The WC needs your help in choosing the 2019 $10 Hall of Fame

Hall of FameSend 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.

What makes a $10 Hall of Fame wine?

• 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 . 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.

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11 thoughts on “The WC needs your help in choosing the 2019 $10 Hall of Fame

  • By Jay - Reply

    Our club voted last night for the Matua Sauvignon Blanc – stunning at $7.47 – and the McManus Chardonnay, an excellent restrained-style California Chardonnay for $10.50.

  • By Wineguy999 - Reply

    I always recommend Kung Fu Girl Riesling from Charles Smith – it hits all the right notes at $10-12.

  • By Marie - Reply

    I’m a massive proponent of drinking local when living in a state like WA, so year after year I return Chateau St Michelle’s Brut sparkling for a solid crowd-pleaser (now labelled under Domaine St Michelle). Here in WA we can get it for about $8-9/bottle at Total Wine & Costco – it looks like it is available in TX area for around $12. I don’t know if they’re sugaring it up but I sure hope not!

  • By Sue Long - Reply

    I have been enjoying La Poule Blanco 2017 Sauvignon Blanc. Local supermarket selling for 7.99.

  • By Daniel E Janczewski - Reply

    Year in and year out Bogle Essential Red or Red Zinfandel provide great quality and pricing about $10 per bottle.

  • By old wine guy - Reply

    laya 2016
    $ 6.49 bottle barn santa rosa ca

  • By Kevin - Reply

    We have two we enjoy. Broadbent Vinho Verde $7.99. and Solomons Island Mist Kiwi – Pear Sauvignon Blanc $11.99 We buy them when we find them.

  • By The Broad Of Ripple - Reply

    Dark Horse and Prophecy offer consistent, affordable and widely available bottles of single varietals and blends.

  • By Roy Zimmermann - Reply

    The most interesting inexpensive wine I tasted in 2018 was Odoardi savuto, an Italian red blend from Calabria, with six different varietals, including galliapo, aglianico, nero capuccio. Dark fruit, savory, earthy, very distinctive, for less than $12.

  • By Khris - Reply

    Some of my favorites from back home in WA that I can actually get here in TN:

    -Charles Smith Eve Chardonnay
    -Chateau Sté Michelle Pinot Gris (all Columbia Valley whites, really)
    -Pacific Rim Dry Riesling
    -Charles Smith Rosè
    -Columbia Crest Grand Estates Syrah
    -Red Diamond Merlot

  • By Raye - Reply

    Apothic Red
    Chateau Sté Michelle Riesling
    Pacific Rim Riesling
    Velvet Devil Merlot

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