thanks for all your information! I hope this thread keeps going strong, I love getting the ideas!


    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 7:59PM
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My boyfriend can only drink red wine. . .he's not a fan of white wine for some reason. I can probably see why. . .he likes more bold, robust flavors in his foods, and red wine definitely has a more complex and deeper flavor than whites.

And with that, my list is comprised only of reds:
2 buck chuck from Trader Joe's (Many find this wine undrinkable, but I find it a great base for making mulled wine in the winter)

Purple Moon shiraz/sirah is about $6

And don't forget BevMo! For buy one wine get the other for 5cents (basically it's buy one get one free), I find this a great excuse to buy my favorite wines in bulk. . .and the price usually averages out to $10 per bottle. The store also has a very good variety of wines, so this is also a great way to try different types of blends and wines from wineries all across the world.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 12:00PM
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My favorite cheap wine is Trinchero Concha y Toro cab sav/merlot. We love it, buy it by the case and one is generally sitting on my counter top. I am also in MD, and pay about $7.00 for the big bottle. Christy :)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 8:16PM
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coffeehaus(7a Central VA)

To paraphrase my sister, "Anyone can get a great wine (meal) for $100. The challenge is to get a great wine for less than $10." So, I have been trying to do just that. Wine in a box? Hey, the Europeans and Australians are way ahead of us on that one. Lately, I've been buying Banrock Station (Australia) Cab/Merlot blend for about $5/bottle, or in the 3 litre box if I'm buying for a crowd, or in winter when I'm making "Gluwein". Their Riesling isn't bad, either. Boxed wine makes a lot of sense in terms of avoiding oxidation.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 8:30PM
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Found another cheap one, Echelon Pinot Noir. Very nice! Christy :)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 8:57PM
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Oak Leaf Vineyards at Walmart for $3 a bottle. Tastes as good as many $20 bottles out there. At the Florida State International Wine Competition, they were one of four wines out of 84 competing to receive a gold medal in the Chardonnay category.

Oak Leaf has turned into our everyday wine. Can't beat the value...

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 11:22AM
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Crane Lake is made by the same company as Charles Shaw (2-buck chuck) and is sold for $1 more here, well worth it. Their petite syrah is wonderful. Even got my grandfather in law drinking more than one glass, and he's a connoisseur.

The problem with two buck chuck is it is very inconsistent. Some taste good for a cheap wine, and some are vinegar-esque.

The Australian and Chilean wines are good value, as well as McManis (can be bought for $8-10 sometimes and is served at restaurants for $6-8 per glass usually)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 4:22PM
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Lately I've been drinking the Robert Hall Rhone de Robles red (around $11-13, depending on the store). Very tasty and smooth, has kind of a pinot noir feel to it...

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 5:24PM
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Jumilla is a region, like Napa Valley. The wines are usually made from monastrell, maybe garnacha, and even cabernet, syrah, and tempranillo.

CUNE or C.V.N.E. is a company - one of the oldest in Rioja, which is also a region. The C.V.N.E. wine is tempranillo with a touch of graciano and sometimes manzuelo, although the Contino subsidiary did make a 100% graciano wine. That one is not cheap. The basic Contino is around $30 - $40 retail in the US. However, the basic level C.V.N.E. is around $12 US and it's just fine. In fact, Spain has many great buys around that price. I just got back from a week tasting wine, looking for things to import, and there is a lot of really good (and really bad) wine in Spain. It's good advice to look for those wines.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 12:58PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Ah! Diversity....what makes the world go around!
I see some pans on things I think are pretty good ( after all this is a thread about cheap wines) and some lovew ines I think are not so good.
A couple of my cheap wine finds are Herding Cats, South Africa Chenin blanc/Chardonnay and Sebeka Chardonnay or Sauvignon blanc.
And....much as I hate to admit it....the Oak Leaf wines are pretty darned good!
I first bought a bottle because I was making a stew that called for 2 cups of dry red wine. *I thought, I'll try it, and for $3.00 if it's bad....I'm not out much. So I tasted it before I dumped it into the stew and it's more than decent!!
And I feel a lot better about recipes that call for a cup of wine....when I can use Oak Leaf, drink the rest....or toss it because it wasn't that expensive.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 8:47PM
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zootjs(zone 5 MA)

Kourtaki samos muscat, a great value Greek dessert wine. Goes well with peach pie. I forget exactly how much it cost, but under $10.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 11:52PM
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Who knew that when I started this thread more than two years ago it would still be active?

The same cork dork who recommended the Foxhorn Merlot (now branded as Gray Fox in some stores) recently steered me toward a california brand named Crane Lake. I've tried the zinfandel and it was pretty good. There have also been some good cheap Spanish wines out there lately.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 1:05PM
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My mistake - I just realized that I started this thread more than FOUR years ago!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 1:07PM
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I also didn't realize that several posters have already mentioned Crane Lake. Perhaps they've just started distributing it here in MD and that's why it's new to me. Based on some recommendations in Consumer Reports and Cooking Light magazines, I've recently tried and enjoyed Mondavi's Woodbridge Zinfindel (seems harder to find than the other reds in this line), Concha y Toro Casillero Del Diablo Carmenere, and Borsao Tinto Granache/Garnacha.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 1:22PM
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cecilia - congrats to you on this thread! I check every few months just because, well, I don't know. But it's a good thread.

About the wines you listed - I don't want to tell you how to find wine but Consumer Reports isn't where I'd look! Still, you have some interesting ones. Crane Lake, as far as I know, is from Bronco. That's the company owned by Fred Franzia who gave us Two Buck Chuck and a lot of other things, like ForestVille Vineyard, Montpellier Vineyard, Hacienda Wine Cellars, Napa Ridge, Forest Glen, Estrella, Napa Ridge, Sea Ridge, Coastal Ridge, Silver Ridge, and a few less common ones like Salmon Creek and Domaine Napa, mostly sold to restaurants.

What he does is buy grapes and/or juice cheap - there's a bad economy right now and an overabundance of grapes. He blends them together and puts out a wine. The point is consistency and the elimination of vintage, place and variety. He irritates a lot of people in the business but I kind of like him because it can be a pompous business sometimes.

Mondavi's Woodbridge is cool for the history - Mondavi bought what was a co-op of growers that started after prohibition and he renamed it Woodbridge. It's an inexpensive wine but I think time has passed it by and because Lodi doesn't get the press of Napa or Sonoma, you can find a lot of wine from the Lodi area that's not expensive and better than the Woodbridge. Eventually I suppose people will get as excited about Lodi and the prices will go up, but right now there's a lot of wine made up there. It's an area where Gallo buys a lot and so does Franzia for his list of wines above.

Concha y Toro is probably the most important winery in Chile - they're the biggest. Kind of like Gallo in the US. Like Mondavi, but unlike Bronco, they have a range of quality levels, from the basic to really expensive stuff. Some is from their own vineyards, some purchased. I got to have dinner w the winemaker when he was in town last year and we tried a number of the wines - I like the whites much more than the reds.

Finally Borsao. To me, that's the most interesting of all, partly because it's not a huge company behind it. It was founded in an area where they've been making wine for centuries - mostly plonk that wasn't going to be transported far. But they wanted to do something better. They have garnacha, and a lot of it. I think that wine is one of the outstanding values in the wine world year in and year out. Not the basic level, the level just above it called Tres Picos. In blind tastings I've held it consistently holds its own with wines from the south of France costing many times the price. It's like a good Chateauneuf du Pape or at least a good Cote du Rhone. It's an example of a producer using their own grapes and making the best wine they can from it, without a lot of trickery. I wish there were more people in CA doing that. There are, but they charge a lot more money for their wine. Too bad because I think CA can do it if they wanted to and could keep the price under $20 or even under $15. But there's no incentive to do that if people will pay $25.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 9:48PM
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afeisty1(St. Louis)

Another fan of Peachy Canyon Zinfandels. For a real treat, we enjoy Fratelli Perata also from the Central Coast region.

For everyday drinking we like Spanish Quarter Albarino-Chardonnay blend and last night was very pleasantly surprised with the Cab/Temperanillo blend. Both can be found for under $10.

Other everyday wines we also like Root:1 Cabernet, Santa Julia Viognier and Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 5:01PM
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This is an absolutely amazing posting! I've been taking notes and can't wait to try some of these out! Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 4:08PM
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Far from being a wine expert,some of the above mentioned wines are terrible..You DO get what you pay for..Of the aforementioned about the only one worth it's price is Crane Lake..You don't need to spend 20 bucks a bottle for decent wine,but less then 10 bucks is not a good price point vis-a-vie taste...12-15 bucks will get you good wine at a good value

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 4:50PM
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Just started drinking wine - love the reds - so far I really like M�nage � trois which is a blended wine and is about 10 or less a bottle. I also like the Robert Modavavi blends. Also has been on sale for 7.99 a bottle. I love there is a place that I can get input on what is good at a decent price.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 9:51PM
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Well for us, the Banrock Station wines are pretty good for the price.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the box wines you can get at Target! They are somewhat inconsistent year to year, but occasionally you get a lot more than you pay for. Check the awards chart on the shelf and buy the varieties that have gold medals. Not fine wines by any means, but good everyday wines.
Also I have been pleased with Beringer.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 10:14PM
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"Pinot Evil" brand Pinot Noir is pretty tasty! I just picked up 3 bottles a few hours ago (that's all that they had. Ha!). I'm sipping on a glass right now. It's a product of France. It has 3 monkeys on the front label, representing the 3 wise monkey proverb. The price has been $8.99 at Publix now for a while. 12.5% Alcohol.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 7:20PM
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