A New Year brings many things. None of which are more thrilling than those post-holiday bills dropped off by your friendly postman.

While coming to grips with how much you spent making your Christmas merry may be enough to drive you to drink, finding a bottle of something decent you can pay for with the change found between your couch cushions may seem unlikely.

Though larger format sizes offer good value, many are blended, non-vintage wines with European sounding names and lackluster taste. That makes a drinkable, inexpensive vintage wine in a 1,500 millilitre bottle one of the Holy Grails of the booze business.

Low labour costs and a predictable climate make those from Chile consistent and quaffable. The 2010 Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot (1,500 ml, $14.95 - $20.49) — made by mega producer Concha y Toro — is a light mix of bright acidity, super soft tannins and fresh berry flavours.


Try this red with tomato-based pasta sauces and grilled meats.

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

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