One of the Wine Curmudgeon’s seemingly endless searches is for a great $10 malbec. There just aren’t that many -- but there are quite a few quality wines that check in at a bit more than $10.
One of them is the Gascon (about $13). It’s a good example of a malbec (the Argentine red wine that has made huge inroads in the U.S. in the past several years) that isn’t as simple as my favorite cheap malbec, the Yellow + Blue. It has some chops, including a more defined fruit character (think blackberry) and more interesting tannins. It still isn’t especially subtle, but it’s not supposed to be. Think of it as California merlot’s more interesting, Spanish-accented cousin.
And, like all malbec, the Gascon is incredibly food friendly, pairing with everything from barbecue and burgers to spaghetti and tomato sauce to roast chicken.