Originally posted by uncledaveyo
There's not a great wine under $10. Passable, but not great. As a wine consultant, I taste through about 3000 wines a year for my clients, and I'll often discover a delicious $15-$20 bottle. As for 2 buck chuck, it never tastes like anything but a $1 wine in a $1 bottle. I do think Trader Joes has wines that are tasty enough for every night in the $4-$10 range though.
Sorry for the rant; for me this topic is my own personal "that's not chili."
That's funny, because the Charles Shaw 2002 Shiraz bested 2300 wines at the International Eastern Wine Competition and earned a double gold. The 2005 Chardonnay received 98 points, a double gold, with accolades of Best of California and Best of Class at the 2007 California State Fair and Exposition. Even if one doesn't agree with the results, one has to concede that these two particular vintage and bottlings were certainly among the top and along side those higher priced (above $30) wines. However, Charles Shaw is always a chance, since they bottle each wine about 4 times per year. So, one must taste before buying. However, I also doubt I would waste time on Charles Shaw if I was searching for wine for a client. It's a much different thing finding a decent table wine and finding a decent crafted wine.
I think the trick to finding a great $10 bottle, is to actualy be drinking a $15-28 bottle that is on sale at your local wine shop. Some wine shops will work with distributors on buying wine that a winery is getting off their hands for one reason or another - hopefully the reason is to make room for newer batches.
Although, even then, $12-15 seems to be the sale price of the better affordable finds.
As per the "expert" who said he will not drink any Australian wine and likened it to "soda pop," he has indeed missed some fine wineries. However, I think sometimes, wine classes try to lure you away from Aussy wines because the vast majority of exported wine from Australia is from these huge wineries in the South Eastern portion of the country. And they, for the most part, are low-end wines. And, as I stated earlier, these wines are not crafted to have any distinguishing features. So, the reason for the expert to be so verbose about not getting Aussy wine, is to steer you clear of the mass-produced wines.
Lately, I've found some better than decent Argentinian wines. Even though even just a few years ago, I had sworn off the wines that are imported from Argentina, a relatively recent tasting at Pearson's changed my mind, no doubt due to the fact that some of the better wines are making their way to the US now.
here's a recent article from Pearson's (my local wine shop) that reprints some information Steve Silver (the proprietor) sent out last year about some Argentinian wines. (plus, if you're intersted, there's some information about an Aussy winery that is putting out good $20 bottle near the bottom of the page)http://www.pearsonswine.com/index.php?name=News&catid=&topic=8
Through Steve's emails over the years, the Saturday tastings have become a sort of hobby for me and very educational. I even bought a boxed wine on his recommendation, and was satisfied!
(edited to add the Pearson's link. thanks MiamiDon)