10 Great Wines For $10 Or Less

The sommeliers who read The Consumerist may scoff, but there are actually some decent wines available for $10 or less, or so says the New York Times food critics. They tasted 25 popular low-price wines and picked the ten they thought were decent:

The wines we recommend are gulpable and satisfying with a modest level of intrigue. You cannot expect much complexity at this level, or subtlety. But you can hope for something more than the most basic, and you can strive to avoid wines that are obviously confected or manipulated to achieve a predetermined set of characteristics.

Here are the wines they recommend, listed in order beginning with their highest rated. Read the full article for tasting notes, ratings, and commentary.

  1. Casa Cadaval Portugal Ribatejano , $8.99, Padre Pedro 2002
  2. Domaine de l’Ameillaud France , $9, Vin de Pays de Vaucluse 2005
  3. Viña Gormaz Spain Ribera del Duero , $9, Tempranillo 2005
  4. Georges Duboeuf France , $9, Beaujolais-Villages 2006
  5. Altas Cumbres Argentina Mendoza , $9, Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
  6. Wyatt California Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 , $10
  7. J. Vidal-Fleury France , $10, Côtes-du-Ventoux 2005
  8. Domaine Monte de Luz , $7, Uruguay Tannat 2006
  9. Ravenswood California Vintner’s Blend , $10, Merlot 2004
  10. Paringa , $9, South Australia Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
  11. “Happiness for $10 or Less” [New York Times]
    (Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. headon says:

    Do any of these come in boxes with sippy straws

  2. amoeba says:

    I actually love the “Ravenswood California Vintner’s Blend Merlot” It’s my favorite red wine, and you can’t even tell that it only cost you 10 bucks. I even give some away for Xmas [as a present], my friends always compliment the Merlot :-)

  3. OKH says:

    I’d also throw in Pillar Box red for fans og the huge aussie fruit bomb type wines.

  4. IndyJaws says:

    I can vouch for the Viña Gormaz Ribera del Duero…makes me wish I were in Madrid when drinking it.

    Another one that I’d recommend for those who don’t like a fuller-bodied wine is the Rosemont Shiraz, typically available for $7-9.

  5. UnStatusTheQuo says:

    I’m no wine connoisseur, but for me, Charles Shaw (affectionately referred to as TWO BUCK CHUCK by those in the know) from Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite cheapy wines.

    Get a six pack for under $20. Nice.

  6. faust1200 says:

    You can check out a review of Two Buck Chuck and a discussion at The Consumerist Forums

  7. JKinNYC says:

    The Deboeuf is garbage. GARBAGE.

    Look for a California Cab from Avalon. That is amazing.

  8. thepounder says:

    @amoeba: The Ravenswood is also one of my favorite merlots.

    I also loves me some Black Box merlot. And at $18 for 3 liters you certainly cannot go wrong. Plus, because of the packaging it’ll stay fresh for about a month or a little more after it’s opened. I drink a lot of wine when I’m home, but cannot possibly finish a bottle each night, so the boxed merlot is great; I’ll have my two or three glasses for the night and not have to worry about having to toss out part of an unused bottle.

  9. JMH says:

    @IndyJaws: Good call, Rosemount makes some good wines, especially their blends. I’m generally not a huge fan of NY Times wine recommendations, though, because they seem to actively ignore the existence of American wines not from California.

  10. ediebeale says:

    @UnStatusTheQuo: my dad was telling me about this wine this weekend–didn’t it win a taste test held by wine experts at a California fair, and piss off a bunch of people who spend 50 bucks a bottle? If so, Ha Ha.

  11. Diana Scott says:

    Trader Joe’s has a decent merlot for $3.

  12. oneswellfoop says:

    Actually, most sommeliers would be foolish to disagree. I’m working on my sommeliers certification, and could take the test now and pass according to the two I’ve been working with. Unfortunately I’m not wealthy enough to afford many of the fantastic bottles my customers bring in and that I am fortunate enough to taste.
    As stated by other posters, Pillar Box Red 2005 is amazing for the price if you can find some of that vintage, the 06 doesn’t quite measure up but is still quite good, and $9.99 is what I paid per bottle. The black box wines are excellent even if Merlot is usually boring as hell to me, they have a cab that is absolutely worth the price.
    Look into Spanish wines, it’s getting harder and harder to find a good deal out there and Spain is where the last three bottles that knocked my socks off and didn’t terribly dent my wallet came from.

  13. FLConsumer says:

    I was disappointed that the NYT article didn’t mention Two Buck Chuck… especially with the fun nickname it’s adopted. Unfortunately, no Trader Joe’s in Florida, but I did enjoy them while in NYC.

  14. Sudonum says:

    The Two Buck Chuck chardonnay was a recent gold medal winner. Not sure where the tasting took place but remember reading about it recently. And no Trader Joe’s here in LA either :(.

  15. wezelboy says:

    God! Why is everyone into TBC? That stuff is hands down godawful.

    Buying wines at TJ’s is a mixed bag. Good deals can be had, but they tend to sell out quickly. A lot of the cheaper bottles on their shelves are garbage (but they have cool labels!)

  16. Chicago7 says:

    The problem with these “lists” is that you’d have a hard time finding any of these wines, and when you did, you’d find “price creep” – they say $10, you find it for $15.

  17. paco says:

    Borsao from Spain – $7-8. Nice versatile red.

    TJ’s had a nice Napa Merlot recently for about $5. House label, but not Chuck.

    Reds – $9. Excellent California blend.

    Blanking on others right now…

  18. Chicago7 says:

    There’s a Luzon Verde red at Whole Foods (on sale, $6.99!) that’s pretty good.

    If you are in Chicago, you can also buy it at Treasure Island ($7.99, not on sale – everyday price!)

  19. goodguy812 says:

    i prefer gran spumante or sparkling wines. ballatore is a great cheap gran spumante!

  20. Sudonum says:

    I’m not into TBC, I merely commented that I had read the Chard had won a recent tasting event. I miss TJ’s for the other things you can get there fairly cheap. I also miss the fliers we used to get in SoCal from them. Kind of like a poor mans Peterson Catalog except with food items.

  21. amoeba says:

    @thepounder: I actually like the wine in bottle than boxed. But, the Merlot in box is more preferable when you have tons of people indeed. I am not a heavy drinker; however, I enjoy my Merlot once a week or depends the social event I attend.