Saturday, April 10, 2010

Quality Not Always Easy To Guess by Price

So, I’ve been on a rampage lately. I’ve been working hard for all of you to understand this whole price verses quality thing. By working hard, I mean drinking a lot.

What prompted me to do this was a recent opening of a new grocery store near my neighborhood. Well, actually it’s in the bad part of town a little too close to my neighborhood. This grocery specializes in “cheap”. Not exactly poor quality by any means, however, nonetheless, “cheap”.

I have written other scathing articles over the past few months concerning the proprietary wines from 7 – 11, WalMart, Safeway, and Rite Aid. Don’t even get me started on “Two-Buck (actually now Three-Buck) Chuck” at Trader Joes.

On the other hand, I’m just like everyone else out there. I love a good bargain! If I can find a good wine that won’t drain my bank account I’m all for it.

So, I picked up a few bottles of wine from this store. Excitedly, I cooled them all to the respected temperatures and got out the glass and the opener. In the name of scientific research of course.

The first was a 2007 Sylvester Sauvignon Blanc, a winery out of Paso Robles, California. I pulled the cork and was greeted with the expected nose and flavors that come from a 3 year old white white. The wine was pretty good but far from outstanding. Not bad for $2.99. Served with a killer Ceviche, I didn’t mind it at all.

Next, I poured the 2007 Rose’ from Sylvester. The nose was quite nice, with lots of bright fruit. The flavors were…It tasted like last year’s Easter egg shells. Not saying that’s bad if you’re into that sort of thing. Once again $2.99.

My third bottle was a 2003 Waterbrook Primarius Syrah. I figured I was in for a real treat! I love Waterbrook. Their Melange is one of the best under $10 blends on the market. For $2.99 I was tempted to buy a case. Good thing I didn’t. That wine was really “hot” from having too much alcohol in the balance. Dang near tore my head off!

Last, I bought up and purchased a bottle of Vinos Magali 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina. Right away, I noticed the year and knew I needed to breathe this one. At first I was a little scared. The wine was very ruby in appearance and smelled musty. But, as it opened up in my glass it turned out to be a fantastic buy! Dark and rich, with a nice balance of tannin and fruit. Some oxidation, but really not bad for a 2000 production wine. For $5.99 I felt like I hit the jackpot!

Still looking for a few good buys I drove down the highway to Gooseridge winery. They are offering a limited supply of Riesling for $60 a case. This semi dry is rockin’ good for $5 a bottle. Light hints of petrol open up to spiciness, lots of bright fruit, and a nice acidic finish. Awesome with food or by itself.

So, I guess the moral of the story is you can find many good wines for under $10. You just have to look, and know what you’re looking for. Buy a bottle, and if you don’t like it then pour it down the sink. If you love it, go back and buy the whole lot!



  1. I love finding good bargains as well. I'm new to the wine blogging scene and if you've already covered this one, then I'm late. But I recently wrote about this gem that I found

    I may consider a new post about my experiences with various price points. I have found one price range that if you're willing to spend it (and it's not that much) almost everything in that category will be very good to excellent. But as soon as you get above that price range, I am always surprised by how much over-priced swill is out there.

    Nice blog! I enjoy it and list in my blog roll.

  2. I know I get overwhelmed when I go to the store and see hundreds of wines and brands I haven't even heard of. So I am lost if I want to buy something nice for a friend as a gift.


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