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12 wines under $10: good, affordable wine is no longer an oxymoron

WHITE

BIG HOUSE WHITE 2009
(California, U.S.)
A sharply reduced price makes one of California’s most amusing whites—a fresh, perfumed, multi-grape blend—a no-brainer for parties (The cost of this wine has increased to over $10 since this article was published.). LBCO 173286

CASAL THAULERO 2009 OSCO PINOT GRIGIO
(Abruzzi, Italy)
Casal Thaulero’s flavourful and refreshing pinot grigio blows away the rest of the Italian competition. LCBO 73163

CONO SUR 2009 RIESLING
(Bío Bío Valley, Chile)
This barely off-dry riesling from a hot new cool-climate wine region in southern Chile combines Niagara-like freshness with Chilean tropicality. LCBO 156653

DUNAVÁR 2008 MUSCAT OTTONEL
(Hungary)
For less than $8, Dunavár makes a fragrant, dry muscat that pairs well with all manner of spicy seafood, steamed mussels, sushi and ginger-accented dishes. LCBO 565812

QUINTA DA AVELEDA 2009 VINHO VERDE
(Vinho Verde, Portugal)
The best vinho verde at the LCBO is a light, zesty, almost spritzy white with a maritime feel. It’s perfect for lively parties that start on the half shell. LCBO 89995

TRAPICHE 2009 ASTICA SAUVIGNON BLANC/SEMILLON
(Cuyo, Argentina)
This bright white blend delivers fantastic richness and freshness for less than $8, highlighting the best of both grapes: sauvignon’s zestiness and sémillon’s savoury green olive flavours. LCBO 359083

RED

BEAULIEU VINEYARD 2007 COASTAL ESTATES CABERNET SAUVIGNON
(California, U.S.)
Another slashed California price reveals a surprisingly ripe, complex cabernet brimming with ripe berry and woodsy notes. LCBO 569871

CASTAÑO 2007 LA CASONA MONASTRELL
(Yecla, Spain)
For oenophiles who like soft, juicy reds brimming with blueberry flavours, Castaño has it all. It’s great with hearty fall and winter fare. LCBO 143743

CONCHA Y TORO 2009 XPLORADOR CARMENERE
(Central Valley, Chile)
Chile’s signature grape usually offers depth beyond its price; this new label captures even more of that classic cassis, mint and chocolate. It’s an easy way to elevate a weeknight meal. LCBO 177816

DROSTDY-HOF 2009 MERLOT
(Western Cape, South Africa)
South African reds generally have great complexity, but Drostdy-Hof takes complexity
to a shocking level for $10 with a tumble of raspberry, herbs and earthiness. It’s outstanding with roast beef. LCBO 345371

FARNESE 2008 NEGROAMARO
(Abruzzi, Italy)
Farnese adds to its string of hearty, smooth and almost sumptuous southern Italian reds with this cherry-scented, lush negroamaro. LCBO 143735

TRAPICHE 2009 SYRAH
(Mendoza, Argentina)
This bargain-priced black syrah captures all the density and ripeness of modern New World syrah-shiraz with a catchy, drier style that pairs well with grilled meats. LCBO 26898

UPDATE: The cost of one of the wines has increased to over $10 since this article was first published. Toronto Life regrets the error. 2/3/2011