Best Red Wine For the Money?

After last week’s “Best Bourbon for the Money” post, FM Fats requested a value wines edition.  So, here we are.

Now, we did do a “Favorite Wines for Under $15” a while back.  (I compiled them HERE.)  This post is a bit different.  First off, there’s no max price.  Also, let’s talk red wines for now and leave whites for another day.  Also, if you’re willing, let people know where you can purchase your listed favs.

33 thoughts on “Best Red Wine For the Money?”


  1. If I told you which wines I thought outperformed their price point, somebody else would buy them all or the price would go up! I’m keeping my knowledge in this area a secret! 🙂

    1. I love Obsidian Ridge. Oberon is a good one too for around the same price. Poppy (when purchased at a packaging store) is a nice and affordable Pinot Noir. For some reason the mark-up at Publix is $4-5. Also, for a Cab on the cheap, I like Red Diamond around $8/9 at YDFM.

      1. +1 on Poppy. Another really excellent Pinot is Au Bon Climat, which I used to see all the time at YDFM for about $20. Lately, not so much.

    1. I’ve had many good Spanish/Chilean/South American wines purchased from YDFM, but usually can’t remember the names after the bottles are gone. One exception, Ribera Del Duero’s Torremon Tempranillo. It was about $8 and totally awesome for that price. But it had a “Robert Parker” recommends sticker near it and I think it sold out quickly.

    1. I took a tour of a Napa winery several years back. The tour guide said there were only 5 types of wine:

      Red wine
      White wine

      Wine you like
      Wine you don’t like

      But the best wine of all is free wine

  2. Stephen Vincent Crimson gets a lot of play in our house, around $11-$12 at YDFM or Whole Paycheck. Sometimes it’s nice to have a box of Big House Red on the counter at $20 for the equivalent of four bottles.

  3. I like reds but often buy randomly. I did try the Three Wishes ($3) Merlot & Cab from Whole Foods — surprisingly good and much better than a lot of more expensive reds I’ve tried. 14 Hands makes a pretty good Cab that you can find at YDFM (~$11?). Haven’t had it in a while but the Primiitivo from Di Arie (sp?) Vineyards in California is excellent — about $14-15 at Green’s. And Trader Joe’s Italian — actually Sicilian — wines can be pretty good bargains at around $6, especially the Epicuro Nero D’Avola.

  4. All of these punch way above their price point…

    E. Guigal (Cotes Du Rhone) – Rhone, France – $12
    Juan Gil (Monastrell) – Jumilla, Spain – $15
    Saint Cosme (Cotes Du Rhone) – Rhone, France – $16
    Columbia Crest H3 (Cab) – Washington – $13

    These can all be purchased at Total Wine, but I haven’t seen any of them at the local spots. As far as local goes, all of the Nero D’Avolas (Sicily) I’ve tried from Oakhurst Market have been good and they are typically pretty cheap.

    1. Way to go, Dan, now everyone will know about E Guigal Cotes du rhone, it’s supposed to be a secret!!
      We used to buy it by the caseload it’s so great.

      Marques de Caceres Rioja can be expensive, but it’s a great occasion wine. If you find it on special at YDFM, buy several.

      1. I’m happy to share secrets with friends. I don’t think there are enough of us to drive up the prices at Total Wine 😉

  5. Has anyone else here tried WTSO.com, Wines ‘Til Sold Out? You can find some great bargains. We tend to order only in spring or fall to avoid any extreme weather issues with shipping. The Android app makes a little noise like the ping of a wine glass whenever a new deal is available. Cute. WTSO occasionally offers a Bell Canyon red blend at about $15 with free shipping on four or more. You’ve just got to make sure you have it delivered where someone can sign for it.

    1. Shhhhhh! You’re not supposed to tell anyone about that amazing app! We’ve bought a few cases from them. Fantastic.

    2. If you like WTSO, you should try LastBottle. It’s a similar format, but they have much better deals and a broader selection.

  6. Joseph Phelps’ “Insignia”, Tower Liquors on Piedmont.

    Yes, it is expensive – very expensive. The experience of it, though, is worth every cent paid. (The second experience, if immediately following the first bottle, rapidly proves the principal of “diminishing returns”, especially if you are sharing with someone who couldn’t care less about wine.)

  7. I love the Kaiken Malbec. It’ll run you around $12 a glass at Iberian Pig, or $11 a bottle at YDFM.

  8. I know we’re supposed to be making helpful suggestions on this thread, but I’m going to make a “wish.” I wish we could buy decent wine in bulk, like a demijohn or big jug full. Maybe from a place where you bring a gallon jug and fill it up from a big vat. Like wine growlers. Has anyone seen anything like this in the U.S.?

    1. it is called boxed wine. I’ve been hearing that the quality of the boxed wine has gone way up – but I haven’t experimented myself. Perhaps another post question?

      1. Boxed wine has come a long way from Franzia. Best place to buy boxes is at Total Wine at Perimeter Mall. Great selection and the staff really know their wine. You get at least 4 bottles to one box. And if you’re too cool for the box you can always decant then serve.

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