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18 October 2005

Ten Buck Wine Gems

TenbucksIntroducing the latest meme for the wineblogosphere (see last month's XL selection of 'best-wine-in-last-30-days + fab food pairings):

"Ten Buck Wine Gems"

I want to ask my wine amici to imagine themselves in their local wine shop..(cue harps and dreamy music)..

You check your wallet/purse/pocket/sock and discover all you've got is a ten dollar bill (or the equivalent thereof).  The question is:  What wine will give you the most bang for your ten bucks?  Tell us what you would pick - and remember you've only got ten dollars to spend.  You can go under, but not over (imagine how embarrassing that would be at the checkout register).  For extra bonus points, tell us what food pairings your $10-vino shines with.

Once you've told the world about your ten buck wine gem, pass the question along to a fellow wine or food blogger.  The aim here is to compile a big 'ol list of tasty, affordable wines for those days when we need a cheap gift, an accompaniment to Wednesday night's meatloaf, or we find a ten dollar bill in the front pocket of our favorite pair of jeans.

I'll kick things off by tagging Terence Hughes of Mondosapore - a great resource for Italian wine.  Terry, tell us, what's your ten buck wine gem?  Let me also ask for a chef's opinion - Chef M!  Got a ten-dollar wine recommendation?

My contribution:  Paul Cheneau Art Series Brut Cava, NV ($9).  This little bubbly was only $8.95, which gives me about one dollar in change.  I could create an instant party by purchasing a small bag of popcorn on the way home.  Alternatively, Cheneau's Cava would greatly compliment my rediscovered joy of risotto

Continue reading to track this meme's blogosphere voyage..

"Ten Buck Wine Gems"

Paul Cheneau Art Series Brut Cava, NV ($9)
- Beau of Basic Juice (tagged Cooking Diva & Mondosapore)

Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina Sannio DOC, 2004 ($9.99)
- Terry of Mondosapore

Chateau d'Oupia "Les Heretiques" 2004 ($7), Movia Villa Marija Merlot and Pinot Grigio ($10),  Le Berceaux Blanquette di Limoux ($9)
- Maggie of The Wine Offensive

Trio Cabernet Sauvignon * Shiraz * Cabernet Frac 2004 ($6.95)
- Chef Melissa of Panama Gourmet (AKA Cooking Diva).  Melissa also created a recipe especially for this wine: Empanadas Chilenas con Salsa Chimichurri (tagged Chef Mark, Chef Vickie & Maria Luisa)

Beaulieu Picpoul de Pinet Coteaux du Languedoc 2004 ($8.99)
- Jameson of le wine blog

"House Wine" 2003 by the Magnificent Wine Company ($8.99)
- Catie of Through the Grape Vine

Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red Lot Number Thirty-four ($10), Woop Woop South Eastern Australian 2003  Shiraz ($9), Château Mas Neuf Costières de Nîmes 2001  ($10)
- Dave of FargleSnargle

2004 Vina Alarba OVG, 2002 Kit Fox Foxy, 2003 Cuvee de Pena, 2003 La Legua, 2002/2003 Las Rocas Garanacha, 2001 Promessa Rosso Salento, 2004 Torres De Casta Rose, 2002 Red Bud Viognier
- Jens of Cincinnati Wine Garage

Pacific Peak Chardonnay NV ($3)
- s'kat of s' kat and the food


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Terry Hughes

Beau, thanks for the invite. And for the nice words.

OK, I could offer a bunch of great suggestions for $10 Italian wines. I was going to put down a lovely, honeyed Grillo from Fondo Antico, but you covered a similar Grillo a few months ago.

So what to pick, what to pick? I have to return to one of my current favorites, a terrific Falanghina by Feudi di San Gregorio, which I recently bought by the case at $9.99 a bottle.

Tremendous balance of acidity and fruit in this dry white--and a flavor that develops in the mouth--I'm not one to liken a wine to lots of the other fruit flavors unless they bash me over the head--but this is citrus modified by apples. It's a great aperitif and accompaniment with seafood.

Jancis Robinson, whom I call the Empress of Wine (she probabyl wouldn't find it too amusing!) wrote that its quality was "truly inspiring," and she's right. For this price it's miraculous.



Beau! ohh yes! I love it. Tomorrow morning I will take a trip to my favorite wine store in Panama City and will take photos and select my choices for the $10 wine gem :) Also working on the recipe...Yum!


Terry -
I'm also a fan of Feudi di San Gregorio. Great value; great quality. I'll seek this one out.


Melissa -
Can't wait for your post. I'm curious to see the wine selection in the shop (not to mention a yummy recipe from you).


Google can help you find places to buy all of these, my personal favs:

Chateau d'Oupia "Les Heretiques" - I dig this importer (and the name & label). For the last 3 years, this has been one of the wines I buy by the case. Languedoc bred, juicy like a Spanish Grenache, with great texture and depth, and a little funk like all good little Frenchies. And change back--it's only 7$.

Movia Villa Marija Merlot and Pinot Grigio - From Domaine Select (one of the best Italian protfolios in the states). These Slovenian wines possess a character and complexity beyond their modest price point. I love the little sumthin sumthin of Merlot from Northeastern Italy or thereabouts. 10$.

Le Berceaux Blanquette di Limoux - Wow. I drink bubbles more than anything, and this stuff rocks. Kinder and gentler than a budget Cava, barely sweet, and no funny aftertaste (like many cheapies). One day, the bottom of the fridge will be full of Krug, but for now it's this stuff. 9$.


Uh oh Maggie, you sprung the trap :)
I'll add your selections to the gem-list. But now you *must* tag someone else to play our little meme game (ok you don't have to, but it's fun to pull more wine minds into this thing).



Here it is:



Sorry---THIS is the ONE:



Hey! Thanks for the plug! Here's my under 10 buck gem:

2004 Beaulieu Picpoul de Pinet Coteaux du Languedoc

(Yeah, it's a mouthful.)

If you like wines with racy acidity and minerality, bone-dry and pure, this is your wine. You should find it for $8.99. The 2004 vintage is fantastic for European whites. Thank God, after suffering through flabby 2003s. The importer is Kysela and if you are in the Pacific NW, you can get it from Triage. Cheers!



Sorry, didn't read the food part. Being in the Pacific NW, and it being a month with the letter "r" in it, I say OYSTERS!!! Half shell. Done and done.


Hey thanks Beau!

Keeping in the spirit of Washington state wines, I would have to list "House Wine" made by the Magnificent Wine Company.

Remember the no frills black and white generic labels from the 70's? Yup, that's it.

It's a bargain at $8.99. A red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (58%), Merlot (32%), Syrah (9%), and Cabernet Franc (1%). It's rich, full bodied with a mouth full of blackberries. For my extra points, I would pair this wine with a big ol' burger topped with grilled Walla Walla onions and local morel mushrooms.

Hell, maybe I would stand out in front of that wine shop and sing for an extra $10 bill. Then I would buy a second bottle of House Wine and pair it with a dessert of brownies topped off with Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream.



Thanks for asking for some $10 gems. Here are a few of my favorites:

2004 Vina Alarba OVG
2002 Kit Fox Foxy
2003 Cuvee de Pena
2003 La Legua
2002/2003 Las Rocas Garanacha
2001 Promessa Rosso Salento
2004 Torres De Casta Rose
2002 Red Bud Viognier

I could go on!

jens at cincinnati wine garage



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