When I first founded Valley Vino Wine Club our mission was simple. Bring people together to enjoy five wines they probably hadn't tried before,priced $10-$20, and that represented incredible quality at their price point. We worked with Chefs to pair the wines with dinner courses, making for an enjoyable and affordable evening for everyone.
In those early days, it was more challenging to find really high quality wines in that $10-$20 range. You had to taste a lot of wines to find five good ones for each event. Times have really changed over the last five years, as the $10-$20 "consumer sweet spot" has exploded in terms of the number of wines offered and the percentage of quality bottles out there.
The expectations of the consumer have also risen steadily during this time. People simply expect more quality in this price range now, and more wineries are delivering quality wines in this range than ever before.
I probably tasted 250-300 in the "value" category in 2013. Narrowing it down to a top ten was not easy, but here goes (all prices quoted are OH retail)
10. Saint Anne Boardeaux Blanc - $15 (France)
9. Coto de Hayas Centenarian - $15 (Spain)
8. Stone Cap Riesling - $12 (Washington, USA)
7. Creme de Lyse Chardonnay - $12 (California, USA)
6. Maggio Old Vine Zinfandel - $14 (California, USA)
5. Dagglia Canyon Cabernet - $20 (California, USA)
4. Pietro Sauvignon Blanc - $20 (California, USA)
3. Aranwa Malbec - $10 (Mendoza, Argentina)
2. Yorkville Cellars Merlot - $14 (California, USA)
1. Shannon Ridge Cabernet - $12 (California, USA)
All of these wines are distributed locally in our Valley, so if your retailer or restaurant doesn't carry them, just ask for them by name.
I will release my top ten wines of the year on this blog on Christmas Day!