We’ve all experienced it: That cloud of uneasiness and confusion when staring at a wine wall. So many options to choose from, and can it be any good for that price? Well I’m here to tell you that you that there are plenty of options that are wallet—and palate—friendly. Here are three selections that I’ve picked out, each of which is less than $15.
First is the 2011 ‘Arcosesto’ Orvieto Classico Superiore ($14.99). Orvieto is an under-appreciated white wine from Italy. This particular offering hails from Umbria, which lies on the eastern border of Tuscany. Extremely low yields make for a vibrant wine packed with flavor. The nose is crisp and clean with hints of honey and minerals. That minerality carries into the taste which is punctuated with a bright acidity that wakes up the taste buds. Hints of flowers and citrus are also there. The wine has a viscous mouthfeel and can be served just below room temperature. It will go well with fish dishes, but if you’re feeling adventurous try it with pork loin. You’ll thank me.
Next up is the 2011 Borsao ‘Monte Oton’ Garnacha ($7.99). This Spanish gem’s vineyards are located on the slopes of the extinct volcano, Moncayo. The sun-drenched and arid climate makes for an opulent red wine that packs a punch. This is an extremely fruit-forward red that will evoke the sensation for biting into a handful of fresh berries. Think of this as Spain’s answer to Pinot Noir. If you’re in the mood for a tuna panini, tapas, or seafood paella this is the perfect wine for you.
Last up is the 2010 Chateau Jalousie Bordeaux Superieur ($9.99). Comprised of mostly Merlot, with a little Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon thrown in, this is a powerhouse of a wine that begs for a juicy steak. On the nose there is a rush of earth that gives way to ripe berries. All the while there’s the subtle hint of nuttiness that pokes up. The flavor is awash in minerality with hints of fruit and ash. I was very surprised to find a Bordeaux for $10 that I liked. This is a great entry wine to introduce you to the 2010 vintage which is rapidly gaining notoriety as being one of the best in recent memory.
So there you have it: Three exceptional wines at exceptionally budget-friendly prices. Being crowd-pleasers, they are perfect for gatherings and big events. Happy times and happy drinking! Cheers!
Rob R., Beltramo’s Wine Staff