Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WS Study buddy: 25 wines to try under $20

I was a multi-tasking mommy last night. I planned to lay in bed and write up this post. But Elli remembered at the last minute that she had a geology quiz the next morning. So I became her study buddy.

Lucky for me she already had most of the facts she needed to learn memorized. Phew. There were just a few things she had to work on a little more. Thank goodness.

I quickly realized that learning these geology facts was going to be much easier than tackling a math quiz. Math quizes = lots of tears and frustration. So as she was reading her study guide I would jump back on the computer and type. Then back to her room to quiz her. Then back to the computer. This went on until she finished at 9pm. And now I'm tired and I haven't really started. And I have a huge list of wines from Wine Spectator (that you've probably never heard of) to share with you. sigh.......

That doesn't sound very exciting does it? It would be if someone just sent us me all of these wines to try instead of shopping all over the place trying to find them. The magazine should offer to do that don't you think?

So here you go. I'm just going to concentrate on the wines that are affordable. And lucky for us there are 25 wines on the Wine Spectator Top 100 that are under $20. Now that IS exciting. At least it is for me.

The folks at WS tasted over 15,800 wines in 2010. Holy cow. How do they remember them all and what makes one hundred of them stand out to make the list? Oh yeah. They're professionals.

Well, to be considered for the top 100 the wine had to score above 90 pts. After that, they were judged on the following:
1) Quality - as represented by score (100 pt score)
2) Value - price. duh.
3) Availability - case production. as in, "did they make enough so us ordinary folks can find it?"
4) X-Factor - excitement. the ooh la la factor.


91 pts Bodegas Beronia Rioja Reserva 2005 $19
91 pts Columbia Crest Merlot Horse Heaven Hills H3, 2007 $15
91 pts Chateau de Flaugergues Coteaux du Languedoc La Mejanelle Cuvee Sommeliere 2007 $17
91 pts Chateau de Lascaux Coteaux du Languedoc 2008 $16
91 pts Bodegas Ondarre Rioja Reserva 2004 $18
91 pts Pagos de Familia Marques de Grinon Syrah-Petit Verdot Dominio de Valdepusa Caliza 2006 $16
91 pts Yealands Pinot Noir Marlborough 2008 $16
90 pts Castello d'Albola Chianti Classico 2007 $17
90 pts d'Arenberg The Stump Jump Red South Australia 2008 $11
90 pts Durigutti Malbec Mendoza 2008 $15
90 pts Louis Jadot Moulin-a-Vent Chateau des Jacques 2009 $18
90 pts Bodegas LAN Rioja Crianza 2006 $12
90 pts Peter Lehmann Clancy's Barossa 2007 $16
90 pts De Martino Syrah Choapa Valley Legadi Reserva 2007 $15
90 pts St.-Cosme Cotes du Rhome 2009
90 pts Tamarack Firehouse REd Columbia Valley 2008 $16

92 pts St.-Urbans-Hof Riesling Kabinett Mosel Ockfen Bockstein 2009 $19
91 pts Attems Pinot Grigio Venezia-Giulia 2008 $19
91 pts Koutsoyiannopoulos Santorini 2009 $19
90 pts Bouza do Rei Albarino Rias Baixas Lagar 2009 $13
90 pts Elk Cove Pinot Gris Willamette Valley 2009 $19
90 pts Chateau de la Greffiere Macon-La Roche Vineuse Vieilles Vignes 2008 $16
90 pts Stadt Krems Gruner Veltliner Qualitatswein Trocken Kremstal 2008 $16
90 pts Vina Nora Rias Baixas 2008 $18
90 pts J.-C. Pichot Vouvray Domaine Le Peu de la Moriette 2008 $16

My plan is to take this list to a few wine shops and see what I can find. I really hope I can find a few. Oh who am I kidding. I'll print the list. It will sit on the kitchen side board for months. It will get buried under Food & Wine magazine issues, homework papers, recipes, notes, and coupons. I'll keep looking at it thinking "I should take that with me to the store." But I won't. And I will eventually recycle it.

Maybe I should give it to Don.


  1. Forget Don! He is in training and is not allowed near a wine store, wine glass or a tasting room! However, there are at least two people who winter (and summer in Arizona) who are certainly interested and capable of scoping at least one or two of these puppies (and marathons are not on either of our agendas.
    Deep Red (speaking also for Buttery White)

  2. I'll print it off and carry it in my purse. Then hopefully I'll end up at TJ's next week.....:-) Right now I'm totally hooked on the Menage a Trois California Red Wine - from Costco. Mmmmm Mmmmm mmmmmm!!! I've been drinking it like it's kool Aid. Did I mention it's only $7.49?

  3. Le me know if you find any of these at TJs. And yes, the Menage a Trois is quite tasty and such a great price. BTW, the Bevmo 5cent sale started today, 2/10 you should go check it out.


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