Not too long ago, my sweet spot for wine values was in the $12 – $20(USD) range. And I would stretch that to the $40 range for an occasional gift or special event(translation = get lucky).
Now that I live on a fixed outgo, I’m much more frugal about my wine purchases. And I have a lot more fun searching and discovering wine less than $10.
Though I live about an hour away from the thriving Valle de Guadalupe wine area, those local wines I enjoy all start at the $20-$25(USD) range. OUCH, as $20 is now my in my special event category.
So, my regular trips to San Diego allow me to “import” my $10 and < wine from BevMo, Trader Joe’s, Vons and other retailers. You will see that I’m focused on reds, but, an occasional white will jump into my cart.
Warning: Mexican law allows 3 litres of alcohol per person to cross the border! [contact me for creative ideas]. And the new El Chaparral border crossing into Tijuana(1 nov 2012) has increased the quantity and quality of inspections.
This page will summarize my wine finds. Details will be published in the Ensenada Gringo food & beverage section. As I find wine very similar to women, here is my rating system:
5. TEN…Grand passion, complexity, energy and enthusiasm. Can’t get enough(Bo Derek, Shakira, Stags’ Leap Petite Syrah)
4. Hot Date…Good sipper that could turn into an LTR. Embrace often. (Rabbit Ridge Allure de Robles)
3. Girl Next Door…Average overall quality. Won’t see her regularly, but, might find some fun times together(Mondavi Cab’)
2. Good Personality…Not a complete waste of time, but, find something else(1.5 liter Yellow Tail)
1. Screetch…sound of your tires exiting. Seriously flawed and can’t stand another minute with this one(1 step below box wine)
Hot Date rack:
2009 Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve($5 Trader Joe’s)
2009 McManis Petite Syrah($9 BevMo)
2009 Les Charmes Chardonnay Macon Lugny 2009($10 on sale/various)
2007 Hidden Cellars Petite Syrah($10 BevMo)
2009 Rodney Strong Chardonnay($10 Vons)
2010 Rabbit Ridge Allure de Robles($5 Trader Joe’s)
2009 Cupcake Vineyards Merlot($8 Costco)
Girl Next Door Rack:
2009 Epicuro Aglianico($5 Trader Joe’s)
2009 Archeo Nero D’Avola($4 Trader Joe’s)
2010 Caves du Fournalet Cotes du Rhone($5 Trader Joe’s)
2010 Le Ferme Julien Rouge($5 Trader Joe’s)
2010 Charles Shaw Pinot Grigio($2 Trader Joe’s)
Charles Shaw Cabernet($2 buck chuck at Trader Joe’s)
Domecq Padre Kino(Walmart Mexico)
el vino bandito wine blog