Those three words don't always go together sadly when we're talking about a luscious beverage like wine at our table for dinner, but fear not, I've uncovered some real stars in this category that you can find at your local wine store that deliver and then some. It's hard to find decent juice from the United States at a fair price, as most of the "bulk wines" come from the Central Valley in California and taste, well, pretty awful at best. Look to Spain, Argentina, Chile and Southern France for some of the best values on the market today, some even coming in alternative packaging, such as Tetra paks (think soy milk containers), screw tops, and even boxed with an internal bladder system (this is a cool choice that is both eco friendly and economical, keeping the wine fresh for several weeks!)
I know several of you scoffed at the idea of boxed wine, but seriously, most people in South America, Australia, and France drink their wines from these "box casks" as they like to call them- Come 'on and be hip like a European, man!
Check out my favorite bottles for the bucks below:
"The Climber" made by the people who own Veli Velo winery in Napa and make the famous "Clif" bars- these guys are serious cyclists who make great wine that comes in a collapsible pouch which you can easily stash in your backpack and recycle when done. Their Cabernet is super fruity, and silky-smooth and the un-oaked Chardonnay is appley, crisp and refreshing. It comes in a 1.5Liter size and is only $20
Pie de Palo viognier is a stunner from Argentina at only $8 a bottle, it brings out glorious apricot and honeysuckle notes, with a fresh, clean palate. A total no-brainer!
From the same winery comes a super-yumy Malbec at $8 also, that has lots of cocoa notes, and bright black raspberry fruit. serious wine for not so serious dollars!
Genius Winemaker Randall Graham from California makes a red and white table wine from really good juice called "Big House" red and white. These come in a nifty 3 liter box that fits neatly in the fridge or discretely in your cabinet, bring the price per bottle for this traditionally $8/ bottle wine down to $5/ Bottle cost!
A fellow wine lover turned me onto some decent cheap New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in a box called Silver Birch- 3 Liters for $20! Good grapefruity notes, lots of refreshing acid, and a super price. A good everyday quaffer!
So fear not. Save your big bucks for $15 martinis out on a Friday night. Drink good cheap and easy, and rest assured, you don't have to spend a lot to get a lot!