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I have to be honest, finding a good bottle of red wine for under $10 is something of a miracle. Red blends in this category are a bit more common; adding Grape B hides Grape A’s shortcomings, a bit more Grape C to help out Grape D and “Presto!,” a drinkable blend. But a good red varietal has to stand on its own. Here are three that are pretty good, maybe even really good if you consider their price. What these wines have in common is that they are imports and they are not Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. The Honoro Vera Garnacha (aka Grenache) is from Spain. Spanish wines remain a bargain, so take advantage of this fruit-forward wonder from the Calatayud region. Along the same lines, the Diseño Malbec is equally good and, as other wines from Argentina, is also a bargain. Lots of black cherry and spice in this great little red from the Mendoza region. While there may be fewer bargains in Australia than say ten years ago, there are still bargains to be had. Take this spicy Shiraz (aka Syrah) from the Barossa Valley for example; inky with ripe plum and blackberry notes, it doesn’t disappoint. All of these reds will go with your summer barbecue, roasted meats and other savory dishes.

Bodegas ATECA Honoro Vera Garnacha from Calatayud, Spain
Red Varietal - Garnacha
Notes: Great aromatic complexity and richness with mineral and blueberry notes. Savory and spicy, nicely balanced and very easy to drink.
A Dry Red – Cost: $ out of $$$$$

Diseño Malbec Old Vine from Mendoza, Argentina
Red Varietal - Malbec
Notes: Aromas of black cherries and graphite, licorice, notes of bramble, blueberry, vanilla, musk, oak and minerals. On the palate, dark berry fruit, licorice, bittersweet chocolate and blackberry jam. A ripe tannin backbone, nice balance and cherries in the finish.
A Dry Red – Cost: $ out of $$$$$

Cupcake Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Australia
Red Varietal - Shiraz
Notes: This Shiraz has a dark and inky garnet color with a nose of ripe plums and blackberry jam. It follows with a full palate of creamy fruit, mocha and just a touch of black pepper that lingers.
A Dry Red – Cost: $ out of $$$$$

Local oenophile David Dickson has been a wine educator for nearly 30 years. He welcomes questions and suggestions for this column at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit his website at to learn more about enjoying wine.




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