Wine for under $10
The Best Wine for a Budget
From California to Italy, here’s how to find the best for less
Finding a wine for under $10 is easy. Just walk into any wine shop and you will see at least 20 or more. Finding a great wine for under $10 is a bit of a more difficult task.
One suggestion is to ask questions of your local wine retailer. What is their favorite? Another suggestion is to find a brand you have never heard of before. When a wine becomes popular, the price goes up, and unfortunately, sometimes the quality goes down.
Look for wines from different regions around the world. Great values are found in South America, South Africa, and Spain, as well as other little-known wine regions.
I mentioned South Africa, and one of my favorite whites is Teddy Hall’s Chenin Blanc from Stellenbosch, South Africa. This is a perfect wine for the spring and summer, for it is light, crisp and refreshing. This small producer puts great care into the farming practices and the juice that’s in the bottle. This is a clean and zesty wine with great balance. Tropical salad and pineapple aromas complement the lively, fresh yet complex palate that finishes refreshingly with a lingering sensation of spice and wild honey.
I know I said to stay away from the popular varietals, but I stumbled across a great Chardonnay from Backstory a while back that breaks this rule, and breaking rules can be fun from time to time. The folks at O’Niell vintners and Crafted Brands set out to find great grapes throughout California to create this quality, varietally correct wine at a low price, and they nailed it. This is a ripe, round white wine with delicious aromas and juicy flavors of fresh apple, peach, pear and lemon. Balanced with creamy overtones and a slight touch of oak for a refreshing, memorable finish.
San Giorgio Pinot Grigio is a fantastic wine from the Friuli region of Italy. The way they are able to make such a great wine for under $10 is by using a co-operative farming method, allowing the winemakers at San Giorgio to select the best grapes from the region to create a great wine at lower cost. This straw yellow wine has hints of tree fruit, with a dry flavor and good balance. This wine is perfect for light summer dishes, especially fish.
On the red side, we have another rule breaker in Veramonte, Pinot Noir. This exceptional wine is from the Casablanca Valley of Chile, and Veramonte is the pioneers of this great wine-growing region. The low cost of land at the time of their first plantings in the early 90s allow them to make a great product for a modest price. The quality of their wines come from consulting with world renowned winemaker Paul Hobbs. This wine has expressive aromas of raspberries, red cherries and red plum that reflect the true characteristics of their coastal vineyards. The wine is round with an elegant structure, fresh acidity, and red fruit flavors. The vibrant finish ends with a seamless balance of acidity and firm minerality.
Montepulciano D’Abruzzo is a great inexpensive wine. My favorite producer is Vignetti del Sol. This wine comes to us from famed importer Michael Skurnik. With his great contacts in the Abruzzo region of Italy, he was able to make this fantastic wine with the people at Vignetti to share with all for under $7. This juicy red display notes of cherry, strawberry, and sweet spice. Bright, mouthwatering acidity makes it especially food friendly and it will make the perfect dinner companion at your next pizza night.
Spain is home to some of the best value wines of the world at all price points, meaning that even the more expensive wines from this great wine country are perceived as drinking way above their cost. Flaco Tempranillo is on the outskirts of the capital of Spain, Madrid. Most Spaniards don’t even know about the rich winemaking history of this region. Flaco is produced by Compañía de Vinos del Atlántico using 100 percent organic practices, which makes it all that much more surprising that it costs under $8. Flaco Tempranillo is well balanced, starting off with fresh red berry and spice on the nose. On the palate, the wine is silky and smooth with flavors of tangy raspberry and tart cherry. A lite floral quality followed by smooth tannins create a tight and focused finish.
Save some money this spring for the summer vacation that lies ahead without sacrificing that glass of wine you crave after a long workday. Follow these tips to pick out your own great wine for under $10 or choose one of the great ones in the list.