WW: The Best Bottle of Wine Under $10


Happy Wine Wednesday!

It’s been a while…

I used to conduct in-home wine tastings where the wines were listed between $12 and $25, but were valued at much higher. For those ten years peddling marketing wine, I developed a taste for those wines and my palate became a little picky. I couldn’t drink that two three-buck chuck stuff. Blech.

My two very favorite wines run about $25 – $40; but we hardly ever buy them. And it’s not just because of the price that they are my favorite wines; they just happen to be! Most wines in that price range, I can’t tell the difference. A wine has to wow me and it has to be a special occasion for me to spend that much.

Truly, I found that my sweet spot for a great-tasting wine is in the $15 – $20 range. The funny thing is that is still a little too high in my world these days. Part of it has to do that since I quit that wine gig, I no longer have two jobs, nor have that discount. But I also save diligently for travel each year. That coupled with savings for other things such as health expenses and home improvement (yes, we’ll finally get that deck fixed/replaced this year!), makes the opportunity to experiment with new wines a little challenging. I don’t want to open a bottle and be disappointed at this point.

But we do have a tried and true bottle of wine under $10 that never fails us:


The Columbia Crest Grand Estates {it must be Grand Estates version!} Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley Washington clocks in at only $6.99/bottle at our local Costco. ($7.47 at Total Wine). I tend to prefer smaller, lesser-known wineries and vineyards; but this mass-produce wine is tried and true. The vintage, in my opinion, doesn’t matter because it always delivers. That being said Wine Spectator gave the 2014 vintage 91 points. I guess I’m not alone in this opinion!

If you like a bold red that isn’t too heavy or boozy tasting, but full of fruit flavor that is not reminiscent of that fake sweetness I often get from restaurant house wines. I haven’t done a true study of this wine were we used to sit down sniff, swirl taste and describe the aroma, body and taste. Maybe I’ll do that in the future now that I’ve thought of it. Instead, I’ve just enjoyed each sip, even knowing that this bottle of wine cost me about half of what most glasses of wine cost in a nice wine bar or restaurant.

We have made it our house wine. 


My aunt recently sent me a link to an article about award wining wines $10 and under. In case that link doesn’t work, here are the wines mentioned.

Winning wines at $10 and under
San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition — Best of Class and Double Gold winners $10 and under:
Sauvignon blanc: 2015 Bogle, $10; 2015 Darkhorse, $9.99 — both double gold.
Chardonnay: McMannis Family Vineyards 2015, $10; 2015 ForestVille, $6.99 — both best of class.
Pinot Gris: 2015 Trinity Oaks, $9 — best of class.White blend: 2015 Menage a Trois, $10 — best of class.Pinot Noir: 2015 Three Thieves, $7.99 and 2014 Bubo, $8.99 — both best of class; Smoking Loon, $8.99 — double gold.
Zinfandel: Sutter Home NV, $6.Merlot: Round Hill 2014, $9; Coast 2014, $9; Backhouse 2015, $10 — all double gold.
Cabernet Sauvignon: 2015 Silver Creek, $9.99 — best of class; California Dream 2015, $5.98 and Sutter Home NV, $6; and Trader Moon 2015, $5.99 — all double gold.
Red Dessert Wine: Barefoot Sangria NV, $6.99, and Merritt Estate (N.Y.) Bella Rosa NV — both double gold.

Has anyone had the Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cab or any of the wines on this list?




5 responses »

  1. I’m going to have to try the Columbia Crest Cab! I used to not bat an eyelash at a $20+ bottle of wine…these days I am pretty cheap though : ) This sounds perfect for me – thanks for the recommendation!

  2. I miss your wine peddling days! You taught me (and my friends) a lot! It was so much fun! I haven’t tried the Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cab but it’s on my list now! My trip to Napa for my 50th pushed my price point up somewhat, but I can rarely order in restaurants anymore because of the double/triple+ mark-up – and I know I have better bottles at home that cost less than that one glass. I think I still have a Tria Syrah 2011 in my “cellar!” Thanks, Carrie!!

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