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What is an affordable wine?

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What is an affordable wine?

Postby Polar Bear » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:57 pm

I know very little about wine due to being a beer and booze drinker most of my life. Now that I have slowed the drinking down and become more of a casual social drinker I am exploring wine, but damn is it expensive and I don't know if I should trust wine that cost 8.99 at Wal-Mart.

Is there any place online? Is there a bottle that cost around 30 - 50 bucks that taste good or do I have to spend 300 dollars?
Last edited by Polar Bear on Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What an good affordable wine?

Postby TheRock » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:59 pm

Two buck Chuck?
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Re: What an good affordable wine?

Postby knapplc » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:09 pm

It's a common myth that you have to spend a lot of money to get good wine, but it really is a myth. Wine is very affordable these days. You can get decent wine for $10 - $20. I've spent as much as $80 on a bottle of wine before, but for regular drinking wine I don't spend more than $15, ever. I tend to trust wine makers more than anything else. Here's some wine I buy regularly:

Kendall Jackson
Rosemount (Australian - try their Shiraz)
Sterling Vineyards
Beringer (although lately they're becoming very mass-market)
Coppola

You can get most any of these for less than $15, just about anywhere. I would stick with domestics from California to start. They have decent character, they're not overly stuffy, and they're very affordable.

If you want a regular schmegular old red wine that I like quite a bit, go find Menage a Trois California Red Wine. You can get it at pretty much any grocery store (at least in this area) and it's about $9 a bottle. Or, if you have Sam's Club in your area, try some of the Veo Grande wines they've been selling. They're from Chile, and they're a lot like a simple chianti - very mild, kind of sweet and it sells for like $6 a bottle. You can't beat that.
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Re: What an good affordable wine?

Postby The Artful Dodger » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:20 pm

You really can find some terrific wine at say, Costco. While I can't say my father is incredibly picky about wine, he regularly buys wine for at most, $20, unless it's a really special occasion. He bought some wine at Costco yesterday, in fact. In particular, the Santa Ema Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a fantastic value. You can get it for only a little over $10 including tax. Fantastic smoothness for an inexpensive Cabernet.
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Re: What an good affordable wine?

Postby JTWood » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:30 pm

What an good...

This is already a top 10 thread. :-D
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Re: What an good affordable wine?

Postby JTWood » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:39 pm

knapplc wrote:It's a common myth that you have to spend a lot of money to get good wine, but it really is a myth. Wine is very affordable these days. You can get decent wine for $10 - $20. I've spent as much as $80 on a bottle of wine before, but for regular drinking wine I don't spend more than $15, ever. I tend to trust wine makers more than anything else.

This is 100% accurate. Wine is a very personal taste. Someone can tell you that Wine X is the greatest wine ever made but to you, it could taste like an ashtray on the floor of the bus. To a completely unseasoned palette, that $10-$20 range is perfect. Sure, the $100 wines might be made a little more properly, but the difference in quality will be fairly unnoticeable to someone who doesn't taste wine for a living. I drink plenty of wines in the $10-$12 range, and my "expensive" favorites are usually around $25-$28 or so.

Honestly, though, price is a terrible way to judge wine. If you're not even remotely familiar with wine, I recommend going to a winery that does a tasting tour. The good places will tell you about the differences in their wines: Why Merlots are dry... That a Riesling is sweet... That sort of stuff. Taste some of each. Figure out what type of wine you like. I bet you eliminate 60% of the choices right then and there. Personally, I prefer all the sweet whites, but I also like the dinner whites, like the Pinots. I don't like the dry reds whatsoever.

Once you get an idea of the type of wine you like, you can start working on finding the maker who crafts a bottle that suits your tastes. ;-D Oh, one other thing: If your wine tastes like hard liquor with fruit flavoring, it's not wine. It's probably liquor with fruit flavoring mixed in. :-b Avoid those like the plague.
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Re: What an good affordable wine?

Postby fezzik » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:52 pm

I usually buy my wine from one of three places...Cost Plus World Market, Whole Foods, or Costco. All have good deals and the first two have pretty extensive collections of some pretty good wine. Costco has decent prices (although not better than the other two IMO), but less of a selection.

For a cheap red table wine, I recommend Menage a Trois' California Red. They sell it at all the stores I listed above in my area, and it's around $10 a bottle. It's a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet. It's very drinkable. ;-D

At the Whole Foods by my place, they have this really smooth Merlot from Morro Bay Vineyards right now (it's been there for a while and routinely sells out). It's a 2003 and sells for under $10. When I first saw it I thought it was a typo or a bad vintage, but it was tasty, smooth, and full-bodied. It was an excellent deal considering the price. I would highly recommend it, and am typically more of a cabernet guy.

Also, Whole Foods usually has some pretty knowledgeable wine folks working there, since my understanding is each store has it's own head wine-selecting guy who picks which wines will be sold there.

Cost Plus has a really nice, varied selection of wines...at good prices. I often find myself there when I want to try something new. You could easily go there and pick out a half-dozen bottles for under $100 and see what you like. As others have noted, you can get high quality wines for under $20 these days...it's all about personal taste anyway.
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Re: What an good affordable wine?

Postby AquaMan2342 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:09 pm

I have always enjoyed Boone's Farm. It's affordable but it does the job.
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Re: What an good affordable wine?

Postby acsguitar » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:40 am

Cadaceous cellars by Maynard from Tool
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Re: What an good affordable wine?

Postby Yoda » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:31 am

Love wine. As most people stated already, it boils down to personal taste and I would recommend theese:
Santa Margherita
Simi
Chateau Ste Michelle
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