Category Archives: Under $20

Banfi Centine Rosso | Super Tuscan at a Super Price?

Banfi Centine Rosso | Super Tuscan at a Super Price?

Banfi Centine

When I hear the term “Super Tuscan”, a flurry of vaunted, high-priced names like Tignanello and Sassicaia immediately come to mind . These wines were responsible for creating and defining the genre, and with such celebrated reputations they fetch consistently high prices. But not all Super Tuscan’s are expensive. Take the Banfi Centine Rosso for example, widely available at under $12.

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Regusci Winery Merlot | Best Merlot Under $20?

Regusci Winery Stags Leap District Merlot Review | Best Merlot Under $20?

Regusci Winery

The 2011 growing season in Napa yielded a bounty of challenges for grape growers and winemakers alike. The cold and wet conditions made it tough to achieve full ripeness, and significant portions of the crop were lost to mold and rot.

Only making matters worse? The resulting widespread consumer perception that all of the 2011 wines out of Napa are awful. While there are quite a few poor wines, many good to excellent wines were made in 2011.

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Kirkland Signature Reserva Rioja | A $7 Costco Rioja?

Kirkland Signature Reserva Rioja | A $7 Costco Rioja?

Costco Rioja

I’ve been Shopping for Wine at Costco for years now, and by now I’ve enjoyed more than few examples of Costco’s own private-label Kirkland Signature wines. While not always home-runs, more often than not they are compelling values – much like many of the under-priced wines coming out of Spain at the moment.

Spanish wines are often my go-to when I want something interesting, with a true sense of place, at an affordable price point. So imaging my excitement when I see two of my reliable go-to’s combined in one bottle: Costco Rioja, and a Reserva level at under $7 no less!

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Sara Bee Moscato | Sweet Wine at a Sweet Price?

Sara Bee Moscato | Kosher Moscato Wine – Trader Joe’s Wine

Sara Bee Moscato

I have received quite a few e-mails for Kosher wine recommendations lately, so I will make an effort to include a few more Kosher wine reviews when possible. Taking into consideration the surging popularity of Moscato wine at the moment, I thought it might make sense to try out an affordable Kosher Moscato wine option. Meeting both requirements is the Sara Bee Moscato, economically priced at just under $6 in the Trader Joe’s Wine Section.

At 5.5% ABV, I fully expect that the Sara Bee Moscato will fall on the sweeter side of the spectrum (during fermentation, yeasts convert alcohol to sugar, so a higher alcohol rating translates to lower sugar levels). While sweet wines aren’t exactly my cup of tea, my goal is to help readers determine if this is indeed a Moscato Kosher wine bargain or one to avoid altogether.

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Apothic Dark Versus the Popular Apothic Red

Apothic Dark Red Blend | How Does it Compare to the Apothic Red?

apothic dark

My recent review of the immensely popular Apothic Red Blend was met with an interesting response. On one side, many readers reacted positively and remarked that it was one of their favorite inexpensive red blends on the market. On the other hand, several readers commented that the Apothic Red was more of a ‘wine cocktail’ loaded with residual sugar and tainted with wine additives.

While I can’t speak to the issue of wine additives in either the Apothic Red or Apothic Dark wines, I completely agree that the Apothic Red tastes somewhat confected and like a ‘wine cocktail’ to a degree. I wrote that it tasted more like a wine that was made in a laboratory than a vineyard, but that its uncomplicated and approachable sweet, ripe fruit flavors would be quite popular amongst many consumers.

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Apothic Red Blend | Top Red Blends Under $10

Apothic Red Blend Reviewed | Top Red Blends Under $10

Apothic Red

Have you visited the Costco wine section lately? I have, and triumphantly came away with a pretty solid Napa Cabernet under $20. Luckily not much has changed… as their selections continue to focus on value and are strongly oriented towards highly commercial options with a few gems from more boutique producers laced in there. Something else that has remained constant? The prominent positioning and suggestive placement of the Apothic Red Blend.

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Black Stallion Cabernet | Top Cabernet’s Under $20

Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon Review | Top Cabernet’s Under $20

Black Stallion Cabernet

It’s been a while now since I’ve featured a Costco wine discovery. Too long, I decided as the Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon caught my eye on my most recent bargain wine run. From the stellar 2012 vintage and priced at well under $20 from Cab country? I decided to give it a shot. The winery itself is prominently located on Napa Valley’s Silverado Trail and despite driving past it many times, I’ve sadly never committed to investigating…

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Ty Caton Sonoma Cabernet | An Estate Grown Gem

Ty Caton Cabernet Sauvignon Caton Vineyard | An Estate Grown Sonoma Gem

Ty Caton

As the hunt for good Napa Cabernet under $20 becomes an increasingly arduous one, you might consider treating your taste buds to a sojourn in Sonoma.

If it’s Pinot Noir that comes to mind when you think of Sonoma, keep in mind when you head further west towards Sonoma Coast is where you’ll find the highest concentration of vineyards dedicated to Pinot (and Chardonnay). But just across the Mayacama mountain range from Napa Valley you’ll find warmer days along with some great Cabernet’s such as this example by Ty Caton Vineyards.

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Reserve des Cleons Muscadet | Summer Seafood Partner

Reserve des Cleons Muscadet Wine Review | Perfect Partner for Summer Seafood

Muscadet Wine

Muscadet might be tough to pronounce (try Moose-cah-Dey), but if you’re familiar with this popular Loire Valley white then you already know just how easy it is to drink, especially paired with seafood during summertime.

Many of the best Muscadet’s hail from the Sevre et Maine appellation and are aged sur lie, which means on the dead yeast cells. This process adds complexity and lends a certain creaminess to the resulting wine.

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Bodegas Valdemar | A Legacy of Innovation in La Rioja

Bodegas Valdemar | A Legacy of Innovation in La Rioja

Bodegas Valdemar

My incredibly loyal readers know just how fond I am of Spanish wines. They often seriously over-deliver for the price and have an endearing ability to combine the best aspects of old-world wines (balanced, food-friendly and terroir-driven) with those of new world wines (more fruit-forward).

As a Sommelier friend was recently explaining to me, if he is looking to introduce a new world wine drinker to the old-world wine scene, he always starts in Spain. And if he were introducing them to the wines of Bodegas Valdemar, he would have both modern and old-world options to choose from within the same portfolio!

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