If you have ever gone to a liquor store in order to [purchase some red wine for a dinner party or even that great outdoor barbecue experience you would have been aghast at some of the prices for reds. Even domestically produced Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon’s can go for three figures (above $200 is not uncommon). Of course, this is the upper end of the market – but the question needs to be asked – is it absolutely necessary to spend that sort of money on top red wines?
The fact of the matter is that unless you are really going to celebrate something extra special or you are really going to treat yourself there are plenty of top red wines that are available for under $20. Some are imports and some are produced locally – but many of them are absolutely wonderful – and ideal for a great day (or evening) with family and friends).
So what are some of your best choices for easy drinking red wines that you would be proud to serve to those nearest and dearest. Here is a great selection to start you off on your search for that elusive combination between value and quality.
1. The Bogle 2015 Old Vine Zinfandel.
This wine out of California is best described as polished. It provides those enjoying it with a tipple that is rich with overtones of blackberry as well as blueberry. Full bodied with a tannin balance this wine is as smooth a red as you would find anywhere at five times the price. At only around $12 grab however many bottles you can find.
2. The Golan Heights Winery 2016 Mount Hermon Red.
Who would have imagined that a fantastic red wine would come out of a vineyard in the Galilee, Israel? This wine is complex and sophisticated with multiple complex layers. Notes of blackberry, violet, juniper, black cherry and butterscotch all lend a hand in providing a wonderful drinking experience. The smooth natured tannins slowly retreat in the face of a finish that is satisfyingly floral. Expect to pay in the region of $13 – another bargain.
3. Sogrape 2016 Silk and Spice Red.
Portugal is renowned for the production of excellent table wines. they are not at all pretentious, but are ready to provide an exceptional drinking experience. This red is no exception. Blended from a variety of wines from across Portugal this wine is bursting at the seams with the flavor of warm red fruit. The well balanced acid content and a distinct ‘ripeness’ means that this is a wine that should be enjoyed immediately. Another lucky #13 find – graba bottle or 4.
4. The Beringer 2015 Founders’ Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.
What red wine list would be complete without at least one Cab Sauv from California? This wine is no shrinking violet, it is robust and has huge juicy flavors including raspberry and the cherry that characterizes Cabernet Sauvignon. There’s a distinctly ‘meaty’ complexity present as well. Moderate tannin profile and that forward nature means it will pair wonderfully with steak or any red protein that earns its place on a barbecue. Expect to pay around $10. For a wine as impressive as this it’s a steal.
If you want exceptional red wine it is not necessary to break the bank. there are plenty of options when it comes reds that possess the most important two characteristics of all. First the ability to delight the senses – and second the ability top bring people closer together.