Let me start 2018 with an apology: I have been an inattentive blogger. Work, travel and the holidays all conspired to make me lax in my blogging responsibilities. And since I am being transparent, I may as well tell you that I drank too much over the holidays. I’m now trying to detox via the phenomenon known as “dry January.” If I were drinking, though, I’d be looking for budget wines because in addition to employing the corkscrew a little too often, I also spent too damn much over the holidays.
So today I submit to you the best value wines that the tribes and I found in 2017. Not sure what your tribe is? Take our nifty quiz to determine your palate preferences and then enjoy the customized recommendations below. And please have a glass for me.
– Casal Garcia Vinho Verde (Portugal) $7: This Portuguese wine is an absolute go-to for Accessible and Balanced tribe members, but make no mistake, it’s also a crowd pleaser. It’s a tad on the sweet side, with hints of apricot and green apple. It’s also effervescent, which makes it refreshing and just right for summer drinking, though I’d take a glass anytime after January.
– Pine Ridge 2015 Chenin Blanc + Viognier (California): $14. This wine was a big hit with the Balanced and Developed tribes in a recent tasting. Tasters loved the scents of orange and moss and tastes of peach, melon and green vegetables. It’s a vibrant wine with enough acid to make it pair well with food. I’m a big fan.
– Viña Herminia 2013 Rioja Crianza (Spain) $10: I love this wine; it’s a staple now at our house. From the Rioja region of Spain, the wine is a blend of tempranillo and garnacha. It’s a bit figgy, with hints of leather, orange peel and smoke and a nice carmel finish. In the Developed Tribe? Meet your new BFF.
– Tilia 2016 Malbec (Argentina) $9: This is a rich wine with flavors of juicy blackberries, vanilla and savory herbs—so good when paired with red meat. It has some backbone that will be appreciated most by the Developed and Complex tribes. Made by famed Argentine producer Catena Zapata, this one’s a steal.
– Pallas Old Vine Garnacha (Spain) $10: Big Red and I love this wine. It’s medium bodied with tastes of plum and dark cherry and a nice balance of acids and tannins. It’s great with food. I recommend it for the Developed and Complex tribes. Hint: If you have trouble finding this one, try the giant retailer Total Wine.