Thursday, February 19, 2009

The frugal couple considers wine, part 4

Yesterday I went to Binny's and picked up the 2006 Vinos Sin Ley M4 Bullas that Roger recommended. Usual price, $11.99 to $15.99. Binny's sale price: $5.99. Not a beginner's wine--one blogger describes it as "a dark, bitter, catalonian anarchist"--but one with enough guts to stand up to red meat yet enough complexity to be enjoyed on its own.

Moral: It is possible to get a good house wine for $5.99 or less if you--or your friends--know where to find the bargains.

If, however, you are looking for something in the $6.99 to $9.99 range, here are a few suggestions from Estelle, LeAnn, Ron, and me. Note: Wine prices can vary by several dollars from store to store, and you may have to try several sources to find the under-$10 price. We're from the Chicago suburbs, but since these stores are chains, I'm assuming you can find similar deals just about everywhere in the U.S.

Whites
Clos du Bois Chardonnay, Costco
Clean Slate Riesling, Binny's, Sam's Wines
Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Binny's (now on sale for $8.99)

Reds
Folie à Deux "Menage à Trois" blend, SavWay, Binny's, Target
Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, Binny's (now on sale for $7.99)
Rex Goliath Cabernet Sauvignon, Binny's, Sam's Wines
Alamos Malbec, Fresh Market, Binny's, Sam's Wines
Tin Roof Merlot, Whole Foods, Sam's Wines
Bogle Petite Syrah, Costco, Fresh Market
Gnarly Head Zinfandel, Binny's, Sam's Wines

For the Wall Street Journal's wine writers, a budget wine's price ranges from $10 to $16, more or less. (Wall Street, it will be remembered, is in New York, where only 13.9% of metro area housing is affordable--up from 5.1% two years ago. Perhaps we define "budget" differently in Chicago.) If you're looking for wines in that price range, check out "Buying Wine on a Dime" by David Kesmodel, along with "Budget Wines," an annotated list of 25 under-$16 wines recommended by five experts.

The garage door just went up, and the dogs ran downstairs. Sounds like it's time to stop typing and start tasting.


3 comments:

Heidi said...

When one lives in Maryland, none of the chain grocery or superstores can sell wine. Then what should one do?
Oh right, I can't drink wine anyway.

LaVonne Neff said...

One should move back to Chicago, apparently. Oh right, you can't drink wine, so I'll have to come up with a more compelling reason.

I checked online, and it looks pretty grim for Maryland winebibbers. Can't order from out of state. Can't buy it in discount stores. Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore is actually pretty pricey by Chicago standards.

Hey, Maryland was founded by Catholics, for Pete's sake. Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

cas said...

I've really enjoyed this series LaVonne.

Our house wine is Beringer Founders Estate 2005 Cabernet. I could get it everywhere in SoCal for about $8.99, but here in NJ I have to buy the bigger bottle for $15.99 to get a bargain.