Wade Cothran |
10 of the Best Value Wines You've Never Tried
The world of wine is one which is ever-changing and ever-evolving. Just a few decades ago, countries like Australia and New Zealand were just starting to find their feet on the international wine stage, and just look at how far they’ve come in such a relatively short space of time. With India, Brazil, Mexico, Myanmar, and many, many more countries beginning to take wine production seriously, who could possibly say what the next big thing might be?
When you’re shopping around for wine, it’s really important to remember that there’s a whole world of quality vino out there that doesn’t come from Bordeaux, Napa, Tuscany, Rioja - or any of the other big-name regions we’re all familiar with. If anything, many of the wineries in these famous locations often end up resting on their laurels and letting the prestige of the region on the bottle do the selling for them!
In every wine-producing country on earth, there are always plenty of ‘value’ regions which, for whatever reason, haven’t reached the same heights of fame and appreciation as others. If you’re on the lookout for excellent wine at prices that aren’t going to break the bank, those are the ones to go for. Take a look at our brief guide to up-and-coming value regions from around the world, and the varietals to keep your eyes peeled for. Trust us, you’re going to like the results!
Portuguese Value Wines
We’re no gamblers, but we’d bet that Portugal might not remain a ‘value’ wine country for much longer. Check out any list of ‘top ten food and wine destinations’ to have been published in the past couple of years, and you’ll find Portugal in the top positions time after time. The reasons for this are obvious: Portuguese food and wine are sensational, and the world is finally catching on to the fact that there’s so much more to this western European country than fortified wine and sardines.
The Portuguese wine region of Douro is the one to really look out for. This beautiful river valley is churning out red wines of incredible quality made from indigenous grapes such as Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, and Touriga Franca. Bold, full-bodied, and packed full of berry and spice notes, they’re an absolute joy to drink.
If you want a refreshing white wine for a hot and sunny day, and one that will pair perfectly with any salad or fish dish, then Portugal’s iconic ‘green wine’ is the one for you. Made from fresh and citrusy Alvarinho grapes, this wine has a slight natural fizz to it, making it thirst-quenching and delicious.
This Portuguese wine region is the one to head for if you’re in need of aromatic white wines. Made from native Arinto and Verdelho grapes (as well as the occasional French import), they’re perfect for sipping alongside your grilled fish or simply for enjoying on their own.
Greek Value Wines
Greek wines are enjoying something of a moment in the sun right now. With a history of winemaking that stretches back thousands of years and some of the most pristine terroirs found anywhere on earth, it’s no wonder the Greeks hit the high notes time and time again.
The quintessential Greek white wine and the one that’s buzzing on everyone’s lips right now. Packed full of bright, lemony, fresh notes, and perfectly refreshing, Assyrtiko ticks every box you could wish for from a dry white wine, and it’s sure to become a new favorite.
This deep red wine is another up-and-coming favorite from the Greek islands and boasts plummy flavors and firm tannins. Nothing could go better with your gyros (or most other meaty street foods, for that matter), and it’s usually available at highly affordable prices, too.
Sicilian Value Wines
Sicilian wines are making big waves at the moment on the international wine scene, but thankfully they’re still underrated enough to not command such high prices. This is likely to change, though, as these wines are quickly becoming trendy enough to start moving away from the cheaper shelves in your local wine store!
This deep, dark, and mysterious wine is trending at the moment and is prized for its intensity of flavor and tannic qualities. In many ways, it’s a bit like a really good Cabernet Sauvignon, and pairs with meaty dishes in much the same fashion. Delicious!
Wines made from grapes that grow on volcanoes are almost uniformly excellent, and Nerello Mascalese is no exception. Cultivated on the slopes of Mount Etna, this is a wine that really packs in plenty of expression while maintaining a bright, sunny, and fruity character reminiscent of Sangiovese.
Croatian Value Wines
Just like Portugal, Croatia is currently topping lists of food and wine destinations you simply have to visit. Croatian wines have been a big deal for hundreds of years (in fact, it was Croatia that originally cultivated both the Zinfandel and Chardonnay grape), but they’re only just starting to make waves around the world. Snap them up before everyone gets involved!
Unrelated to the similarly-named Italian Malvasia - and arguably a much better grape than its namesake - this wine from the Croatian peninsula of Istria is an absolute gem. Highly aromatic, refreshing, and totally unforgettable, it’s a white wine you’ll come back to again and again.
Languedoc-Roussillon Value Wines
France is the most wine-obsessed country on earth - we all know this to be true. However, it’s fair to say that most of France’s glory is concentrated around Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne. It’s a shame because there are plenty of other incredible wine regions in this country that sometimes don’t get much of a look. Languedoc-Roussillon is actually France’s biggest wine region, and we’d say it’s one of the best. Wines from this part of southern France are often considerably cheaper than those from Bordeaux and yet are generally just as good (if not better).
Want to drink top-quality French sparkling wine without having to remortgage your house in order to purchase a vintage Champagne? Cremant de Limoux is about as good as any fizzy wine, and yet a quality bottle from here is going to cost a fraction of the price.
When it comes to beautiful, blended, and aged red wines, this Languedoc-Roussillon appellation is unbeatable. These wines blend Carignan, Syrah, and Grenache varietal grapes, and when aged for 7-10 years or more, will treat your palate to a level of complexity and depth of flavor that will take your senses to new heights. Absolutely worth hunting for, and sure to impress even the most cynical among you.
There you go - some absolutely stunning wines that offer amazing value for money and incredible flavors. The only thing that could make them better? That’s a BruMate stemless wine glass, which looks beautiful and allows you to maintain that perfect wine drinking temperature. Check them out today!