As far as countries, most come from the New World:US: Finger Lakes, Washington state, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. It’s easier to find here great quality wines that are affordable (costs less than $20) and made from the international grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and blends etc.
In the Old World we can find the best values coming from Spain, Portugal, France (only at the entry label & Languedoc) Germany, Austria, and certain parts of Italy (Southern appellations but also there are values in Chianti/Tuscany and the Veneto).
Value can also come from varieties not very well known, Mencia, Nero d’ Avola,Tannat, Malbec, Pinotage, Torrontes, Godello,Touriga Nacional, etc. So don’t be afraid to open your horizons and try some of these! You will be pleasantly surprised.
As far as finding value, La Wina buys and endorses Trader Joe’s, though their selection is not big but they usually have some of the best prices. Also Wholesale clubs: both BJS and Costco sell wines, and their prices are much better than any other wine store.
If you are only buying at a Wine store, it’s good to check their discounts offered when you buy a case or more. Some of them offer up to 30% off. Check prices online often. One of my favorite stores is Gianonne wines, they reduce their prices up to $2 per bottle if you put the order via the internet. Since I buy most of my stuff online, for me is ideal, I put the order through, save some money and my case of wines is ready for me to be picked up later that the day.
You should know, that the big percentage of wines I recommend, are 1) wines that I have tasted and that I really liked, or 2) wines that have been received 90 pts minimum by trade magazines such as Wine Spectator/ Wine Enthusiast and James Suckling (who used to be with the Wine Spectator before). Sometimes both situations happen (the wine received a great review and I tasted it and liked it). If the wines received great reviews but then after I taste them, I don’t like them, I usually take them out of my list. I also check online that my recommendations are available in several stores in the US. The only exception to the 90 pts rule are value sparkling and Rosé wines, unfortunately sometimes these wines get only between 86 to 89 pts, in this case I'm willing to let this rule go. I will however dedicate a post about wine ratings and their importance in the future, so stay tuned for more.
These are the latest gems I have found, and if you haven’t finished your holiday shopping, these could be great gifts for the wine lover in your list:
Jermann Pinot Grigio 2017 $19
Mohua Sauvignon Blanc 2018 $15.99
De Wetshof Estate Chardonnay Limestone 2019 $14.99
Mionetto Prosecco NV, $12
Jaume Serra Cristalino Cava NV $9
Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Villages 2017 $14.99
Borgo Scorpeto Chianti Classico 2016 $20.99
Alma Negra Malbec Bonarda 2017 $21.99
Luigi Bosca Malbec 2017 $18.99
Happy Holidays, Dear Winos! I wish you an incredible 2020, full of good wine and memories. Cheers! Silvina
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