Take a peek at the upper left hand corner, and you'll find the new Hall of Fame. What makes a Hall of Fame wine? There’s not necessarily a precise explanation. It’s better than it should be, and it’s consistent from year to year, just like more expensive wines with better reputations. That’s one reason wines have been dropped from the Hall of Fame, and several were this year.
Several other notes:
• These wines are generally available in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, so I don't have to get involved in the Two Buck Chuck debate. There are no Trader Joe's in this part of the country.
• I am not enamored of Yellow Tail, which doesn't rise above the level of grocery store wine. They may represent good value, but they aren't Hall of Fame wines.
• I’m still searching for that terrific $10 Argentine malbec. Most of the malbec I’ve tasted in this country is $15 or so; good wines, certainly, but not eligible for the Hall of Fame.
• And there is no pinot noir in the U.S. for less than $10 that is Hall worthy. The French labels like Red Bicyclette and Lulu B are easy to drink, but not especially pinot like. And most of the $10 U.S. I have tasted has some varietal character, but almost nothing else.