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Cheap Wine?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by JeJas, Feb 25, 2016.

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  1. JeJas

    JeJas
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    Can we have a thread talking about cheap but still drinkable wine?
    Shifter's thread is mostly used to talk about those sky-high prized wines. (And I thought this board needs more threads.)
    First I am a cheapskate, never want to or even able to spend thousands of dollars on a bottle.
    Second, I am biased toward French wine (and European wine in general), after all, I have my French connections.
    Here in France, I consider many of those below 20 euros per bottle wines are of decent quality, some of them are quite good, of course they are not from first class CRUs.
    For myself, the best ever wine (taste, not price or fame) I've drunk is one I bought from Spain at 15 euros.
    To me it tasted far better than those $100 Napa Valley wines.
    What is your favorite and yet inexpensive wine (let's say $10-$30 in store) you can easily get in US?
     
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  2. ken2v

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    What's "drinkable"? That's an entire thread of arguments right there. lol

    There have been a number of suggestions on that thread as to affordable wines. I've particularly been touting Rhone wines. I'm touting them generally -- by AOC, mostly -- because there is no way to say Chateau Bob is the best for the price because it is highly unlikely that someone else would have that available three states over. This isn't like everyone and his brother having access to Bogle or CSM, K-J or Sterling.

    Secondly, not all the chatter here is about thousand dollar wines. Yes, there are photos of some that guys are getting as comps, with the INSANE markup. But if you'd follow on shifter's statement about Navarro being his "table" wine, you'll see those start in the teens to 30s. I doubt it is easy to get at retail but the wine club requirements seem pretty flexy.

    We buy very little wine at retail and don't buy national brands, for the most part. That's not snobbery. We live in one of the most acclaimed wine regions out there and we most literally can pedal our bikes to any number of wineries. Most have entry points starting about where your bracket tops out, but not all, and since we are local, we know when specials happen, and a few vintners have cut some nice deals with the local Vons grocery store.

    If we buy one offs it typically is at Costco, where you can roll the dice and not get too financially burned. We've put in several Right Bank experiments, just got some Roth Cab at a low price, we experiment with what might roll in from Italy or Spain, but Costco marketing isn't exactly national, except at the level of the ones stacked in boxes mentioned above. We just put in several cases of Foley and Lincourt Sta Rita Hills Chardonnay from Costco -- 19.99 and 11.99. Almost pissed us off because that is far far less than we can get 'em as wine-club members.

    It's not really an easy question to answer. Wine is not like soda,where there are a couple rather generic international brands that are ever-present at retail.

    Getting back to the first graf -- look to regions. Alexander Valley Cab costs less than Napa Valley AVA Cab. Washington wines, generally, are very reasonably priced. Large AVA-designate wines will cost less than the small AVAs; here for instance it nests downward from huge to rather tiny: Central Coast/Santa Barbara County/Santa Ynez Valley and then a number of very finite AVAs like Sta. Rita Hills or Ballard Canyon, even down to specific vineyards lots, which aren't federally recognized but do mean a lot to the various estates.
     
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  3. undathesea

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    I was told once by a sommelier that good wine is the wine you like to drink regardless of the price.

    I like the Alexander Valley Vineyards cab and the old lady loves the Josh Cellars cab.

    I also keep Alamos pinot, Mark West pinot, Hob Nob pinot, Simi cab, J Lohr cab.

    But, I'm not much of a wine drinker. That's just stuff I buy for guests and the rare occasion when the old lady is thirsty.
     
  4. JeJas

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    Thanks Ken! You are the wine expert. When I need to buy California wine, I will consult you.
    I also like
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    wine. It's close to my home and I developed special love for Syrah.

    Recent years while in US, I mostly bought Australian wines.
    First they are cheaper than those from California (currency exchange issue?).
    Second, I found some of them are very likable. I particularly like their Pinot Noir, very light, but pleasant to drink nonetheless.
    To my taste and budget, I consider theirs have the highest quality/price ratio.
     
  5. ken2v

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    Not the expert. Lotta fans here, some who spend time roaming over far more pristine pastures than moi.

    See, Rhone wines!!!
     
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  6. PayTriple

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    This is a great thread to have. Anyone can spend lots of money to get a high quality wine, but finding a really good one under $50, 40, 30, 20, 10 etc. is fun but hard work.
    For me, Rosemount Shiraz, Columbia Crest Cabernet, any of the R Zinfandels (Ravenswood, Rosenblum, etc), any New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, are can't miss value wines.
     
    #6 Feb 26, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
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  7. pphold

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    That is a big difference from Josepho Phelps Insignia to Columbia Crest Cabernet.

    I do want to thank you for introducing me to Insignia it is really a good wine. I was a kendal jackson drinker till GChrome/aka Jordon got me to try Jordan.

    The dinner at Bazaar Meats where we try the $1400 wine then the Insignia and everyone thought the Insignia was better.
    But that is Vegas.

    Now I'm back home so back to the Wine in box Franzia.


    Still thinking I need to go to Shake Shack. closest one to me is Austin. I might have to make a trip to Austin.
     
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  8. ken2v

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    50, 40, 30 are no-brainers. And I'd say the vast majority of folks would not consider those table-wine pricing.

    Agree on NZ Sauvignon Blancs, which are value-priced in general. But as with South American Malbecs or this glut of Oz Syrah (Shiraz) or the ubiquitous California Chardonnay, folks still have to be aware that there are dogs, lots of them. Hell, there are dogs in the vanity Cab game. All of us can survive a Chianti mistake from Costco, not what a lot of dot-com or Hollywood money has (blindly) chased to absurdity.

    It's a blessing and a curse to have the access we do. You really get to know the producers, the vineyards, and you get those relationships that open libraries and often reduce prices. But it is rather monocultural. Sure there are differences between the 246 and Santa Rosa Road grapes, the top of Foley's estate is very different from the bottom, but it's still a tight region. We've tossed several memberships aside and will move around different areas. And when we travel we do spend as much time as our plans allow sampling and learning. (We had some nice success in eastern Washington last fall, for instance.)

    Sorry, I chastise folks for not offering specific solutions/suggestions and I'm still speaking in circles: I won't try a retail suggestion. If you like wine and want to experiment, join a winery, get a year or so of shipments. Sure, that's finite; you're also getting stuff you won't get at home in all likelihood unless you have a really good bottle shop and you're also getting to know a good bit about a particular spot, its grapes and that vintner. Knowing this is a price-oriented thread I suggest one of ours: Stolpman Vineyards. Join at the "La Cuadrilla" level, which gets two shipments of six bottles per year at about $100 per shipment. These are the "drinking wines" -- the Estate Syrah, Italian/Rhone blends, a fun carbonic Sangio when they do it, you might get some Viognier.

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    P.S. Be very careful with cheap Pinot. Pinot is about the hardest grape to bring in properly, it is very climate/region sensitive and you can't turn the monkeys loose on it come production time.
     
  9. PayTriple

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    Also, the beauty of cheap wine is....they are cheap! So you can grab 3 or 4 different bottles for under 50 total, and see if any taste good enough for your palate. Any bottles that suck, save it for Sangria or just toss it, it's cheap.
     
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  10. maluhia

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    Another option to finding palatable wine is see if any of your local restaurants are having wine/dinner pairing. Gives you an opportunity to try new options without making the commitment to purchase and usually the food is different from what the restaurant might normally serve, so it's a win-win for trying new things.
     

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