Budget Friendly Wines for Budget Friendly #SundaySupper

The theme for this week’s #SundaySupper is all about budget friendly dishes.  The thing about the best budget friendly foods is that one doesn’t feel doesn’t feel cheated.  You still can still get a delicious healthy meal if you invest a bit of time into achieving satisfying results.

It’s the same with wine.  Just like it’s not hard to find satisfaction is a steak and lobster dinner from a pricy restaurant, I don’t think it’s difficult to find a great $50 dollar bottle of wine if you know what you like.

Ah, but if I can find a $10 or 15 dollar bottle of wine that’s satisfying, that over-delivers, on some level that a more satisfying experience for me because…well who doesn’t love a good deal?

With that in mind, I offer the following tips for finding wines that offer big bang for the buck:

  1. Shop the world – The first place I look for value is Spain, but you can find great value in the lesser know regions of France (Languedoc-Roussillion), Italy (Umbria, Sicily, and Puglia come to mind) along with countries like Chile, Australia and South Africa.
  2. Domestically – Look for lesser known regions.  In California for example look for wines from Amador, Lodi, or Lake County.
  3. Find website/blogger who specializes in value.  My favorite is the Reverse Wine Snob.
  4. Shop for Trader Joe’s and Costco for wine.  Both have lots of wines that offer great value.
  5. Take a look a box wines or a quality jug wine like Gallo Hearty Burgundy.
  6. Get to know high quality value produces like Barefoot Cellars, Chateau Ste Michelle, and Cline.
  7. Get cozy with a wine shop with a diverse selection of wines.  Most will have a nice selection of “everyday” wines in the $10-$20 range.
Wine Food Group

Image courtesy of somecards.com

Check out this week’s magnificent menu of budget friendly satisfying dishes prepared by the #SundaySupper food bloggers and budget friendly wine pairings recommendations that all under $15 (most are $10 or less)!

If you’ve been following my #SundaySupper wine pairing recommendations, then you KNOW I’m a  big proponent of pairing foods with sparkling wines, which pair well with such a wide variety of foods.  Pair these wine with Kirkland Prosecco ($8). It’s a terrific value with a delightful  fresh apple, mandarin orange, and honey character. 

Pair these dishes with Riesling, the white version of a “goes with virtually anything” wine. Look for the 2012 Pacific Rim Dry Riesling ($10).  It’s from the Columbia Valley in Washington State and has a delightful yellow apple, white peach, citrus and mineral character. 

Pair these dishes with Chardonnay.  Look for the 2013 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Charnay ($14) from Burgundy, France.  Our wine club did a blind tasting of Chardonnay from around the world last year, and this wine did well.  It’s an un-oaked Chardonnay with a classic zesty apple, citrus and mineral character. 

Pair these dishes with a Sauvignon Blanc.  Look for the 2013 Patient Cottat “Le Grand Caillou” Sauvignon Blanc ($10).  It has a lovely tropical fruit, citrus, spice and mineral character with a tangy acidity. 

Pair these dishes with Pinot Noir, the red wine version a “goes with virtually anything”. Pinot Noir is probably the most challenging the wine you can find that offers value for the price.  I recommend the 2013 Shoofly Wines Pinot Noir ($10) from Australia.  It’s show aromatic red berry, Asian spice aromas with bright cherry, raspberry and spice flavors underscored with an appealing minerality. 

Pair these dishes with a Grenache from Spain.  One of my perennial favorites is the Altovinum Evodia Old Vines Garnacha ($10). It’s produced from high-altitude 100-year old vines in the Calatayud region.  The combination of mountain fruit and old vines produces an elegant,zesty wine with strawberry, cherry character.  

Pair these dishes with a Cabernet Sauvignon. I like the 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($10).  It’s a blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot, Syrah, Malbec and Mourvedre.  It’s easy drinking  with a plum, dark cherry, and vanilla character. 

Pair these dishes with an old Italian favorite of mine, the 2013 Maritma “The 4 Old Guys” Sangiovese ($8).  It’s from the South Tuscan coast and has an easy drinking cherry, plum and earth character.

Pair these dishes with red blend.  One of my favorite is the Sherman & Hooker’s Shebang! “Seventh Cuvée” Red Blend ($12).  It’s second label by one of California’s hottest young winemakers – Morgan Twain-Peterson that’s a blend of Zinfandel, Grenache, Alicante, Petite Sirah and Sangiovese that was aged in 50% new French oak.  It has a fruity, but not jammy brambly, ripe cherry, cassis, dark chocolate character.

Try these desserts with Moscatel de Setúbel, a sweet fortified wine form the southern portion of Portugal, made from the local variety of Moscatel (Muscat).  Look for the Moscatel de Setúbal is sweet, fortified wine made from the local variety of Moscatel(Muscat).  Look for the 2011 Bacalhoa Moscatel de Setúbal ($10).  It’s rich with fragrant orange blossom, orange peel, honeyed fruit, and raisin character. 

Pair these desserts & snacks with a Moscato d’Asti.  Look for the 2013 Saracco Moscato d’Asti ($10). It shows a sweet, fragrant, delicate, floral, tropical fruit, and a hint of honey character.  It’s “frizzante”, which means it’s not as effervescent as most sparkling wines. 

Bon Appétit and Cheers!

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51 thoughts on “Budget Friendly Wines for Budget Friendly #SundaySupper

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  4. Good tips, as always! I think a Pinot would do pretty well with our casserole. We enjoyed it with a Barbera/Dolcetto blend, a bit north of the “budget” category!

    • Thanks David. It was definitely a challenge to keep the wines under $15 (especially the dessert wines), but as I said when you get a deal on a wine that drinks above it’s price point, that’s very satisfying!

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  8. Wonderfully creative pairings, as always! Thanks for suggesting great and INEXPENSIVE wines for our virtual potluck today!

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    • Thanks Katie. I hope you get a chance to pair a nice dessert wine with white chocolate brownies. It’s a decadent treat!

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  17. Great tips for finding some bargains that drink above their price point, Martin. Also, I like that turn of phrase. I’m going to have to find some way to work it into a conversation so I can quote you. :) I am intrigued by the frizzante wines. I didn’t realize that meant they weren’t as sparkly as most sparkling wines. We just got our liquor license renewed – been expired since July! – so I’ll be browsing the shelves and “shopping the world” for something special.

    • Thanks Stacy! I’m a big proponent of sparkling wines because they’re so food friendly. Most frizzante wines tend to be a bit sweet, but there are some dry examples too…like Txacholina from the Basque region of Spain. Cheers!

    • Thanks Betsy! If that’s a tough wine to find for you a tawny port would work nicely with your truffles as well. Dessert wine with truffles is a decadent treat for me. For most I think, the truffle is dessert enough!

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  21. Shop the world! What a great slogan (and tip!) Martin. Tweeting this oh-so helpful post…Thank you too for inspiring me, too, to drink orange blossom infused wine with my pumpkin cake donuts!

  22. I absolutely love this list…what a perfect;y easy way to find the right wine for your budget friendly meal. I also wish that wine was it’s own food group 😉 We love Pinot Noirs in my house and I can’t wait to try your recommendation!

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    • Nikki – sparkling wines tend to go very well with egg dishes, which is why I like to recommend them for breakfast. Then again bubbly goes with most anything!

  25. I love this!! Have you ever been out to the end of Long Island, NY for wine tasting? It’s a lower key area, especially compared to say, Napa, but it’s growing and starting to win awards. My husband and I go out wine tasting there every chance we get. If you’re ever in NYC, please call me up and I’ll take you out there. And if you come in the summer, I know a place you can bottle feed baby goats. :)

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