Tag Archives: $10 Wine Hall of Fame

2017 $10 Hall of Fane

2018 $10 Wine Hall of Fame

2018 $10 Hall of Fame13 wines entered the 2018 $10 Hall of Fame, but there is bad news for cheap wine on the horizon

Do not look at the 13 wines that entered the 2018 $10 Hall of Fame as a sign that all is well with cheap wine. Rather, this year’s Hall class may be the last great moment for cheap wine before we enter the dark ages of middling quality and overpriced wine.

Look past the total, and details were ominous:

• Six wines dropped out, one more than 2017, and price creep reared its ugly head. The venerable Pine Ridge chenin blanc viognier, which has been in the Hall for a decade, can cost as much as $15 now. And it’s just not worth $15.

• Just three California wines that aren’t McManis or Bogle in the Hall. That speaks volumes about how difficult it is to find quality cheap wine from California, thanks to exorbitant land prices and that most producers can’t afford to make cheap wine that’s worth buying.

• The induction total was boosted by five roses, which says more about the quality of rose than it does about cheap wine. Take out the roses, and we had a very ordinary year.

• Availability got worse this year, and it is going to get even worse. The wine business increasingly revolves around the biggest retailers like grocery stores, national chains, and the like, and the biggest retailers only want wine from the biggest producers. And most great cheap wine doesn’t come from the biggest producers.

• The weak dollar, which has lost most of its value from this time last year, will eventually force an increase in imported wine prices — and most of the value is in imported wine.

In other words, this may be the last Hall of Fame for a long while where this many wines are good enough to earn induction. The quality at $10, and even $15 or $18, isn’t there, sacrificed for “smoothness,” the chance to upsell consumers to equally inferior wine, and a resurgence in cute labels and marketing trickery.

So celebrate while we can. The $10 Wine Hall of Fame 2018, and my annual assessment on the state of cheap wine, is here. You can also find it at the Hall of Fame link at the top of the page. The Hall’s selection process and eligibility rules are here. This year, I considered wines that cost as much as $12 or $13 to take into account price creep and regional pricing differences.

Again this year, you’ll be able to print the Hall as either a text file or a PDF. Look for the icon on the upper right hand corner of the post.

2018 $10 Hall of Fame coming Jan. 5

2017 $10 Hall of FaneThe 2018 $10 Hall of Fame will appear on the blog on Jan. 5.

This year, besides, the 11th annual $10 Wine Hall of Fame, we’re adding a new feature — the 2018 Cheap Wine of the Year. It will appear on Jan. 4.

Do you have a wine I should consider for the Hall? Leave your suggestion in the comments to this post or click to . Know that the wine needs to cost no more than $12 or $13. Also, you have to be able to buy the wine in much of the country, so it can’t be a private label like Two-buck Chuck that’s sold only in one retailer. Complete eligibility rules are here.

2017 $10 Hall of Fane

2017 $10 Wine Hall of Fame

2017 $10 Hall of FameNine wines entered the 2017 $10 Hall of Fame – nuts to premiumization

The biggest surprise in the 2017 $10 Wine Hall of Fame? That nine wines entered the hall, and it could have been as many as 15. Or that four dozen wines got serious consideration, the most since the beginning of the recession and three times as many as least year.

This, after the horrors of the past couple of years, was shocking. I had expected, as late as November, to find few wines to consider and even fewer to add. But as I went through my notes and the suggestions from blog visitors, the quality and quality became apparent.

We’re not quite re-living $10 wine’s pre-recession glory days, but it’s possible to find lots of great cheap wine – just look outside the U.S. and look for something other than cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and pinot noir.

The new members of the 2017 $10 Wine Hall of Fame include two Italian Tuscan red blends, including one from Big Wine; the Angeline California sauvignon blanc; a French rose, Villa des Anges; two French reds; the Naia Spanish white; a French white, Moulin de Gassac Guilhem; and a Hungarian white, the Chateau Pajzos Furmint.

Five labels dropped out, most for availability: The Chilean Cono Sur wines; Tractor Shed Red, a California field blend; the Little James Basket Press red and white blends, availability and quality; the $5 Rene Barbier Mediterranean Red, quality; and the Hey Mambo red blend.

The $10 Wine Hall of Fame 2017, and my annual assessment on the state of cheap wine, is here. You can also find it at the Hall of Fame link at the top of the page. The Hall’s selection process and eligibility rules are here. This year, I considered wines that cost as much as $12 or $13 to take into account price creep and regional pricing differences.

Again this year, you’ll be able to print the hall as either a text file or a PDF. Look for the icon on the bottom right hand corner of the post.

2017 $10 Hall of Fame coming Jan. 6

2017 $10 Hall of FaneThe 2017 $10 Hall of Fame — the 10th annual — will appear on the blog on Jan. 6. And yes, it has been a terrific decade for great cheap wine.

Do you have a wine I should consider for the Hall? Leave your suggestion in the comments to this post or click to . Know that the wine needs to cost no more than $12; I’m raising the limit this year for the first time. Also, you have to be able to buy the wine in much of the country, so it can’t be a private label like Two-buck Chuck that’s sold only in one retailer. Complete eligibility rules are here.

Also running Hall of Fame week: the fourth annual Do-it-yourself New Year’s wine resolutions. And, because this is the 10th annual Hall, we’ll have a couple of book giveaways to celebrate.

And finally, a decade in the making — the Wine Curmudgeon e-shop will debut during Hall of Fame week.

The 2016 $10 Wine Hall of Fame

2016 $10 wineThe good news is that eight wines made the 2016 $10 Wine Hall of Fame this year, including two California sauvignon blancs, a huge shock given how little most California producers care about cheap wine quality. That’s four more wines than last year, while only three dropped out.

The bad news? That for the second year in a row, there were only a dozen or so wines that merited serious consideration, as wine prices go up and cheap wine quality continues to go down. In fact, I had to hedge on pricing this year, not so much to find new wines but to keep old favorites in the Hall. The price creep from $10 to $12 (and even $13 or $14) goes on, and sooner or later it will push wines out of the Hall. Case in point: The legendary Pine Ridge chenin blanc-viogner blend is a steal at $10 and a fine value at $12, where it seems to be priced these days. But it’s not really worth more than that.

Nevertheless, there is terrific wine in the 2016 $10 Wine Hall of Fame. My favorite new member is the Argento malbec, an $8 Argentine red that made me realize that inexpensive malbec doesn’t have to taste like Welch’s grape juice. Click here for the entire list, or click the $10 Hall of Fame link at the top of the page. The Hall’s selection process and eligibility rules are here.

This year, you’ll be able to print the Hall as either a text file or a PDF, something I added based on your requests. Look for the icon on the bottom right hand corner of the post.

The new members of the 2016 $10 Wine Hall of Fame include the Argento, the Hess and Line 39 sauvignon blancs, two roses, two Italian reds, and a cava. Dropping out is the wonderful Muga rose, a victim of price creep; the Yellow + Blue box wines, which are almost impossible to find any more; and the Louis Jadot Beaujolais, which reverted to form this vintage.

Photos courtesy of Glass Half Full, Provincetown, Mass., using a Creative Commons license

2016 $10 Hall of Fame coming Jan. 8

2016 $10 Hall of FameWhich means this is your opportunity to nominate a $10 wine for the 2016 $10 Hall of Fame. Leave your suggestion in the comments to this post or click on the link to . Know that the wine needs to cost around $10 (and I might be a bit more flexible about price this year) in much of the country and can’t be a private label like Two-buck Chuck; complete eligibility rules are here.

This year, we’ll feature $10 wine information much of the first week of January, including the third annual Do-it-yourself New Year’s wine resolutions. And, because so many have requested it, you’ll be able to print the new $10 Hall of Fame — in a PDF — and take the list with you to the wine shop.

This is the ninth annual $10 Hall of Fame, so I’ll have to come up with something terrific to celebrate a decade of great cheap wine in 2017.

The 2012 $10 Wine Hall of Fame

image from www.winecurmudgeon.comYes, wine prices may be in flux, and the wine world may resent cheap wine more than ever. But that didn't stop the Wine Curmudgeon from adding a near-record number of wines to the 2012 $10 Wine Hall of Fame. Eight wines were inducted, and only four dropped out. Click on the link above for the entire list, or the $10 link on the upper left of this page.

In fact, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of cheap wine last year, and there were some dozen wines that almost made the Hall. Two in particular are worth mentioning — the Picada 15 red blend from Argentina, which was delightful but doesn't seem to be available in much of the country, and the Montecillo crianza, also wonderful and also limited in availability.

Call this year's Hall the world tour — wines from Washington state, Italy, France, Argentina, Spain and even California made it. I was especially pleased to see California in the mix, given last year's California disappointment. One other disappointment: The Toad Hollow pinot noir rose dropped out this year, the first time it hasn't been in the Hall since I started it for a Dallas magazine 10 years ago.

The ground rules for this, the sixth annual, Hall of Fame: The wines have to cost $10 or less (Dallas prices, though I will make an exception if prices seem to be higher here) and be generally available. That means no wines like Trader Joe's Two-buck Chuck, which are only sold at one retailer. The final decisions are my own, and take into account what I think wine should be: varietally correct, balanced, and interesting enough to buy again.

I do take suggestions and input from dozens of people — blog visitors and wine drinkers (who sent more suggestions than ever this year), people I know in the wine business, and other wine writers. Thank you for your help.