2009 is nearly upon us so it is time for reflection upon the past year. This is a common time for much of the media to publish their lists of the best and worst of the past year, everything from books to movies, to the most powerful people to those who passed on. You will find Top Ten lists, Top 100 lists, and much more.
There will be plenty of lists of the best and worst food, restaurant and wine around too, including on various blogs. Like those others, I will post some of my own Top Lists for 2008, ranging from wine to food.
For my first List, please enjoy my Top Ten Wine Under $15. This list includes wines that during the past year I have both enjoyed very much and which I found to be particularly compelling for various reasons. They might be more unique wines or just excellent values for the price. They stand out for some particular reason above the other wines I tasted this past year. Each wine on this list is linked to my more detailed prior review.
The wines are not listed in any particular order and all are definitely worth your consideration. Please note that the actual price of the wine may vary in your area.
1. 2005 Il Cuore Rosso Classico, California ($13)
2. 2004 Le Piane La Maggiorina, Italy ($13)
3. 2006 Gai'a Notios Red, Greece ($14)
4. 2006 Conde De Vimioso, Portugal ($11)
5. 2007 Twin Vines Vinho Verde, Portugal ($10)
6. 2007 Quinta Da Alorna Vinho Rosé, Portugal ($11)
7. 2006 Shooting Star Blue Franc, Washington ($12)
8. 2005 Stormhoek Pinotage, South Africa ($14)
9. 2007 Salneval Albarino, Spain ($13)
10. 2006 Hugel Pinot Blanc, Alsace ($14)
As I reviewed my list, I realized that three of the wines were from Portugal! That should not be much of a surprise as Portugal is still a country with plenty of excellent wine values. Their wines often are worth at least twice as much as their actual cost. I have also been drinking more Portuguese wine this past year, especially as I am still seriously considering a trip to Portugal in the fall of 2009.
I also found it interesting that two of the wines on the list (#7 & #10) were tasted at Twitter Taste Live events. Twitter Taste Live continues to grow, now with multiple events every month, and has become one of the most innovative uses of Twitter over the past year. It also has showcased a number of excellent wines, including some great values. In the coming year, I expect the Twitter Taste Live events will continue to uncover some delicious and compelling wines.
I have other recommendations for wines under $15 on my blog and you just have to search for them. There remain many good buys available in this price range, especially in countries like Portugal, Spain, Argentina, and Chile. Inexpensive does not have to mean one-dimensional wines that all taste the same. You can still find wines of character, though you might need to spend a little more time seeeking them out. Wine blogs can help you in that regard, pointing out wines that you might not otherwise know about.