We don't really care where you buy your wine. We like buying ours from the local wine store. We happened to have good ones in both of our most recent places of residence. In Connecticut, it was a little shop that loved wine so much it had two big tastings for charity every year. In Virginia, we go to a big Mid-Atlantic chain that has a huge selection.
But we also buy a lot of wine online. We buy from an Internet outlet when we find a good bargain that we can't find anywhere else. We've already told you about the convenient way that you can search for bargains at most of these online retailers.
We're getting low on under-$10 reds (thus not many reviews here lately), so today we went to two of our online regulars and threw the dice. First we went to liquiddiscount.com and asked for all of their under-$10 wines that were rated 90 or higher by a wine magazine. The results were pretty much a bust. Nada.
The advantage of doing this is that it takes a lot of the guesswork out of wine buying. Very seldom will you dislike a wine rated 90 or higher. And if you can find such wine for less than $10, you can figure you're getting a good-to-great wine at a bargain price.
Next we tried empirewine.com, another of our online faves. Jackpot. The results listed about 20 highly rated wines selling at less than a 10-spot. We knocked out the sparkling wine and all the other rosés and whites but one. That left us with about 15.
One we recognized because we've written about it before and remark how great it is every time we open a bottle. Bodegas Sabor Real 2006 made from 80-year-old vines in Toro, Spain, $9.95. We just drained our last bottle a week ago. So we ordered a case of that.
We put together 12 individual bottles for another case. We'll write about each as we open them, but here's what we ordered. Again, all rated 90+ and all selling for less than $10:
Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha 2007, delightful Spanish red we've had before and loved, $9.95.
La Mano Mencia Roble 2008, another Spanish red, $7.90.
Red Knot 'Zork' Shiraz 2007 from Australia, $8.45.
Di Majo Norante Sangiovese 2008, a Tuscan-style from the Molise region of Italy that we've had before and loved, $8.95.
Odfjell Armador Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Buys, $8.45. This is a crazy value.
Yalumba Y Series Shiraz Viognier 2008 from South Australia, $8.95.
Urban UCO Malbec Tempranillo 2008 from Mendoza, Argentina, $9.45.
Bodegas Lan Rioja Crianza 2006 from Rioja, Spain, $9.95.
Pillar Box Red 2007, a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Australia, $9.95
Bodegas Olivares Monastrell Altos de la Hoya 2008, inky purple with smell of Indian spices from Jumilla, Spain, $9.95. Another crazy value.
Montebuena Tempranillo 2009, "a sneak peak of the great 09 vintage in Rioja and Northern Spain," $9.95.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay 2008, the lone white, but we know we like it, $8.45
We think that this is a smart way to buy great bargain wine. We'll let you know if there are any clinkers in the box.