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LOUNGE => Miscellaneous => Topic started by: Mark Schlipper on July 24, 2005, 08:08 PM

Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: Mark Schlipper on July 24, 2005, 08:08 PM
Hey all,

I've recently gotten myself a taste for red wines (particularly Syrah/Shirazs) and well, being a pragmatic man I don't like the idea of paying over $12 for a bottle (ok, I'll go to $15 if the label is cool ;) ) and prefer to keep it under $10.  And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one.   So I thought it'd be fun to share our findings.   Seeing as how wine is as subjective as music, itd be nice to have a sentence or two about why you like or dislike the particular selection.

SO ...


Smoking Loon 2002 Syrah - like most syrah, rich and chock fulla berry goodness, and smooth like butta.  

EXP 2001 Syrah - a little pricier (got it on sale for $12), but really good.  It had some different fruitiness than most syrahs Ive had, like a fig kinda thing on top of the berry.  It added a dark funkiness to it, like mushrooms on a burger.  Plus they get bonus points for not wrapping the top, just a wax plug on top of the cork :)  

Not so good:

Porcupine Ridge 2004 Shiraz - the first bottle I just dumped.  Just had too much rough edge too it.   I expect a little burn from my scotch, not my wine.  
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: Gregg Rivers on July 24, 2005, 08:13 PM
We have a friend that works at a Liquor Store in Memphis. He's also Italian AND he LOVES wine! He's turned me on to a red wine that I love as well! Lorval Merlot. Delicious and it's only about $10.00 a bottle. Try it. (It's a French wine....but it's good anyway! HA!)
Title: Re:good cheap wines?
Post by: felix on July 25, 2005, 08:20 AM
I like the Yellow Tail *Austraila* shiraz the most.  I think it's around 15 to 17 for those big bottles of it if you go to a costco other shoppers club.

I just go to a wine dept. and look for the cheapest, oldest brand of wine.  Sometimes I get lucky- sometimes I don't.

Most of the time I have found that the more I spend, the better the bottle.  I like Ferarri (Italy I think) white wines/chardonay's the most.

I'm not much of an authority- I just know what I like.
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: smoggrocks on July 25, 2005, 12:03 PM
the syrah/shiraz wines have really gained in popularity, and i've noticed their price is starting to reflect that. i used to be able to choose from a range of new zealand picks for about $10-13, and now they're closer to $20 and above.  

for a real bargain, there's always black opal. at $8 a bottle, it gets the job done, but i find it a little too harsh.

D'arenberg Stump Jump is really nice. round, mellow, earthy notes, good with just about any food. 10 bux. [though it's a grenache/shiraz blend]

Annie's Lane Shiraz, also a varietal, is very nice. lots of berry flavors, easy finish. very drinkable, as they say. it's about 14 or 15 bux.

one that i think is totally overrated is Changeling Eden Valley [i forget who puts it out]. it got really high ratings, but i must've gotten a bum batch, coz i thought it was really nasty and bitter. not worth my 40 bux!

i'm getting back into rhone wines. while many of them are astronomically expensive, i can still find good bargains from time to time.

you know, i tried edumacating myself about vino several years back, and just got confused. so many differing opinions about what's right, what's wrong, what glass to use, whether the trend toward regular bottle caps is bad or good. i just decided to let my tastebuds decide. it's worked fine thus far.

ok, im done wine-ing. :-X ;D
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: Bart Elliott on July 25, 2005, 12:14 PM
I like Merlot, so I'll have to check out the Lorval.

I also like most Shiraz ... so I'll have to look into those suggestions as well.

I wish I had something to recommend. I don't drink wine often enough to really recommend one ... but the real reason is more along the lines of not finding something that I was really crazy about. Basically not enough consistent experience to draw any conclusions or suggestions.
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: Gregg Rivers on July 25, 2005, 12:44 PM
A white that I've grown fond of is Behringer Sauvignon blanc. The 2001 was a great vintage but I've found the 2003 is not nearly as good! It runs about $14 bucks a bottle. The 2001 vintage is a very good domestic.
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: smoggrocks on July 25, 2005, 01:56 PM
ooops -- i forgot to mention another option just in the 'red table wine' category, and that's Boucheron. it's sold in one of those 750 ml [or larger?] bottles, and it rules.

usually, i just use it to cook, and take little nips as i go along, but it's perfectly great by itself. they make red, white and chardonnay, and for $7.99 for a huge bottle, i consider it a great value.

hey, man -- if it's good enough for the french, it'll do for me!

Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: chefdoug on July 25, 2005, 02:10 PM
  I am also liking Shiraz alot but I have been leaning towards Pinot Noir lately. I really like many of the wines Austrailia has to offer, particularly any of  the Rosemont Estate wines. The Shiraz is really nice as are some of the Shiraz blends. I had this one Pinot Noir(Aussie wine) not too long ago, can't remeber the name of the vineyard, but the bottle had a blue lable and simply said "Bin 333"

 Another good Aussie vineyard is Lindemans(sp?), nice Shiraz. I also tried a Shiraz called Little Penguin, I think I paid $11 for it.

 It's been a while since I plunged in to a good bottle of wine. With the hot weather of summer, it's been tons of grilled food and a nice assortment of high brow, snobby beer.  8)I sometimes get in beer mode and wine really takes a back seat.  

Oh and as far as  good cheap wines go, don't forget to but a few bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau when it comes out in November, the George Duboeuf can be had for about $8, the Beringer isn't bad either., check out some history of this traditional wine here.....
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: Mark Schlipper on July 25, 2005, 04:45 PM
Please do open it up to other kinds of wines too if thats your cuppa.  I can really only talk syrah/shiraz because thats all Ive been drinking.   But don't feel obligated to limit it to that.

I'd tried a number of Australians (Yellow Tail and Little Penguin both among others) and while I liked 'em, I always found the Californias smoother and easier.  

My favorite Aussie Shiraz was Buckley's.   Very nice.  I was at Trader Joes (kinda snooty grocery store for those that don't know) yesterday picking up a couple bottles for myself and got two people to buy Buckley's  ;D  

There was a French Syrah I liked too called Red Bicyclette, don't recall the vintage, it was a while back.   Very similar to a Californian one I liked by Pepperwood Grove.  Both easily 4 out of 5 stars.  

I still shop by label to be honest  ;D  There are so many options out there, and I have so little experience, that I have nothing really to guide me but the vintners sense of aesthetics.   Thats actually kind of how it started for me.  A bottle of Bonny Doon with a Ralph Steadman illustration was appealing, add to that the fact that I've been to the BD winery and I had to buy it ;D
Title: Re: Good cheap whines.
Post by: Joe on July 25, 2005, 05:08 PM
I wannnna go see where they throw the fiiiiish....

::duck & run::
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: Tony on July 25, 2005, 06:32 PM
Smoggy, $8 for a Black Opal?  Got to move back to NYC,  I paid $5.75 for a glass this weekend.  'course, I was at the beach.  It's about $15 here, but this is Alabama, the State that prides itself on having the largest tax on liquor, wine and beer in the USA!!! Woo-Hoo.

I second Chefdoug and the Rosemont brands, they are very tasty for the price range.  I'm not sure if LUNA DI LUNA makes a Shiraz, but everything else I've had by them is good and solid.  I would follow any of the rec's here, as I've sampled them all (not at once, though!!) and they are all well made conservatively priced wines.  Happy hunting, I've always enjoyed the first sip of a new wine, it's like Christmas everytime    ;D
Title: Re:good cheap wines?
Post by: felix on July 26, 2005, 06:47 PM
I can't stand Luna di Luna whites- those are in the blue bottles right?  YUK

Mark, I bought a bottle of "Jacob's Creek" Shiraz 2003 (Austrailia) for 7 bucks to go with the Lasanza I made.  It's good stuff maynard.

Lots of antioxidants!
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: Tkitna on July 26, 2005, 08:34 PM
My wife and her friends drink a good bit of wine (like fish actually) and they buy Breitenbach's "Frostfire" a lot. Its a white wine though and its made in Ohio's Amish Country, but its only $8.00 a bottle and they swear by it.

(plus my friend and I are on our third batch of homeade wine. Green Apple this time. 24 more days and she'll be ready)
Title: Favorite Wines
Post by: Jay Northrop on September 21, 2005, 09:47 PM
I am just curious as to what wines other cafe members like. Recently I have been more experimental in trying new wine. working at a liquor store does help as I am always present for sales man tastings. Thus far my favorite whites include

 Gatao - Vinho Verde
 Zed - Sav Blanc
 Cavit - Pinot Grigio
 Chateau St. Michelle - Riesling
 And for reds...

 Luzon - Spanish red
 Matua - Pinot Noir
 Woodbridge - Merlot
 Yellowtail - Merlot

Thats just the list as of now. I am more of a white wine drinker but as of late I have been finding more and more reds that fit my pallet with a nice dry blend with a small but noticeable bite. And I prefer reds that have an oak taste but its very subtle and not as strong as some people may like.
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: Shane Stylianos on September 22, 2005, 11:43 AM
Well, if you like Cheap, you don't get much cheaper than Boone's Farm.  Now that's high class wine!!  :D
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: smoggrocks on September 22, 2005, 12:26 PM
i'll raise ya one --

Mad Dog 20/20!

as bumwines.com notes, it's "as majestic as the cascading waters of a drain pipe... beware: this dog has a bite to back its bark. you'll find this beverage as often in a bum's nest as in the rock quarry where the high school kids sneak off to drink.  This beverage is likely the most consumed by non-bums, but that doesn't stop any bums from drinking it!"

Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: Mister Acrolite on September 22, 2005, 12:29 PM
So far I've only had the white, but I bought "Fat Bastard" based solely on its funny name, and found it quite a decent white. I've got a botle of red FB at home, but haven't opened it yet. Still, you gotta love the fun of entertaining your guests by popping the cork on some Fat Bastard...
Title: Re:good cheap wines?
Post by: drummer1202 on September 22, 2005, 12:34 PM
Mad Dog??
Thanks guys, now I have to go vomit!!!!

Ah - The memories!!! ;D ;D 8)
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: Shane Stylianos on September 22, 2005, 12:48 PM
Title: Re:good cheap wines?
Post by: Ranman on September 22, 2005, 12:58 PM
Mad Dog??
Thanks guys, now I have to go vomit!!!!

Ah - The memories!!! ;D ;D 8)

So anything in a bag?
Title: Re:good cheap wines?
Post by: drummer1202 on September 22, 2005, 01:16 PM
So anything in a bag?

You just summed up my teen years Ranman!  :D
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: TheBeachBoy on September 22, 2005, 01:51 PM
I like a lot of the dry red wines, such as:

Yellow Tail shiraz
La Bicyclette shiraz (may have been merlot)
Tsunami chianti zinfandel
Ecco Domani Merlot
almost anything dry, especially if the label looks home-made

Another good one is Sterling Cabernet
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: smoggrocks on September 22, 2005, 02:47 PM
Tsunami chianti

"Now being served at all five-star Thai resorts"

doh! sorry, man. i walked right into it.  :P
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: Louis Russell on September 22, 2005, 07:37 PM
Well, if you like Cheap, you don't get much cheaper than Boone's Farm.  Now that's high class wine!!  :D

High Class would be Boone's Farm mixed with Kool Aid.  I knew a bass player who drank that.  One time he even mixed it up in a trash can, he did rinse it out first.   ;D
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: Jeff Lewallen on September 27, 2005, 11:27 AM
I jumped on the red wine bandwagon about a year and half ago and try to have one glass each day with dinner. A regular 750ml bottle will usually yield 4-5 glasses and being the tight wad that I am I search for bargains as much as possible.

The one thing I have found is that higher price DOES NOT equal a better tasting wine in my opinion. And that's the thing, opinions on wine are so varied from one person to the next that you have to just try different ones and find what you like the best. I decided early on to not buy the same wine twice.

I try to stay under $15 for the most part and honestly have had $10 bottles that tasted as good to me as $25+ dollar bottles of the same grape. I shop at a large wine warehouse type store in my area and those places usually seem to be much cheaper than the local grocery store although the first time I went in  there I was a little intimidated.

I have my special techinique... I decide on a price to not exceed per bottle and start combing the aisles. I just look for something I haven't tried yet and the first one I see that's in my price range goes into the basket. Very un-winesman like conduct I'm sure but it works for me. Needless to say, the wine "experts" in the store know now to spare the fancy adjectives and not bother recommending that $30 bottle to me.

I consider it an adventure to try and discover as many good tasting yet good value wines. Sometimes I get lucky and if I really like a bottle I'll break my rule and go back to buy another bottle of the same to put up for later. Rarely have I picked one out that was so bad that I had to dump the bottle.

Some recent reds I like:

Yellowtail - I like all of their reds, especially the Shiraz
Antinori Santa Cristina - Italian Tuscan Sangiovese
Rene Barbier -  Mediterranean Red Table Wine
Marcus James - Merlot - Argentina (very good value IMHO)

Happy tasting........

Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: Mark Schlipper on September 27, 2005, 11:52 AM
I recently picked up a cabernet by Casillero del Diablo (Cellar of the Devil) for $9 that was really excellent.   I don't recall the exact year, but I believe it was between 99-01 based on the label (they seem to have changed it after that)
Title: Re:good cheap wines?
Post by: felix on September 27, 2005, 07:04 PM
Hey Mark- I'm catching up to you brother!

Where were these grapes grown.  Gawd an 01 for 9 bucks?  Gotta be a hard one to find.
Title: Re:good cheap wines?
Post by: Mark Schlipper on September 28, 2005, 12:15 PM
Hey Mark- I'm catching up to you brother!

Where were these grapes grown.  Gawd an 01 for 9 bucks?  Gotta be a hard one to find.

If I recall it was a spanish wine.  I found it at "Cost Plus/World Market Imports".   Its a store kind of like Pier 1 but more varied and authentic.  They are a great source for good cheap wine.  
Title: good cheap wines?
Post by: RHSquonk on September 28, 2005, 12:34 PM
OK , So my Brother manages a package store so I get all my wine at cost (which incidently is at least half of the price on the bottle on the shelf,3 X for a restraunt)

You would think this would be a good thing right?

WRONG! since I get it so cheap...I now buy the good stuff and now I am unable to drink the cheap stuff!

anywho...for those who dig shiraz, you HAVE to try the 'Stump Jump" shiraz. Its like a $10 bottle, but it is just a beautiful wine.

I have been waiting to open my bottle of  StagsLeap Cab-sav from 95. $150 a bottle ($75for me).
I bought it for myself for Christmas last year. I have been waiting on a special occasion.

You know like the day I answer the front door and Mr. A. and Felix are there to help me "tune my kit"  ;)

SO...where the heck are you guys...lets go!
It's almost October!