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exploring wine with tim fish

Buddy, Can You Spare 10 Bucks for a Good Wine?

It’s a big fun world of wine when it comes to finding values
Photo by: David Yellen

Posted: Oct 9, 2013 10:40am ET

In my family there's a long line of cheapskates, balanced only by those few individuals who plowed through cash like so many dead leaves. Both sides of that genetic coin taunt my mind when it comes to buying wine. "I want a good Châteauneuf-du-Pape" goes up against, "No, they've gotten too damn expensive!"

The "World Values" story in the Oct. 15 issue of Wine Spectator makes the coin flip easy. My colleague Kim Marcus highlights 100 great value wines from around the world, grouped by region.

Drinking great wine is simple if money isn't the issue, but drinking very good wine on a budget, now there's the trick. Reading through the list of wines, I was surprised by how many wines sold for $10 and less. Ten dollars! Let that sink in for a moment.

No, these aren't wines that will change the world, but they are solid, well-made quaffs. Stock up on them as the Halloween-through-New-Year's party season approaches, because most wine lovers will find a way to appreciate these bottles.

Here are some of my favorites from the story, broken down by region, because you can find great values everywhere.

Argentina

Kirkland Signature Malbec Mendoza 2011 (87 points, $7)

Australia

Lindemans Merlot South Eastern Australia Bin 40 2012 (87, $7)

France

Delas Ventoux 2011 (88, $10)

Les Costières de Pomerols Picpoul de Pinet Coteaux du Languedoc HB 2012 (87, $10)

Italy

Badia a Coltibuono Toscana Cancelli 2011 (90, $10)

Feudo Arancio Nero d'Avola Sicilia Stemmari 2011 (85, $9)

Germany

Rudi Wiest Riesling QbA Mosel 2011 (90, $10)

Portugal

Caves Aliança Dão Reserva 2010 (89, $10)

South Africa

Goats do Roam Wine Company Goats do Roam Red Western Cape 2012 (87, $10)

Spain

Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja 2012 (85, $9)

Vicente Gandía Verdejo Rueda Nebla 2012 (86, $10)

United States

Ravenswood Zinfandel California Vintners Blend Old Vine 2011 (87, $9)

Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling Columbia Valley Dry 2012 (88, $10)

Joseph Trdinich
Mars, PA —  October 9, 2013 4:31pm ET
Tim,

great read. I always enjoy your insight.
We are having our annual trek to Sonoma at month end. Any way that we could meet if only to say hello. There are 5 of us coming from Mars ! Pennsylvania!! Staying at the Jimtown House. Hope we could work it out!
Bill Matarese
Florida, USA —  October 11, 2013 1:38pm ET
My new go-to "party wine" is Meridian Vineyards 2010 California Cabernet Sauvignon. A wine shop in Dunedin had the 1.5 litre on sale for $5.99! Believe it or not, this stuff is not bad at all. It's a little sweet (which is what makes it a good party wine), but surprisingly long and complex. It's bargains like this that satisfy my "inner cheapskate" and allow me to buy the expensive stuff guilt-free!

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