20 Reds Under $20: Where the Values Live, for Now

The wine world is anxious as tariffs have been threatened against all wines from the European Union. These prices may not last for long.

Comments: 148

  1. Great selections! I wish that the importers/distributors were listed for all the wines.

  2. @That guy FYI...I read the list, called my local wine store and whalla, they carry about eight of the twenty. I'm heading over there in a few hours to take home two or three!

  3. You are lucky, living in Manhattan. The Midwest wine selection isn’t as extensive, also no online merchants ship out here.

  4. @Potter I have seen three of these at Whole foods in Chicago and one in Trader Joe's. This is by far the most accessible list I have ever seen in this column. I cant wait to get off work and start shopping!

  5. I’m surprised that no wines from Washington or Oregon made it on the list.

  6. @ Kaitlyn Washington Washington and Oregon are really Deep North, at the edge of the grape-growing region. If moonshine-guzzler Trump imposes tariffs on European wines, we may then see revival of "Idaho champagne" and more seductive adds for "New York State mucilage".

  7. @Tuvw Xyz, Don't sleep on Oregon and Washington wines. Both states are preferable areas for growing several varietals including Pinot Noir due to cooler temps. California is at risk in coming decades of becoming too warm for quality production of some varietals. The industry is scrambling to find grapes that will be better suited to warmer temperatures.

  8. @Kaitlyn, you're correct. Washington wine is where it's happening. Great wines, world-class wines, are being produced here, and at favorable prices given the relatively cheap land costs in Eastern Washington as compared to elsewhere, such as California. A bottle from Washington can sell for half the price of a comparable California wine. As for overseas wines, why buy wine that has been shipped halfway around the planet when fine wines are being created five miles from my house? Folks back East have no idea what they're missing.

  9. I’ve been buying Shannon Reserve for the last year. It is a terrific wine I bring to every BYOB and friend’s home. They seem to be impressed.

  10. Or say they are...

  11. I'm been a big fan of the Ampeleia and Tendu for quite awhile. Unique wines and greeat values.

  12. I Love this list. Mr Asimov, Thank you Thank you Thank you.

  13. Thank you for drawing attention to these hugely problematic tariffs. I only hope every single wine lover who subscribes to the Times has a chance to catch this column and its underlying message.

  14. I am so nervous about the tariff that while everyone else was subjecting themselves to dry January, I spent a good bit of money stocking up my wine cellar. Between trade wars and news of global warming destroying wine production, it’s best to be a consumerist.

  15. @Potter, Buy low, drink high, so to speak.

  16. My favorite wine is called Roscato, a sweet red from northern Italy.

  17. Eric, it would be OK, after all these years, to raise the price ceiling to $25 if that's what's practical.

  18. Trump knows he can get away with tariffs on wine and cheeses, etc, as his "base' doesn't care about these particular products, or about how we are wounding the wine industry in Spain, France and Germany. And the GOP supporters only care deeply about the next election.

  19. @cheryl It's more than not caring: Trump supporters see tariffs on wine as a positive good, enabling them to stick their thumb in the eye of the coastal "elites" they despise. If there were a way to tax hybrid vehicles and subscriptions to The New York Times, that would make them even happier.

  20. @cheryl Good point. What if a tariff were placed on stupidity? And a tax deduction placed on a good education?

  21. There was a time not so long ago that this: "The administration has further threatened a 100 percent tariff on all wines from the European Union" would have pinched my style. But it now never happens that I bring home a bottle of wine other than from California, Oregon, or Washington. I don't see any benefit to supporting agricultural workers in distant countries when my neighbors need the work. As for the quality and style of the wine, I'm just fine with domestics. Port used to be a bit of a problem, but Ficklin has stepped up very nicely.

  22. @Charles Becker "I don't see any benefit to supporting agricultural workers in distant countries when my neighbors need work." Who do you think picks grapes? Oh, ya, white middle-class kids, right?

  23. @mrfreeze6, I picked grapes for two harvest's in Mendocino County in 1966 and 1967. I was the only, as you put it, "white middle-class kid" in the vineyard, everyone else was Hispanic, mostly women. That is the hardest work I've ever done. I have no idea what your point is. Are you saying that it's not important to support people here because they are Hispanic? Because that's what I heard you say with both ears, and one of them works pretty good.

  24. You know that a very high percentage of vineyard workers in America aren't just Latino, but that they are from Mexico, right? Rapists, drug dealers etc per our fearful leader.

  25. I rely heavily on the Vivino rating of wines. I also pay attention to the number of ratings which can lend authenticity. So I was interested to see that only 5 of these wines approached or exceeded a 4.0. Would love to see a wine column devoted to a discussion of Vivino's legitimacy.

  26. @John Drinkard Apothic Red Winemaker's Blend 2016 (11,144 ratings; $12) and Erath Oregon Pinot Noir 2016 (2646 ratings; $19) both get 3.7 stars on Vivino.

  27. @John Drinkard My experience with Vivino is that wines that aren't widely reviewed skew toward lower ratings, probably as part of their algorithm. This is speculation on my part, though I am a wine retailer and have observed this with customers using the app in my aisles.

  28. John, don't like Pinot Noir? You're unlikely to love the one w 4.6 on vivino. The point of wine SM is to find folks you have a similar palate to and share what you've loved so that you can inform one another. The generic masses may not like what you like. And vice versa.

  29. Thanks for the list. It was, however, of limited use to me - a non-wine-person. What does lively mean? Bright? I don't like acidic wine, and had hoped to find a wine on this list that isn't too sweet, but also isn't too acidic - your descriptions really didn't help me.

  30. @holly "lively" is how you feel when your mother-in-law leaves your house.. I hope that helps.

  31. @holly The language does seem obscure. But for less than $20 - if you can find it - you can buy a bottle and see if you can sense those qualities. In any case we can enjoy a wine even without clearly understanding the language writers use to describe their experience of it. These articles are only recommendations of one writer.

  32. @Aaron - lol, naw, "lively" is how I felt when I divorced her daughter. Mother-in-law was fine.

  33. I just check the Pennsylvania state website (the only place to legally buy wine in PA) and I think they had 1 out of the 20 wines available. This seems to be an interesting list but I would say that most of these wines are obscure. Maybe the best values come from obscure producers but, outside of Manhattan (and even in Manhattan I'll bet the average liquor store doesn't have most of these) it's virtually irrelevant. How about a list of 20 wines that the average American could actually find in his local stores?

  34. @Jack I live in the Netherlands where most of the wines are from Europe, South Africa, South American and Austrailia. I find the wines obscure too and I love looking over the selection in a variety of stores.

  35. @Jack - Liquor stores. Interesting. Out here in Washington you buy liquor and wine at the grocery store (or convenience store) usually located between the cheese counter and the organic vegetables.

  36. @Jack wines you can get anywhere and everywhere tend to not be good value. But your state law is the primary problem for you.

  37. I’ve had good experiences with Château St Michelle from Washington State.

  38. I need professional help. Advice, please, on sparkling wines for someone with Champagne taste and a Vino Da Tavola budget.

  39. @Bob Brown You cannot go wrong w wines from the Oltrapo Pavese in Italy. They are champagne style fermented in the bottle. They will set you back about 20.00 bucks. Also, several American producers make fine method champagnoise style wines. Especially, In Mendocino - Try Roederer Brut. Good, Spanish Cavas and French Cremant sparklers are also great values.

  40. I second the recommendation of Cava and cremant. Not many domestic producers able to supply this style of wine for under $20

  41. Gruet, Albuquerque, NM. French family from Champagne region.

  42. Interesting - looks like the information in this column refutes what Mr. Asimov said in his prior column. Today: "Producers, importers, distributors and retailers absorbed much of the price difference at first, and consumers did not see prices rise noticeably in the last quarter of 2019, the busiest time of the year for the wine trade." His column from January 6 said this: "Make no mistake, a tariff of that size, or any number close to that, would be catastrophic for Americans in the beverage and hospitality industry. A 100 percent tariff would double the price of wines in shops and restaurants, with disastrous ripple effects." In a nutshell, the Jan 6 column asserted the supply chain would not absorb the increases, now he is asserting they are. Please bear in mind that I am no fan of tariffs and the farthest thing from a defender of the current administration. Also, I am a fan or Mr. Asimov and his column. But facts are stubborn things and reporters and columnists have to stick to 'em. NYT columnists and reporters must own up to things they said in the past and explain their own contradictions. Otherwise, they are no better than certain Harvard lawyers who make contradictory claims in impeachment trials or people on Fox news.

  43. @Les Your comment is misplaced, as Mr. Asimov is perfectly consistent. He says here that the "100 percent "tariff threat still looms." And he adds: "The potential reduction in choices is a serious concern for consumers, but it pales next to the grievous harm such a tariff would do to jobs and businesses, including importers, distributors, retailers and restaurants, along with affiliated support workers, not to mention the wine producers themselves."

  44. @Les The first statement was about the current 25% tariff. That was low enough to be absorbed. The greater worry that you quoted is about the additional 100% tariff threat that is still very much alive. No supply chain can absorb a tariff of that magnitude. Eric was correct and consistent here.

  45. It's probably a minority view, but I would like to see a similar column for white wines.

  46. @Frank Sept 19, 2019, I think.

  47. How about an article on New York State wines?

  48. @Rick ... and absorb all the letters complaining that none of the wines on that list are available in Tiffin, Ohio.

  49. We here in California are spoiled- we have Napa and the associated regions, Santa Barbara, the Central Coast, and the undervalued Paso Robles wines too. There are incredible values in each of these areas. But the best wine under $20 that I can currently vouch for is available at Costco if you're lucky enough to have a store that stocks it: The Pessimist by Daou Vineyard in Paso Robles. It's a red blend of Syrah, Zin and Tannat, and it hits all the high notes--smooth, complex, bountiful without hitting you over the head, a lush finish and huge mouthfeel. Pick up a bottle if you can- there isn't a European wine in this price range that can touch it.

  50. It also makes a great gift for my friends and family during the holidays. The name is very apt to describe most of them.

  51. I prefer a nice Ripple Red, 2019, under $10.00.

  52. Of there’s Fred Sanford’s favorite Shampipple, Champagne and Ripple.

  53. Wine tariffs: yet another reason not to trust a President who doesn’t drink.

  54. or maybe foreigners could just stop discriminating against our products?

  55. Organic ? Biodynamic ? Natural? come on !

  56. @Bob Come on meaning what?

  57. I can't believe you can't find more good American wines under 20.

  58. @Mary Yes - and reduce the carbon footprint compared to transporting wines produced at a distance. Drink local.

  59. @Mary Who said he couldn't? It's a list of 20 wines, not a list of every good wine under $20.

  60. We drink local- primarily Manatawny Creek reds, which has a fab Pinot Noir Reserve. For authentic German-style whites we purchase Galen Glenn, thanks to Wegman’s large PA wine selection in their eastern PA stores.

  61. Trump's tariffs will devestate European wine growers and the distributors, stores, restaurants and bars that serve their wines. Apparently there's nothing Trump can't blight, on his way to destroying our democracy - with a helpful hand, of course, from Mitch McConnell and his fellow Senate Republicans. Meanwhile, Boeing's new aircraft are grounded after hundreds died, thanks to their greed and incompetence. Perhaps we should all be demanding to fly exclusively on Airbus craft. Great job, USA!

  62. @manta666 Amen! I remember a time when I only flew aircraft made by Boeing. That trust is broken and Boeing now has a battle ahead to gain back my trust. The fact that Trump is putting Boeing’s interests ahead of the public good creates even more mistrust.

  63. He upset because no wants to drink anything from Trump vineyards.

  64. amazing. you place foreign interest above American and concisely show why Trump will be reelected.

  65. Oh Lord, you must live in New York, where y'all still think that the price you pay for wine, determines how good the wine is. Out here in California, we're awash in the good stuff and it is CHEAP out here. Even the big producers have gotten really good at cranking out good bottles for $20, TOPS. Stop looking at price tags to determine what tastes good! Open bottles and start drinking the stuff to know what YOU like.

  66. Or you could, you know, vacation in Europe. Seriously though, I think most readers of this column understand perfectly well that $20 is just an arbitrary reference point and will make up their own minds. No help from California needed, but thanks.

  67. Current oversupply of bulk CA juice will continue to depress prices for domestic wine. Combined w pending/potential additional tariffs EU wines, the value balance will shift. Silicon Valley Bank, a major loaner to the wine biz in CA, recently said to watch for growers pulling vines out of the ground due to lack of demand. Further that, regardless of current oversupply, domestic production can't make up the difference in volume if EU stops shipments due to tariffs.

  68. Prices on California wines are totally jacked up on the East Coast. I have no idea why but it’s always much cheaper for us to get a wine from Europe than to get a similar quality wine from California.

  69. Here in Vancouver BC the most popular Argentine Malbec in the BC Goverment stores is Catena which sells for 24 Canadian. My Argentine family approves.

  70. @Alex Waterhouse-Hayward Hey, that's a wonderful red I've enjoyed for years.

  71. Call me frugal or cheap or poor - I would like to see a list of wines under $12! I imagine that I am not alone.

  72. Did you read the article? It seems not since it lists a bottle well under $12.

  73. @richfield3 $20/bottle is about $4/glass. Seems like a bargain price. We get that in restaurants Italy, but not when we lived in CA.

  74. Great list. I've seen a few at local restaurants in my city. Glad to know my local places pick some good ones.

  75. Ah to live in a state where those wines are available. The control by the big distributors in our state make sure that only garden variety swill from california or a few low budget foreign wines are available. Bringing your own is strictly verboten and no corkage laws. Driving out of state is the only solution for fine wine or bringing your own and paying the corkage fee.

  76. @tom Which state? Curious.

  77. Careful crossing the border. Maybe you didn't know, but it is usually frowned upon or outright illegal to bring wine across state lines w/o declaring it (paying taxes, etc.)

  78. No Australian reds? For example: Recognised as the Worlds Most Awarded Wine 2017, Taylors Jaraman Shiraz continues the long tradition of producing flavour rich red wines from premium vineyards across South Australia. We shall drink on merrily at about US$16.00 probably less with tariffs removed.

  79. Em, no tariffs on Oz wine currently. Seems the Aussies don't compete w our cash cows, aerospace/defense/oil.

  80. We have many good Pinot Noirs under $20 in Oregon.

  81. I’ve not had the 2018 Tendu, but the 2017 Tendu is an awesome wine that appreciates a slight chill. Seriously, the definition of good juice.

  82. Three things come to mind: (1) some indication of where these wines might be purchased in the U.S., and, where I am currently, in Canada, would be very much appreciated; (2) would like to see some consideration of reds from the Okanagan Valley in Canada, and from the Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California, both now have fantastic reds; and, (3), many thanks for the Douro, I was concerned that, yet again, Portuguese reds, which I think of as premium values, would be overlooked.

  83. @Frank H I have had reds from the Okanagan Valley in BC when I visited Canada. As I remember they were Terrific! My understanding is that the Canadians won't ship their wines to the U.S.

  84. Hi everyone, There seem to be a lot of comments about accessibility to these wines. Many are available for purchase online from any number of vendor (or cases direct from the vineyard). Good luck.

  85. There are so many but my best value red wine has been Farnese 2015 Fantini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo C$8.85 | Abruzzo, Italy This rustic but complex red from Italy’s Adriatic coast packs a lot of flavour for under $10. Cranberry and currant meld with notes of Italian sausage, pepper, cocoa, clove and forest floor. It’s medium-weight, a touch sweet and warm with easy, dusty tannin. Toro Bravo Tempranillo Merlot, DO Valencia C$7.95 has been flying out of the shelf. Hailing from Spain, this blend of merlot and tempranillo is an exceptional value. Ruby red in colour, look for alluring aromas and flavours of plum, cherry, chocolate, earth and a hint of black pepper. Medium bodied and smooth, with a long finish, this is ideal for beef tacos or grilled pork chops beside roasted potatoes. US wines, as well as Canadian wines, cost more than European wines in Canada.

  86. Thank you! I looked up on the Vivino app the wines in this article, as well as your recommendations. Yours are on par with his recommendations in terms of mass popularity ratings (which granted is just one metric that done may devate). But I love that yours were so inexpensive. Put them on my list!

  87. @uji10jo I buy the Farnese quite often and enjoy it. You made me smile!

  88. I visited my local wine store to stock up on European wines in advance of the coming tariffs. The man behind me looked at my cart and commented, "we have lovely American wines." "I know," I responded. " I like those too."

  89. My rule of thumb when buying wine: your not getting anything decent for less the twenty dollars. Works for me.

  90. @Sendan You're missing out, there are some great wines under $20. The Meinklang, for example, is delicious.

  91. @Sendan a bit on the simplistic side. There are a few good ones for less. There are a lot of mediocre ones for more.

  92. Are any of these biodynamic or organic? What a pity if not, as there are plenty of delicious options available under $20.

  93. @Sophie Painchaud By a grand-fathering quirk of what is acceptable as an organically grown grape, Bordeaux mixture (fixed lime in mixture with copper sulfate) is approved as an 'organic' treatment for control of downy mildew, powdery mildew and gray mold on grapes. (I'm not certain whether or not it can be used under biodynamic regulation.) In any case, copper is broadly fungitoxic and persistent in soil.

  94. Here in Paris at the natural wine shop La Cave des Papilles (75014), I've had two of these in the past three years: Pipeño and Unlitro. Favorite is Pipeño and yes, @sophiepainchaud (good name!) I believe these two are "natural" wines. No added sulphites. These wines are fun and bright and a great value plus they come in liter bottles. Pick up a six pack!

  95. My favourite since high school was not on the list. You should all try Boone’s Farm Apple Wine ... angular, bold, complex, creamy … and most importantly, made right here in the U.S. of A. I imbibe daily of this spirit! You should too!

  96. @J L. S. Right up there with Riunite Lambrusco :-)

  97. @J L. S. I would emphasize "bold".

  98. Ok, I really do "get" that this is the NEW YORK Times. But your circulation is far greater than that very expensive part of the country, and lots of us that live where houses aren't $1M+ (and incomes are proportionately as high) consider $15 and under wines as our basic wine.

  99. Larry B - even in NYC I refuse to spend more than $16 on a bottle. Wine and dinner go together and it should not be a luxury beverage. When I see wine prices in Europe I could cry. All the middle men make a lot of money

  100. It would be nice if the author would state how many ml are in the bottles and wines cited.$20 is high enough for a 1,5 liter bottle and totally out of line for 750 ml. After 50 years of drinking wine, $20 and above does not mean good quality or good taste IMHO.

  101. @News User Unless otherwise stated (here just Unilitro which literally has it in its name) a bottle is 750 ml. If you aren't interested in wine above $10/750 ml, this probably isn't the wine column for you.

  102. @News User, Obviously, these are 750ml. If they were 1.5, Erik would undoubtedly say so. Also it is doubtful that these wines are available in 1.5 size which is more associated with bulk wine. $18 to $30 per bottle is my personal wheelhouse and when I drop below that level I am usually disappointed. Conversely, when I stretch above that limit I am usually rewarded.

  103. I love the Meinklang, I've never had a bad wine from them - and they're pretty reasonably priced.

  104. The critical thing is to purchase wines that keep well. My recommendation (I also live in France) red Cahors, a heavy, strong wine that improves with age. Buy lots of it and celebrate Trump's inevitable downfall. I'll drink to that!

  105. Let’s hope he actually leaves office if defeated!

  106. Lovely selection, half of which I have not tried so looking forward to that. I still keep coming back to seeking ever better Lacrima di Morro D'Alba wines and wish that you would have considered at least one from there--they have a lovely floral character with a defined depth while still being light on the palate; perfect at cellar temperature either on these 70 degree winter nights in Miami and even more refreshing in the shade in the middle of our hot summers, ocean breeze a welcome addition, with seafood or not.

  107. That European wines --- and their AMERICAN importers --- should be the victim of a tariff technology war is incomprehensible. From that point, it's also sad that this country has such an ignorance about alcoholic beverages, that they only exist to inebriate, rather than accompany food. So thank you, Prohibition; thank you, "light beer"; thank you white zinfandel; thank you, all vodkas. And thank you, Trump Administration.

  108. Thank you for not mentioning any of the Washington state wines. . There are a half dozen reds from Château St. Michelle, Columbia Crest and Charles Smith that would rival or exceed any on your list. We don’t want the demand too high, because it is nice to buy wines rated 90–92 and costing $12 or less.

  109. @mihusky Sadly for this ex-pat Seattleite, on the east coast they're closer to $20.

  110. @mihusky Columbia Crest - Grand Estates 2016 - Cabernet on sale at Albertson's for $7.77 .. I am not complaining!

  111. Esoteric brands I'll never find at Trader Joes or Bev Moe..

  112. I'm the person who "made" the American market for the wines from the Languedoc/Roussillon thirty years ago when I was living in France. A couple of vineyards from there had been found by U.S. importers, but no one had truly concentrated on the region until I moved there and discovered the little handful of pioneers. In the end, America was buying a million bottles a year of my private domain discoveries from the Southern Rhone and the Languedoc/Roussillon, but then the big importers stepped into those regions and flooded the market I moved to Portugal 3 years ago and it's WOW! all the time. You mention a Duoro, but many of them are overpriced, yet the country is just full of superb wines. Duoro has many good wines imported to the States, because it's close to the Lisbon airport. That's not how you discover the exceptional wines. I found the southern French wines, because I lived there, not because I went to trade shows. I've not "tasted", but really bought wines for dinner that were just stunning that never leave Portugal's home market. And most of them would be well under $20. It makes me wish I was back in the wine agency business.

  113. @Anonymot Duoro is about 200 miles from the Lisbon airport...and most European wine is imported by boat.

  114. @A H I know where Duoro is, but I'm talking about the buyers, not the US consumers. Getting to Duoro is dead easy and in a couple of days it's done. Getting around the Alentejo is not. You wrote before you thought.

  115. Josh Cabernet Sauvignon (California) at $10.25 a bottle is excellent.

  116. Though I love these selections the majority are on the higher end of $20. We ran a wine shop in Los Angeles for 12 years and found the sweet spot for consumers was between $10 and $15. Would love to see a list like that. Best value wine we sold was Atalaya "Laya" from Almansa Spain. $10 a bottle or less. Unbelievable bargain.

  117. @Michael it should read, "BUT" the majority of wines reviewed were at the higher end of $20

  118. I’ll plug Cote du Rhône. There are always plenty of good reds available for $15 or so and some are even outstanding. Go to your favorite wine store and just buy stuff you’ve never had before.

  119. Great list but is there a wine store that carries these bottles and do they deliver?

  120. Cot is pronounced with a "t" Circumflex over the "o"

  121. @Art Rose Like the english word coat.

  122. An enterprising wine shop/club/wholesaler/NYT/Eric Asimov in the NY/NJ area should put together the NYT Eric Asimov Under $20 Boxed Selections to be ordered online and shipped(free shipping?).

  123. Try Flatiron Wines in Manhattan - they sent out a newsletter to customers this weekend and have most in stock.

  124. No one talks about "Two Buck Chuck" anymore.

  125. Two Buck Chuck ain't that great anyway.

  126. @Ron B Because it is not very good, and in any case, given how it is made, very inconsistent.

  127. And you can thank King Trump for the undeserved TAX on French wines. Another ignorant move by Trump. This gets everybody wrong

  128. Given the Senate GOP's likely vote against witnesses & documents, against due process, the rule of law, and the Constitution, against everyone who has worked or fought for this country, please pour me a glass.

  129. I quit drinking expensive wines long ago, especially the California ones. They are too sweet with food, heavy with fruit and oak bombs that clog the palate keep to the Spanish, Italian, some French, forgot South America, and some California that have struck out on their own. Using a discerning palate, you can find a lot of great wines under $20, mostly at Costco. I have friends that keep getting $200 bottles in the mail from CA and when I go to their houses, I find it hard to drink them. Oh well to each his own said that man who kissed the cow!!!

  130. Now Trump is attacking wine and cheese. In his cocktail onion sized brain he “thinks” this only hurts the EU. He doesn’t consider the US importers, distributors, retailers, and restauranteurs. Most of all, he doesn’t consider the American consumer, we are the ones who ultimately pay the price for Trump and his misguided policies.

  131. @BMUS He doesn't drink so he doesn't care. Just as he doesn't go outdoors other than a padded golf cart so again, he could care less of the environment.

  132. Kind of funny, and apt, that the most popular NYT stories today are about wine.

  133. Any wine list that does not have Charles Shaw cab from Trader Joe’s can’t be trusted!,

  134. Color me unimpressed with an article on wines under $20 where all but 2 or 3 are $19.99 or $19.95. For budget conscious people, it's simply out of our reach. You have to be affluent, or a serious wine person to go out and try a new wine at that price. All the same, tariffs are a rotten idea.

  135. @Dejah I don't get that. $20/bottle is $4-$5/glass. You would pay $2 for a single beer. It doesn't seem that much to me.

  136. My current favorite is a 2015 Reserva Casillero del Diablo Carmenere from Chile for about $9 a bottle. I really enjoy it with a nice steak and baked spud.

  137. I once took a port wine tasting night course at the local adult ed. Prices per each of 7 bottles ranged from $11 through $120. I finally understood and appreciated an inkling of what the oenophiles mean by complexity. So, 10 bottles at $20 each vs 1 bottle splurge at $200 ( both well chosen, of course )? How do you successfully select one $20 bottle of wine amongst the hundreds of come-hither labels (various vintages) offered on a wine store’s racks?

  138. @Joel H By the hard way, this means by experience. To start with a course is a good idea to get in touch with what´s good. If this matches your taste then this can be the first step to get wine afficionado. Just the way you did. Then it´s trial and error system creating learning effects by and by. Period. It´s always helpful to follow those who served you well in the past and to learn from good producers whose products can open your eyes and give you orientation what´s good and what´s not soo good. Failures are never to avoid, even failures can be helpful in some extent. So first do a tasting before you buy a tray of 12 bottles. You will also learn that there are too many false friends out there. The best that can happen if you are lucky enough to find a good role model recommending you good examples to form your taste to you. If you are "musically for wine" this might serve you to swim by yourself through the sea of wine. But again blunders are never to avoid. The likelihood can be reduced and the impact also, so a bottle of 200 $, hm, personnally I don´t think this is a good idea. Wine is an object to use and for those who don´t have money to burn this price is already deterrent. So Wine School is a good idea. Whenever I knew the recommended style well Mr. Asimov had suggested outstanding samples to form taste. Here I know Blaufränkisch from Austria and Douro from Portugal that are a good choice in most cases. Montepulciano d.A. is always a matter of tasting.

  139. I’m not buying a wine over $10 period! Not buying any at any restaurant where 1/2 a glass is at least 12 to 25 dollars. Not worth it really.

  140. The value and appreciation of quality wines is now at great risk, by trump's tariffs. This is grave for two reasons, first the tremendous 25% to 100% increase in prices via his tariffs, and secondly that he is attacking not only wines but all cultural and refined products coveted by the liberal educated "elite" (yes, I am proud to be an elite - I worked very hard to earn my credentials and aspire to the pinnacle of my professional community). He is not targeting wines per se, as much as he is targeting liberals (who are the dominant purveyors of wines). Likewise he has targeted fine cheeses, spirits, Champagnes, and many consumer goods. He will not target beef, spuds, beers, Kentucky bourbon, Russian vodka, or any grade of moonshine -- since trumpites covet those products. He accidentally targeted Soybeans, which is the primary ingredient for tofu (which again, trump believes is coveted by liberal "tree-huggers", vegetarians and vegans). That brilliant move royally backfired, because it ultimately hurt millions of trumpite farmers. He wasforced to offer them tens of billions of dollars in farming subsidies. trump is a foolish man with a plebian aim to hurt (or at least make life more difficult for) liberals. These tariffs are a simple bully's game, and has nothing to do with economics or "Winning". In November we must vote to extricate this virulent unstable "genius" from our society and Our government.

  141. Congratulations on putting together yet another list of wines that seem impossible to find. I’m not in the hinterlands. I like in Chicago and know where to buy wine. I also have a second home him Santa Fe, NM. Nothing on your current list seems available here (haven’t checked Chicago since I’m in NM, but that usually the case there as well). Why not start with available wines and then work your way back to a list of values so you’ve got some wines people can actually fined? I know, you get this complaint all of the time. But still, it’s time for someone to make it again.

  142. Good Evening: Doesn't really bother me when most of the wines in the Under $20 lists don't seem available in San Francisco; simply pick another bottle of the same varietal(s), region, and price and have fun with that. That said (written?), did find the Meinklang Blaufränkisch 2017. Served with a vegan, gluten-free mixed vegetable Stroganoff (used a tofu based sour cream). Music: Joey Alexander, "Varna." You can listen to a sample at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/arts/music/playlist-justin-bieber-mac-miller.html. Scroll *way* down. Color: very dark garnet, brilliant. Nose: big hit of cherry, plum, violet, rose, tobacco. Taste: same as the nose, plus cedar, blackberry, raspberry, spicy. Decent finish, but a little thin and acidic, but the acidity dissipated with time. Went fine but not spectacularly with the Stroganoff, fine but not spectacularly with the music. Spent less than $20 including tax; would not have liked it at $30 or even $25, but at $20 seemed fairly priced. Looking forward to finding other bottles on the list--or their near equivalent.

  143. Nothing from the Finger Lakes?They now make some wonderful Cabernet Franc,some for just under $20 and the wine doesn't have to travel thousands of miles to get to your table

  144. There is no value in a list like this if none of the wines can be located in retail shops. I live SF Bay Area where there's no shortage of wines, local and imported. Very disappointing! Please come up with a list of wines that readers can buy and try out.

  145. @thomastk Maybe try the local newspapers like the SF Chronicle?

  146. I got a bottle of the Domaine Alary Cairanne last fall as my wife and I were working through the various Rhône appellations. Cairanne was only recently promoted from a named village to a cru and I don't know what I was expecting but this bottle exceeded it. Rich, powerful, spicy, loads of character. If it's at all indicative of Cairanne as an appellation, Gigondas and Vacqueyras have some serious competition.

  147. I hope there will be a comparable list for whites. I realize that many prefer reds in Winter. However, for a variety of reasons, we drink whites 90 percent of the time, all year. An upper limit of $20 seems reasonable But, in the meantime, I am drinking a lot of Clifford Bay 2019 NZ Marlborough sauvignon blanc, which locally sells for $10.99. Excellent and no corkscrew neded.