Maybe the slogan, “life is too short to drink cheap wine” ought to be rethought. A great article called “Tough Times, Cheap Wines” was published in The Globe and Mail today on how to find great wines at cheap prices. The author, Beppi Crosariol, even provides a list of his favourite wines that give great value for your money.
I have always enjoyed a bottle of Grey Fox which if I’m not mistaken, runs for about $7.50 in Ontario. Another cheap and tasty selection can be found in the vineyards of the Ocala Winery in charming Port Perry, where they actually specialize in apple wines. They even have their winelist online, and as you can see, their wines range in price from $5.95 for the Macintosh to $14.95 for the Iced Apple. My favourites there are probably the Macintosh and the Honey Crisp. Their more traditional wines are great too. Taking a visit, enjoying a free tasting, and stocking up on some very affordable – and delightfully unusual – wines is well worth the trip, if you’re in the area. While we were there, we enjoyed the surroundings of the soft, nurturing countryside and wheat fields.
In addition to your great wine sales, don’t forget to collect your bottles and return them at the Beer Store if you are in Ontario – you get 20 cents back for every bottle you return. Below is our nearly filled box of empty wine bottles, waiting for that last bottle to complete the collection.
I am a firm believer that good wine does not have to cost a lot and I am grateful to Crosariol for the list as I’m always on the look out for a hidden gem. One of my favourites on his list is Robert Mondavi – I’d have to second that motion. Please have a look at the list and add your comment on your favourite cheap wine. I’d love to hear from you!
You may also want to check out the Good Cheap Wine Guide – a cute Californian blog detailing one man’s quest for excellent tasting, cheap wines, using an innovative rating system (you’ll see what I mean!) Another neat blog is Talking Cheap Wine. It’s written by a husband and wife who describe and rate each bottle of wine they try. They typically profile wines that are good value and cost $15 or less (and usually profile wines that are considerably cheaper than this.)
In the meantime, enjoy “Beppi’s Bailout Bargains.”
Cantina Tollo Rocca Ventosa Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2007 (Italy), $7.80: Light, lemony and herbal. Lively, almost spritzy finish.
Dopff & Irion Crystal d’Alsace Sylvaner 2006 (France), $12.45: light, apple-like and refreshing.
Jacques & Francois Lurton Les Fumées Blanches 2007 (France), $11.45: lean, crisp and grassy.
Leaping Horse Chardonnay 2007 (California), $12.30 in Ontario: Creamy, luscious and crisp.
Peninsula Ridge Inox Chardonnay 2007 (Ontario), $12.95: Crisp, clean, Chablis-like.
Gabbiano Chianti (Italy), $13.95: pasta red par excellence.
KWV Roodeberg (South Africa), $13: medium-full and brimming with plum, berry and vanilla.
Marcus James Malbec 2007 (Argentina), $9.25: Big fruit, spice and attractively earthy.
Strewn Rogues Lot Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Ontario), $12.95, on sale from $13.95 in Ontario until Oct. 12: Amazing price and remarkably smooth for a Niagara red.
Zuccardi Fuzion Shiraz Malbec 2007 (Argentina), $7.45: full-bodied, polished and brimming with berry-like flavour.
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva (Spain), $14.95: Bottle-fermented like Champagne at a fraction of the cost.