Drink Magazine

Bargain Wines?

By Brian @WineInMyGlass

A recent discussion I had on Facebook got me thinking about this. What are some good wines that are really cheap? By “really cheap,” I don’t mean $15 a bottle, or even $10 a bottle. I’m looking for something decent that’s around $5 per 750 ml.

Often, you need to buy a larger quantity to get something decent at that price point, but that may be exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re hosting a party, and most of the attendees aren’t really “into” wine, then something cheap but drinkable is all you need. It might also be good to have on reserve if you need more wine after the good stuff is gone because the guests are less likely to notice that’s it’s cheap wine at that point.


Box wines come to mind, of course, but there are a few other options. The “Magnum” bottle, holding 1.5 liters, or two standard bottles, can give you the economy of a larger size while still having the appeal of a bottle.

If you have a Costco near you, you’ll want to keep reading. (I think most states require them to sell you alcohol even without a membership, but that may not be true for all states. Here in Minnesota, it is.)

I’m a big fan of Cabernet Sauvignon, so I had to get the Kirkland Signature California Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the 2013 vintage, so it is a very young wine. Even still, it has the typical Cab flavors. Good blackcurrant and blackberry with a bit of green pepper mid-palate. There’s not a lot of oak, but there’s some, with a bit of vanilla showing up on the finish. Some structure from the tannins on the finish.

Since this is a young wine, decanting or aerating will definitely help it. If you don’t have the tools for that, just let it sit in your glass for a little while.

I’m not saying this is an incredible Cabernet Sauvignon, but it’s very drinkable. I wouldn’t plan on aging this, as it seems like it’s been made to drink now, and it doesn’t have the acidity or tannins that would suggest a wine that is suitable for aging. Still, it’s a great bargain for a drinkable wine. For a 1.5 L magnum, I paid $7.99 plus tax. That’s just under $4 per 750 ml. I highly recommend this if you’re looking for a bargain-priced red wine.


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