You must know by now that I spend an inordinate amount of time on wine. Buying wine, drinking wine, finding the best small production wines, finding the best values, talking about wine, consulting when friends ask what wine to serve with dinner… You get it. It is all about the wine.
But here’s the thing: it isn’t necessary always about the best, priciest, or most varietally correct (there you go – some geeky wine speak to get started). Sometimes I just want a cheap bottle of wine because (a) It’s pizza night and there is no reason for an expensive wine with take out pizza, (b) It has been a really crappy day and I need a glass of wine, (c) I just want a glass and my spouse is out of town/at work/busy and unavailable to help with the bottle, so there may be leftovers and I don’t want to waste expensive wine, or (d) It’s Tuesday (or Wednesday, or any other day… no need for a reason to have a glass of wine!)
When we started drinking wine on a regular basis, it was easy to find good wine that was also cheap. $5.99 bought us a nice bottle of wine from our then-neighbor’s wine store, $10 bought us a really nice wine. Now, not so much. In a world of Yellow Tail and Barefoot wines (which by the way, are surprisingly not so cheap), I feel like there need to be better options. In Italy and France, households regularly have wine with dinner and it is typically a local, inexpensive wine. Guess what? They also usually taste good.
So, I have been on a quest to find some good $10 bottles, and it has been met with mixed results. I like to have a stash of whites to have by the pool and a stash of reds to have for pizza night (or any of the other reasons above). Thus far, one of the best whites I have found is the Perrin and Fils Cotes du Rhone Blanc, ordered from wine.com for $10.79. I will be ordering more soon. Another good one is the Murphy-Goode Sauvignon Blanc, The Fume, originally ordered for $10.79. When I went to reorder, however, the price had gone up to $13.99.
In the world of red, we have found a few good ones: 2009 Domaine André Brunel Grenache Vin de Pays de Vaucluse ($9.99), 2009 Quinta de Ventozelo Douro Q.V. ($9.99) and the 2010 Domaine de Clairfont Vin de Pays de Vaucluse ($9.99). These are all meant to be consumed young and are really meant to go with food, so they are each better when paired with a little nosh. Then again, everything is better with food.
Alas, I am always on the lookout for good, cheap wine. What are your favorites?