Send me your suggestions for the 2019 $10 Hall of Fame, so we can show the wine business we want quality cheap wine and not the plonk they want us to drink
The 2019 $10 Hall of Fame will appear in one moth – Jan. 4, 2019. And I truly need your help to find wines worthy of induction this year.
I always ask for – and appreciate – suggestions when I compile the best cheap wines of the previous year. But I’m asking earlier this year because prospects for the 2019 Hall are not good. As I wrote last year, the warning signs for 2019 appeared in 2018, and the situation has deteriorated since.
This was easily the worst year for cheap wine since I started the $10 Hall at the turn of the century for a Dallas magazine. Prices are up, quality is down, and added sugar seems to be everywhere. Too many producers don’t want to sell us wine, but alcoholic fruit juice. Even the Pine Ridge chenin blanc viognier blend, once a Hall of Fame staple, has been tarted up with residual sugar.
• Price, of course. The wine should not cost more than $12 or $13; I’ve increased the limit over the past couple of years because of price creep.
• They should be varietally correct and without obvious flaws. In addition, they should be balanced and interesting enough to buy again. In other words, honest wines. I can’t emphasize this enough. Chardonnay should taste like chardonnay, French wine should taste like French wine, and so forth. Otherwise, what’s the point?
• A wine is not worthy of induction because it’s cheap; there’s a difference between quality cheap wine and wine that is made cheaply. We’re seeing entirely too much of the latter these days.
• Availability. No wines sold by just one retailer, like Two-buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s. My term is generally available – you should be able to buy the wine at a quality retailer in a medium-sized U.S. city.
Leave your suggestion in the comments to this post or click this link to send me an email. I start working on the Hall during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, so keep that in mind if you have wines to recommend. And thanks for your help and continued support – we’ll get through this bad patch and make the wine business understand they can’t continue to foist this plonk on us.