12th April 2008

Best Cheap Wines Under $10

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Browsing the internet today, I came across this amazing list of great cheap wines on www.mainstreet.com. I haven’t had a chance to try any yet myself, but I plan on taking this list with me next time I hit up the liquor store. Check em out and let us know what you think.  (no boxed wine included!)

1. Cape Indaba Sauvignon Blanc 2007 ($6). This South African white is crisp and refreshing, perfect to “drink on a patio,” says wine connoisseur Andrea Clurfeld, food critic at New Jersey’s Asbury Park Press. She says its citrus and mineral undertones make it suited for shellfish.

2. Bodegas Borsao Campo de Borja Borsao Red 2005 ($7). Clurfeld, calls this Spanish combination of Grenache and Tempranillo grapes “the single best cheap red wine in the world.” Fruity, but with depth, she says it goes with a wide range of foods and is “good on the tongue.” “I would put this against anything out there,” she says. 

3. Real Companhia Velha Porca de Murca 2005 ($7). This red blend from Portugal consistently sells out at Bottle Shoppe, Cesar Ruiz’s Brooklyn, N.Y. store. “It has a dry cherry taste,” says Ruiz. “It goes great with spicy food and even pizza.” 

4. Adega Condes de Albarel Albarino Salneval 2006 ($9). A warm day? A late lunch? Try this light Spanish white. Mouzouras calls Salneval “perfect for summer.” “It’s clean and crisp with a citrus flavor and nice acidity,” he says.

5. Jadot Beaujolais Villages 2006 ($9). Even with the euro, this French wine from the Gamay grape remains affordable. Best served slightly chilled, this Beaujolais works well with hors d’oeuvres. “It’s a nice to serve before dinner. It’s fruity and light, but it has a dry finish,” says Ruiz.

6. Monarchia Pinot Gris 2006 ($9).  This Hungarian wine sounds like a punch line, until you try a glass of the full-bodied, dry white. Expect a vibrant finish. “It’s clean and full on the mouth,” says Costas Mouzouras, buyer at Manhattan’s Gotham Wines. He suggests a Caprese salad as the perfect accompaniment.

7. Conde de Jauregui Rioja Crianza 2004 ($10). This strong Spanish red has “a good fruit front”, says Ruiz. He says customers love its “long finish on the palate” and “vanilla notes.” It is ideal served with beef.

8. Gascon Don Miguel Malbec 2006 ($10). Few countries can feel our economic pain better than Argentina, so it makes sense to turn to their wine, especially Malbec, which tastes much richer than the price tag. Mouzouras likes Gascon for its “really rich, velvety and plumy taste.” 

9. Miolo Reserva Pinot Noir 2006 ($10). Bring this Brazilian pinot noir to a party and you’ll feel like Indiana Jones – introducing the masses to an off-the-beaten-path treasure. “This wine took everybody by surprise. It’s really unbelievable,” says Mouzouras. It’s even tastier considering that decent American pinots rarely come in below $15. “And this is way better than decent.”

10. Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2006 ($10). Australia’s oldest family-owned vineyard produces plenty of acclaimed $100 bottles, but its bargain-basement “Y Series” line, which includes merlot, shiraz, rielsing, chardonnay, and rose, merits attention too. Clurfeld says the best deal is the “gently fruity” Viognier which pairs well with mildly spicy Asian food. “This allows you to become familiar with a great grape without spending a fortune,” she says.

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