During the year we tasted hundreds of wines priced below
$12, and here are the best. The further you go down the
list, the more bang for the buck. Grab the current release,
if you can't locate the vintage listed...because these are
from steady, reliable producers.
Hogue General Manager Wade Wolfe (left) and Director of Winemaking David Forsyth.
1. It's interesting that some of the best types of wine are not on the list, because all those we could recommend cost more than $12. Missing are Viognier, Pinot Noir and Port wines, among others. Also, while they came close, no Chilean or Australian bottles made the cut, as their prices slide upward. A few years ago, Australia did very well as it was breaking into the U.S.A. market with low prices.
2. Going down the list the first eight were from California. But, of the last nine, five were from outside the state, one from France, two from Argentina and two from Washington State.
3. Our Best-Buy Winery of 2001? Beringer won two spots. But the owner of Montevina also owns Trinity Oaks and Sutter Home... hence, boasting four top bottles, our winning budget-saving winegrower is the Trinchero family!
About the Writer
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.