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Cheap Cabernet, Malbec Wines
Malbec Wines, Cabernet Sauvignon Wines
Cabernet Sauvignon Wines.More cabernet sauvignon wine is sold than any variety except merlot. This popular grape grows in every wine producing region, and has been a boon to second-tier producers such as Bulgaria, Greece, and Hungary.
It also flourishes in California's Napa Valley, Washington State, Chile, and Australia.
Our picks for best cheap red wine among the cabernets start with Columbia Crest Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon (starting at $8.99, Amazon). As reported at Wine.com, the 2009 vintage of his wine garnered 90 points from Wine & Spirits Magazine and is described as having aromas reminiscent of berries. One reviewer noted you can't go wrong for the price. The Two Vines in the name refers to the trellising method used by Columbia Crest in the mountains of Washington state. Another contender is Castle Rock Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (starting at $8.99, Amazon), a California entry described as intense and full-bodied with several reviewers noticing a hint of cherries. The screw-top Flip Flop Cabernet (starting at $5.99, Amazon) gets the nod from bloggers (e.g., The Good Wine Guru, Cheap Wine Ratings, Grape Deals, and Wine Life 365) for being pleasant and lighter than the typical cabernet and without a lot of alcohol taste.
One cabernet that doesn't pass the taste test is Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon (starting at $2), known in the popular vernacular as "Two Buck Chuck." The consensus in wine reviews on sites such as Cheap Wine Reviews, Snopes, and Cellar Tracker is that this red wine is all about its very cheap price. It barely tastes like wine, according to the reviews, being too sweet and lacking in depth.
Malbec Wines.The malbec grape originated in southwestern France. Its popularity surged after arriving in Argentina, where the deep red color and intense flavor of malbec wine complements the beef raised there. Malbec grapes now also grow in Chile, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and the U.S. This grape is often used in blends but can stand on its own, yielding a medium- to fuller-bodied wine that's somewhat spicy and tastes of blackberry, plum, pepper, and (yes) leather. Malbec interacts well with spicy cuisine and should be drunk while relatively young (which helps to keep prices low). The cheapest malbec wines are less intense but have some depth.
Our preferred cheap malbec wines all hail from Argentina. Santa Julia Malbec 2010 (starting at $8, Amazon) is partly aged in old French barrels and boasts good deep color and smooth texture with a hint of acidity. Red wine reviews at Times Record News say the 2008 Colores Del Sol (starting at $9.99) is a good match for barbecued meat and benefits from "breathing" for a while prior to drinking. Cupcake Malbec 2011 (starting at $8.09, Amazon) is dry and-full bodied with a hint of spiciness and a strong long finish.
Don't Bother Cheap Dry Red Wines
With a starting price that's the equivalent of $2 for a 750 ml bottle, this wine is a popular choice for parties. Be prepared for a taste that's sweet and one-dimensional, and, say some consumers, thin and artificial.
Charles Shaw Cabernet Review
Dancing Bull Zinfandel Review
Mirassou Pinot Noir Review
Columbia Crest Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon Review
Melini Chianti Borghi d'Elsa Review
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