Evenings for Two

Your guide to romance, fine dining and fun in the Triangle, NC.

A Whole Bunch of Wines for Under $10

You don’t have to trust me — trust the Wall Street Journal, the Today Show and Bon Apetit.

wineThe New York Times recently ran an article about wine as an economic indicator. It turns out that in a down economy people buy less expensive wine but more of it. Their booze budget stays about the same but they either want to drink more or they want it to last longer.  Whatever the psychology, the media is falling all over themselves to help us get more bang (or buzz) per bottle.  Heck, even Gary V. of Wine Library TV set a resolution to taste more value wines on his webcasts.  (By the way, if you’re not watching this guy you’re missing out on a great wine education resource as well as one of the best examples I’ve seen of how to use Web 2.0 to promote your business.)

Ok.  So let’s get down to it.  Who’s on the band wagon and what are they recommending? (Final list at bottom of post.)

The Wall Street Journal — the bastion of bankers and business people–is trying to ease the minds of many of its (formerly high-flying) readers by running an online article where columnists blind-tasted about 2,000 wines and found 10 great ones for $10 or less. I’ve simply listed them below, but you can check out all their tasting notes in the article here.

Over the holidays, NBC’s the today show ran a segment comparing boxed wine with it’s more expensive bottled counterparts. Like Kendall Jackson Chardonnay? The regular one–not the Grand Reserve runs $10-$13 per bottle.  Instead, substitute the Blackbox Chard. I picked this up at Food Lion and tried it out. Frankly, it’s pretty close to the KJ. The finish is a little different but for the equivalent of about $4.95 a bottle, it makes a petty great every day quaff.) They also recommended the Bota Box Merlot.

Even gourmet taste-maker Bon Appetit came out with a list of 10 whites and 10 reds for under $10 in their January issue.  Link to the full article complete with tasting notes here.

Finally, we checked in with Fine Living over at HGTV.  Again with the list of value wines.

Bottom line?  These are people who have taste buds you can trust so it must be true.  I’m thinking of making it one of my resolutions to work through the entire list (no not all in one evening….)  Wanna play along? Here’s the list:


  • Columbia Crest 2007 Grand Estates Chardonnay Washington $8
  • Domaine de Bernier 2006 Chardonnay
    France $9
  • Fish Eye 2007 Pinot Grigio California $8
  • Veramonte 2007 “Reserva” Sauvignon Blanc Chile $9
  • Brancott 2008 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand $10
  • Domaine La Hitaire 2007 “Les Tours” France $10
  • Ponte de Lima 2007 “Adamado” Vinho Verde Portugal $10
  • Tintero 2007 Moscato d’Asti Italy $10
  • Wolfgang 2007 “Concerto” Grüner Veltliner Austria $10
  • Bianchi 2007 “Elsa” Torrontés Argentina $8
  • Fairvalley (Coastal Region) Sauvignon Blanc 2007 ($8.99)
  • Juno Wine Co. (Robertson) Sauvignon Blanc 2006 ($7.99)
  • Ken Forrester Vineyards “Petit Chenin” (Stellenbosch) 2007 ($9.95). South Africa.
  • The Hogue Cellars (Columbia Valley) Pinot Grigio 2007 ($6.99). U.S.
  • Alamos (Catena) Torrontés (Salta) 2007 ($10)
  • Pannotia Vineyards Torrontés (Salta) 2006 ($7.99). Argentina
  • Three Thieves Bandit Pinto Grigio 2006 $9 (1 liter tetra pak)
  • BotaBox Chardonnay, California $16 (3 liter = 4 bottles)
  • Wine Cube Pinot Grigio, California (2006) $10 (1.5 liters = 2 bottles)


  • Terre del Nero d’Avola (Rossetti) 2005 ($9.95). Italy.
  • Château Au Grand Paris Bordeaux Supérieur 2005 ($10). France.
  • Valle Reale “Vigne Nuove” Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2005 ($9.95)
  • Castellana (Cantina Miglianico) Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2006 ($5.99). Italy.
  • Archeo 2006 Nero d’Avola Italy $4 (available at Trader Joe’s)
  • Banrock Station 2006 Shiraz Australia $5
  • Bianchi 2007 “Elsa” Malbec Argentina $8
  • Budini 2008 Malbec Argentina $9
  • McManis Family Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon California $9
  • Monterra 2005 Merlot California $9
  • Di Majo Norante 2007 Sangiovese Italy $10
  • Eguren 2006 Tempranillo Spain $10 for 1 liter
  • Goats Do Roam 2006 Red South Africa $10
  • Vigne & Vini 2005 “Schiaccianoci” Negroamaro del Salento Italy $10
  • Black Box Cabernet Sauvingnon, Central Coast, California (2006) $25 (3 liters)
  • French Rabbit Pinot Noir, Vin de Pays d’Oc, France (2006) $10 (1 liter)

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