When it comes to wines, expensive isn’t always best. Advancement in modern winemaking has made it easier to get a good bottle of wine for less money. You still want to be careful and do some research. Many wines under $10.00 may have extra sugar added to mask the flavor of poor quality grapes.
It helps if you know a few things about safe bets from different regions. For example, wines from Portugal are usually very good if you can find them. This is because the grapes are mostly unknown varieties and the cost of living in Portugal is lower. It’s nearly always a safe bet to get a Zinfandel from California or a Malbec from Argentina. It’s also helpful to taste a lot of wine and get an idea of what regions and grapes you like. Stores tend to mark up familiar brands and it can pay to try some of the lesser known wines.
Here are my top 5 picks for delicious and affordable wines.
1- Ironstone Old Vine Zinfandel ($10.00) A full bodied Zin produced in Lodi, California, where it is aged in French oak for 3 months. This one also comes recommended by HuffPost Taste as a fruit-forward wine with berry and plum flavors that marry beautifully. Zinfandel is a versatile wine that pairs well with meats. It’s also great with pasta in tomato sauce or a plate of aged cheese.
2- Santa Cristina 2014 Pinot Grigio Delle Venezia ($12.00) A great everyday white at an affordable price. This wine has bright green apple and grapefruit flavors that pairs well with poultry and seafood. Also delicious with summery salads and vegetable dishes.
3- 2014 Secco Italian Bubbles, Chardonnay (13.99) Made from chardonnay grapes grown in Italy’s Veneto region. This is an easy-drinking sparkling wine with flavors of elderberry, anise, and melon. Perfect for a romantic evening or Valentines Day. If you’re looking to romance your sweetie, see this post for more affordable picks for Valentine’s Day.
4- Benvenuto De La Serna 2014 ($13.00) Malbecs are always a good choice when you are shopping for tasty, affordable wines. This one has flavors of cassis and blackberries with a fruity finish. Made with estate grown fruit from Argentina. This wine is perfect for a barbecue and great with grilled meats.
5- Mulderbosch 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé Coastal Region ($14.00) Made from vines grown specifically for making rosé. The palate is crisp and dry with flavors of red cherry and strawberries. This is a great wine to serve with sushi and spicy dishes.