Top Red Wines for Under $10 delivered- Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot, Sirah, Malbec, Shiraz
Due to popular demand...i.e. lot of nagging e-mails... I have attempted a list of GREAT wines for under $10 a bottle! This has been my most challenging list so far.... though there are some great wines out there in this price range, they are few and far, far between. Yet, I have had many requests for a budget list for reds....... AND any excuse for me to sample some more wines WILL NEVER be wasted! For those of you who are familiar with my other lists, you know that try to pick good foods to go along with each wine and will do my best here as well. If you are looking for some truly food friendly wines, I would recommend that you check out my list of Top North American Pinot Noirs (see link below.) I am a huge fan of pinot noir and feel that, when they are good, there is not a better wine out there, especially to go with food.
My criteria for this list are as follows.
1. These are wines that I have PERSONALLY tried.
2. They are available for under $10 (does not include delivery fees or tax if any.)
3. They are USUALLY available either at Wine.com or at a MAJOR retailer such as Costco.
4. They are of a quality that I would rate 87 points or higher. Some of these are not rated by a major ratings group, as is often the case with wines in this price range, but I feel confident in my rating ability.
No for a little shameless profiteering...I use Wine.com for the bulk of my wine purchases and have been using them since 1999. I strongly believe that they have some of the best prices around and are OFTEN substantially less, even including delivery, than you can get at even a warehouse type store such as Costco. Wine.com also tends to do great promotions on shipping, right now they have unlimited shipping with no minimum purchase on ALL ORDERS for 1 year for just $49!!!!
I have created a wine list for all wines below, that way you don't have to search too hard. Just click HERE - Go to Wine.com Click on "Community" in the upper right, then scroll down and search for "OregonWino" and you will see my lists...easy as PIE!! Now down to the wines!
#1 - Rolling Shiraz 2005 (Australia) $7.99
Are you KIDDING ME!! A 93 point wine for $7.99??!?!?! Ok, this is hands down the best deal I have seen in YEARS!!! After tasting this last week, I went and ordered 10 cases of it....and I am not even joking, this is now my go-to red wine for sipping and especially for little gifts...bwahahaha...people are going to think I blew a ton of cash on each bottle!!! What a fantastic value. I have had better reds, but not many and NOT ANYWHERE CLOSE TO THIS PRICE POINT! Buy it NOW! This would be a great value at twice the price...ok, you get the point.
Beautiful color, nice dark ruby. Great flavors or cocoa, vanilla, spices and red fruits. This wine does have a distinct flavor, but it is mild on the tannins so not too tart or acidic. Strong enough to limit use with fish or white meats (unless they have strong flavors such as salmon or duck.) I had this with a BBQ'd steak and steamed red potatoes. I would recommend with red meats, roast, stews, strong game foul or any pasta with a non-cream sauce.
A little note that will apply to most of the wines in this list....LET THEM BREATH! For those of you who drinks red often, you know what I mean, if you are a casual drinker or maybe a newbie, this just means that you need to let the wine warm to room temperature in an open vessel. Many red wines taste totally different when they are cold or closed in..i.e. they have not had time to oxygenate. All you need to do is pop the cork and leave on the counter for 45 minutes to an hour. A better way is with a wine decanter, you can get them for around $10 at pretty much any place that sells wine glasses, but in a pinch ANY container that allows for more surface exposure will work, so don't feel like you need to buy anything fancy.
#2 - Falesco Vitiano Rosso 2007 (Italy) $9.99
Falesco Vitiano is a winery with a tremendous pedigree that has been making fantastic wines for many years (8 of the past 9 years have yielded a 88 point or higher rating.) 2007 is another great year with a 91 point showing. This wine is actually a Cab-Merlot mix and is fantastic! The first thing you will notice is how dark and beautiful the color is.. VERY dark red...looks like dark red velvet. Nice smooth dark fruit flavors (plum, black cherry) with hints of earth and vanilla with a slight wood/oak undertone. Very smooth wine that is not too sweet.
Pairs well with red meats, lamb, duck, turkey (dark meat.) I had mine with grilled eggplant and a field green salad with balsamic vinaigrette. This is also a nice wine for dark chocolate deserts as it contrasts well with the sweetness yet has some of the underlying flavors in common.
#3 - Four Sisters Shiraz 2006 (Australia) $9.99
Very nice wine with a VERY respectable 90 point rating. This is one of those emblematic Australian wines, sweet, red fruit, cherry and plum flavors with light tannins and a nice spicy finish. Very versatile wine that would go with a wide range of foods, including foul.
Recommendations for this type of wine and food. Salmon, duck, any red meats, pork chops, roast, stew, grilled tuna, lamb, tomato based pasta, pizza etc. I had mine with roasted turkey legs and mashed potatoes......this wine is also nice for just sipping due to the mellowness of the flavor and fruit tones.
FYI....you will see me, and others, use Shiraz and Syrah interchangeably,,,this is because they are the same grape...not to be confused with Sirah (as in Petit Sirah) which is a different varietal.
#4 - d'Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz 2008 (Australia) $9.99
Nice wine BUT LET IT BREATH!!! The flavor will mellow out with some air, but can be a little harsh right out of the bottle. Great berry and cherry flavors with a nice mineral finish which you do not often find in wines at this price. This wine is a bit more aggressive than the ones above and I would make sure you do not pair with a mild food as it may overpower the meal.
Goes well with strong flavored foods. Spicy asian, red meats, heavily spiced foods or foods with strong natural flavors. I would avoid white meats, cream based sauces or soups etc. I had mine with Indian food (take out) and it did a great job of cutting the spices and adding to the already strong flavors of tandori. I also heard it goes VERY well with spicy chili.
#5 - Saint Hilaire Médoc 2004 (France) $9.99
Here come the FRENCH! A great red...now for some fine points on French wines...Medoc is actually a region in France, not a type of wine. This wine is a mix of bordeaux reds...which, once again is not a specific TYPE of wine the way we think of it here in the US (merlot, cabernet etc.) Red bordeaux (called Claret in the UK and your Jane Austen novels) are usually a mix of two or more of the following types, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. So now that we are confused as to what we are drinking...lets talk about how it tastes!
This Saint Hillaire is a fantastic example of what you would find being served with the meal at a French dinner table. Very traditional French red with great cherry, plum and vanilla tones and a nice balance of tannins and oak. Good robust red without being overpowering. One of the more versatile reds on the list and could even go with roasted chicken or other white meats.
I had mine with a hamburger (home BBQ) and home cut FRENCH fries...ahhh the irony...nice French red with perhaps the most American meal... Pair with pretty much anything but super light cream sauces and light flavored fish.
#6 - Tin Roof Merlot 2006 (California) $9.49
I had several bottles of the 2005 Merlot from Tin Roof and was very impressed with them, so I picked up a few bottles of the 2006 at Costco a couple of weeks back and was not disappointed ($10.99 a bottle, so Wine.com is a better deal.) This is a nice versatile merlot with cherry, plum and pomegranate tones and a nice smooth finish.
Great wine for most of the usual suspects, red meats, lamb, dark meat poultry or duck, pastas (tomato based sauces) pizza etc. This is also a nice wine for sipping on or for entertaining. If you like merlot, this is a great wine and at a very compelling price.
#7 - Borsao Tinto 2008 (Spain) $9.99
Borsao Tinto is a blend of 80% Garnacha, 20% Tempranillo. Both of these are traditional red Spanish table wines. Beautiful dark red color and blackberry, raspberry and cherry flavors with some smoke, light tannins and mineral tones. This wine is a little more complex than some of the others but is very well balanced and not overpowering. Overall, this was one of the more pleasant surprises on the list as I was expecting it to be much more utilitarian. Also, has a very respectable 89 point rating.
One of my new favorites for sipping on due to its complexity (nightly glass of red wine for the heart...like I need an excuse.) Great with any tomato based pasta or soups, red meat, chinese or thai (especially if they are spicy.) I had mine with chicken skewers and a blue cheese and pear salad...fantastic!!
#8 - La Vieille Ferme Cotes du Ventoux Rouge 2007 (France) $8.99
Wow, what a fantastic wine! Another great French table wine at a FANTASTIC price! According to Wine.com this is 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Carignan and 15% Cinsault. Some very nice, uncommon varietals in here make for a very neat experience with this wine....Google how to pronounce each type of wine and use this wine to really impress people ;) Great red fruit flavors backed with nice spice undertones and soft tannins. Full, smooth body and nice finish, just a very nice wine.
This wine would pair well with more than the standard red-wine fare of meat and pasta. I brought a bottle to my local sushi joint (I know the owner so he lets me sneak in my own wines when I am trying new ones.) I would say this would work with chicken, maybe even some cream based sauces...or crack a bottle open when entertaining..very cool wine!!
#9 - A. Mano Puglia Primitivo 2006 ( Italy) $9.79
Another cool, old world wine. According to Wine.com, this wine is made from fruit grown on 70-100 year old vines...older vines usually produce smaller yields but more intense and complex flavors. Primitivo is a grandparent of Zinfandel and you can see some of the similarities. Very nice wine with lots of red fruit, black licorice, earth and spices.
Great for red meat, BBQ, salmon, Mexican and anything that has a spicy edge such as thai, cajun etc. I had mine with a pastrami sandwich on home-made rye bread...fantastic! A natural to pair with traditional Italian cuisine or even a take out pizza!
#10 - Château Haut Durandet Bordeaux 2007 (France) $9.99
Very nice red from France composed of 50% of Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc. Well balanced blend with nice cherry and plum flavors backed by soft tannins and spice. Great flavor and nose. Make sure you let this one breath as well to bring out the best in this wine.
I tried this with chicken marsala and it worked very well. Like most of the wines on the list, you will want to pair this with stronger flavored foods, red meats, BBQ, stew etc. Very nice, durable, versatile french wine, not spectacular, but a great wine to enhance a meal with.
Honorable Mention - Maipe Malbec 2009 - (Argentina) $9.79
In all of my "top wine" lists I like to add in a wine that is a little different and fun. Malbecs are a fairly new type of wine to the US and some of the best are coming from South America and Argentina in particular is producing some fantastic vintages. Malbecs tend to be big, bold wines and can be overpowering if not paired with the right foods. However, their strong flavors make them very good for strong or spicy foods and they really are terrific when paired correctly. Lots of fruit, plum, fig, leather, earth and spice.
Pair with seasoned red meats, BBQ, chili, Mexican, Indian or other foods that have intense flavors that wont be overpowered by the wine. Also a nice wine for sipping if you like strong flavors in your wine.
Thank you for taking a look at my list and for your support!! I recommend that you check out Wine.com for any of the listed wines (all prices quoted from Wine.com. Just click HERE - Go to Wine.com
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