Wine Talk

Snooth User: EMark

Low Dollar WIne -- $4.99

Posted by EMark, Jan 5, 2013.

In past posts here on the Forum I have confessed that I regularly drink inexpensive wines.  In fact, I have been doing less of that, lately, but last night I picked one out of the rack that, pretty much, blew me away;  Epicuro 2009 Salice Salentino -- US$4.99 at Trader Joe's.

This wine is a blend of Negroamaro (80%) and Malvasia Nera (20%) grapes.  I found it to have a neat combination of berry, cinnamon and earthy flavors with an acid content that begged to accompany food.  We made pizza last night and my side of the pizza was sloshed with tomato sauce.  This wine is awesome with tomato sauce.  Also, as you might expect, it is not one you have to lay down, buy it, pop it and drink it.




Reply by duncan 906, Jan 5, 2013.

Buying and drinking inexpensive wine is nothing to be ashamed of.The truth is that most people do not acvtually like spending money.The point is that you enjoy the wines you buy and therefore get value for your hard-earned cash It is not necessary to spend a lot of money to drink well.Like most people in these straightened times I am always on the look-out for a bargain.Just before Christmas I paid a mere £5 for three bottles of the Italian white winei Lis Neris Confini which I liked and reviewed for Snooth.I also paid £25 for a 6 bottle case of Cotes de Rousillon and when I get around to drinking one I shall also review it for Snooth.Other recent bargains were three bottles of Domaine Leon Barral Faugeres for £15.50,six bottles of the Australian sparkling wine  De Bortoli Willowglen Riverina for £15 and one bottle of Chateau Bouscaut Grand Cru Classe de Graves for £5.50.However the best bargain ever has to be 12 bottles of Morgon Herve Varenne for £38


Happy drinking and bargain hunting

Reply by Corey Reichle, Jan 5, 2013.

When you realize that all wine consists of is fruit juice and yeast, you begin to realize the prospects of cheap, good wine.

I've made 5 gallons of apefelwein with 5 gallons of market cider, 99 cents in yeast, 5lbs of sugar and about 6 months time.  Total cost:  About $3/bottle, and it was some of the best wine I've had :)

Reply by GregT, Jan 5, 2013.

Funny thing emark - that's a price range that I won't ever bother looking at but you aced it. I should think of the Salice Salentino area more often because I never really buy them but I always like them when I have them.

It's another example of what is so great about Italy. Very drinkable stuff and usually really inexpensive. A good bet for a house wine in a casual restaurant.

Another wine in roughly the same price range is Monte Antico Rosso. That's actually from Tuscany but it's also something that won't break the bank and is surprisingly good for what you pay. Mostly Sangiovese with some Merlot and Cab. We used to order it a lot at restaurants for lunch or a casual supper when I didn't recognize anything else on the list. Those are great examples of what wine should be - a beverage to enjoy with your meal, not something to obsess over too much.

Reply by JonDerry, Jan 6, 2013.

Mark, this looks worth pursuing, thanks for the tip. Found a riserva at wine exchange for about $17, and some other examples at reputable LA shops for $10

Reply by amour, Jan 7, 2013.

Candour and honesty ......just what we welcome on Snooth...and we do get comments that can be regarded as filled with both!!!!!!  Yes we do!   Thanks to our posters!

I recently served some NOT SO KEEN ON WINE folks Mirrasou Moscato..and they enjoyed it thoroughly....I  actually tasted it myself.....and it was beyond 'passable'...and priced under $12. U.S here in there we go...yet another good wine buy...and many there are...the world over. CHEERS!

A friend had visited the Mirrasou Winery and mentioned that she thought the wines quite good, and that is why I actually purchased pays to keep experimenting and trying new wines...even some so-called cheap wines!!!!  At my stage in life...I have REAL TIME for Fine French Wine, almost exclusively, and simply that...and how very satisfying.... quite frankly speaking, with my sophisticated palate, so many ordinary wines taste like FRUIT-WATER...and are therefore absolutely frustrating to sip, in my opinion....but sometimes one does get a real pleasant surprise to treasure forever, and sometimes a very purse-friendly one as well!!!!

Reply by jtryka, Jan 25, 2013.

I really don't have a problem with cheap wine, but I'll admit I probably overlook a lot of them at my usual shopping places, the exception being Trader Joe's.  Last month I bought a few bottles of 2008 Cantina del Grifone 1967 Toscana for $5.99 each, and I thought it was quite nice for the price.  Trader Joe's probably has the best selection of under-$10 wines, but you just need to be careful, as sometimes you get real winners and other times they are bland, drab wines that aren't even worth the price you paid.

Reply by amour, Jan 25, 2013.

Great to see some level of interest in this thread....however low!

Even Trump was asked to spend carefully!!!

I bought wines at Total Wine yesterday and plan to return for more; prices are reasonable,

and I saw some hard to find elsewhere ones.

I originally went to Total for Lafaurie Peyraguey/ Sauternes/ France, because the Marky's bistro no longer has it....neither by bottle or by glass; I looked forward to hanging out there for 7 years and sipping it with Foie Gras!  When Tatiana, the waitress said, " SORRY. None at all ", I nearly collapsed!!!  She told me to try TOTAL, but alas...they have none either!!!

However, I discovered Chateau Belingard Monbazillac 09 375 ml at around $13. ( not a spectacular vintage; Monbazillac wines are similar to Sauternes, whose excellent vintages include 2001, 2005, 2007).      By the way, 09 Ch Belingard was rated 88 by Wine Enthusiast.

The main point is that I enjoyed it !

I already know the excellent Chateau Rieussec 09/ Sauternes/France, which is lovely and cost four times as much.

I  bought a few bottles of the Chateau Rieussec, for special wine sessions, of course, and for keeping for another few years!!!

I plan to try the Chateau Doisy-Vedrines/Sauternes at $24 for 375 ml and the lower priced one from another Sauternes producer to see how it compares; Chateau Grand Carrety Sauternes 375 ml at $13

I also plan to experiment with Japanese Plum Wines, which are not expensive and available in a few Miami wine shops.  I am checking Snooth too.

Marsala is Italy's classic fortified dessert wine, out of Sicily, and cost from $6. up to $20.

With Valentines Day up-coming, I do hope that these sweet gems would be useful to some, or at least trigger wine considerations as you plan your celebration of the day of LOVE! All we need is LOVE and Wine!  Or, the love of Wine, whichever!!

Reply by JonDerry, Jan 25, 2013.

Word of caution with Trader Joe's: They work with growers to make declassified wine exclusively for Trader Joe's, meaning you'll often get recognizable labels with lesser wines, at lower prices. May seem like a good deal, but it's usually not.

Reply by duncan 906, Jan 25, 2013.

The point about Monbazillac is that it is made from the same grape types as Sauternes using similar methods from an area not that far away although it is usuially cheaper.Therefore if you like Sauternes you will probably like Monbazillac.There are other sweet wines made exactly like Sauternes which are actually in Bordeaux. and only a stones throw from the Sauternes appellation but tend to cost considerably less.One is white Cadillac.Another is Loupiac.I had a bottle of Loupiac Gaudiet 2004 which I enjoyed and reviewed for Snooth.Another is Graves Superieures.I enjoyed a bottle of Clos Saint Georges Graves Superiures 1979 and reviewed for Snooth.The other one is Sainte Croix du Mont.I recently aquired a bottle of Chateau la Rame 1973 but have yet to try it.There are also other sweet desert wines from other parts of  France using different grapes I have enjoyed Domaine de Montesquiou Grappe D'Or from Jurancon in the South of France.Coteaux du Layon from the Loire valley is a sweet Botrytis wine made of chenin blanc.I thought La Cuvee Ancienne Baumard Coteaux du Layon Carte D'Or NV was a lovely wine.I have just finished another bottle of Coteaux du Layon which I also thought a lovely wine,Domaine des Forges Chaume Premier Cru des Coteaux du Layon which I drank with some blue cheese I bought at the recent London France Show.

Reply by Kovas 50 States Of Wine, May 28, 2013.

My wife and I love shopping for wine at TJ's -- at $3, $4, or $5, not much to lose and some have been pretty great on the QPR.

Reply by Richard Foxall, May 29, 2013.

Those Epicuro wines are decent, safe bets for Italian wines.  Of them, I think the Salice is the best by far.  Really a great price for a "pizza wine."  You found a gem.

Reply by Argovino, May 30, 2013.

There's an Argentine option, too - we rated Astica Malbec 88 points, and it's available at under $4 for 750mL and also in magnums.  Check it out here.

Reply by jackwerickson, May 31, 2013.

Was in TJ yesterday to buy olive oil and rememberd this wine so I bought a couple of bottles and would agree that it is a great QPR. I have a problem in that I have 170+wines avg price $35+ and When I look for a bottle to drink I look for the cheapest bottle I have. My wife does not drink wine so I am stuck with a bottle I usually drink a half bottle everyday so it gets drunk. My problem is I believe wine is to be shared it tastes much better when sharing. It is almost like having a hole in one playing by yourself it doesn't I end up opening cheaper bottles unless one of my kids come least my daughter will have a great cellar ii do open some of my good wines will probably go back and buy a few more bottles

Reply by Argovino, May 31, 2013.

Jack, you might want to consider using Private Preserve - a spray containing inert gases - to keep your wines after opening. It costs about $8 a can, and each can is good for more than 100 uses. We use it at Argovino to preserve wines after tasting, so that our people can take them home and drink the rest. It's a great product that can take away the pressure of finishing a bottle.


The Argovino Crew

Reply by Richard Foxall, Jun 3, 2013.

Jack, you could also consider inviting a local Snoother over for assistance. 

Actually, just using a Vacuvin or refrigerating for a day is fine, but with that many wines at that level, you know all that already. 

I feel very fortunate that my spouse enjoys wine.  Heck, she used to date a winemaker and we have many friends, including a former employer of hers, who are ITB.  I usually save the good bottles to share,so I drink a little cheaper when she's away, but in your case, I think you should 1) consider entertaining more and 2) drink what goes with your meal.  Why leave all that wine for some never-to-arrive rainy day? 

I suspect that Epicuro is a brand that sells huge volume in Europe under some slightly different label.  Couldn't quite figure it out when I was there last, but I have to say it's one of the day-in, day-out bargains at TJ.  I'd rate the S-S highest, then the Aglianico.  The Nero d' is just a little tame for my taste and they have another bottling of that grape that is a buck LESS and even better. 

I actually outfitted my niece's graduation party almost entirely from TJ this weekend, and impressed an industry professional with the Ferme Julien Rose, a good standby.  Every wine I brought could be opened without a corkscrew (one sparkling and the rest under Stelvin) and was a good summer wine.  Not the very best Vinho Verde, but fine; a good CdR that never got opened, and so on.  As I said, the industry pro had no complaints, and everyone else wanted to take bottles home.

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