Hidden gems among the bargain bottles – Metro US

Hidden gems among the bargain bottles

Whoever said that life was too short to drink cheap wine obviously never saw my bank balance. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have a never-ending appreciation for expensive booze – and an insider’s understanding of why they cost so much – though on my budget, two bottles of pretty good wine often taste better than one bottle of really good wine.

But, I bet you think that Jersey Shore’s Snooki has a better chance at a Nobel Prize than you do finding a bottle of something that’s both drinkable and economically-priced at your local liquor store.

The good news is there’s lots of great juice out there at 11 bucks and cheaper – especially from climate consistent New World countries like Argentina, Chile, South Africa and Australia.

Last week I predicted the Aussies would rise again in 2011, thanks to their unique geography and over-the-top winemakers. As true as that is, well-established (and seemingly innocuous) wines from Down Under’s humungous conglomerates offer some of the best values you’re going to find on shelf.

Lindemans’ 2009 Cawarra Shiraz Cabernet ($9.95 – $10.99) is a favourite cheapie thanks to its ripe red berry fruit, jammy mid-section and surprise long lasting flavour.

Prices reflect the range across the country. Some products may not be available in all provinces.

Peter Rockwell is the everyman’s wine writer, working in the liquor industry for more than 25 years and travelling the globe looking for something to fill his glass and put into words.