$10 and under wines. scanned article from food and wine magazine.
2010 Valentin Bianchi Elsa Malbec ($8)
Nothing not to like here: plummy Malbec fruit, nice substance, soft tannins, yet enough structure to keep the wine from just being a juicy blob. Because who wants to confront a wine glass filled with juicy-blob-ness?
2010 Bogle Chardonnay ($9)
The grapes for this wine come from Clarksburg, California, which the Monkees never said a darn thing about in the song. That’d be Clarksville. And in fact when they wrote it, they were actually thinking of Clarksdale, but decided Clarksville sounded better. Ponder that little factoid while drinking this juicy, warm-climate white.
2010 Toscolo Chianti ($10)
My pick for Italian steal-of-the-year, this is classic Chianti at a weirdly low price. Bright raspberry-cherry fruit, vivid and with a touch of that Italian Sangiovese (the grape involved here) dry-leaf character; bring on the pappardelle with lamb ragù.
2010 Jaume Serra Cristalino Cava ($10)
Affordable bubbly is a necessity this time of year. Buy this one by the case. Crisp and citrusy, a perennial bargain, it comes from Spain’s Pènedes region.
2010 Pacific Rim Columbia Valley Dry Riesling ($10)
An almost infinitely adaptable food wine, this white from Washington State—primarily—has zesty citrus flavors and light herbal notes (jasmine tea comes to mind). I qualified where it’s from because, surprisingly enough, 20 percent of the blend was shipped over from Germany.