Dr. Akhil Reddy's Guide to Five-Star French Wine Finds at Budget Prices
There are good inexpensive wines; however, you have to know where to look to find just the right kind. French wine in particular is known to have a rich scent and a lot of taste. While most inexpensive wines are good and some of them popular, not all of them can fall under 30 dollars and still be amazing to taste.
Needless to say, a good wine needs time to bring out its rich taste. Forget about the price tag; good wine is about the type of grape and the mastery of fermenting. Known for its rich culture, French wine has a lot of choice if you are looking for something good under $30.
As a dentist, my focus is affordable healthcare for all, regardless of wealth or stature. When I’m not practicing dentistry, I like to see myself as a wine connoisseur. So, in effort to provide knowledge about quality vintages more accessible for all budgets, I have compiled a list of wines that taste like high profile labels at a fraction of the cost. I like to focus on regions that are not so prominent because I realized how arbitrary the pricing can be. Another way to find wines comparable to those on this list is going for grape varieties that don’t get the buzz they deserve like voisinho or chenin blanc. You can also pick entry level wines from well-known estates rather than prominent names; there is always top-notch quality around for a budgeted price if you know how to do your research!
Let’s take a look.
Chateau d'Aiguilhe, Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon, $18
This is a bottle of fresh and vibrant wine with a lot of elegance. The red wine has floral notes and a fruity flavor that balances perfectly to make it a good medium-bodied type of wine. Going at $18 a bottle, the wine is a worthy accompaniment to a good meal.
Domaine de Pellehaut Chardonnay Fruit, PGI Côtes de Gascogne, $9 (A Steal!)
This is a brand of Chardonnay with exceptional class and a good price tag too. The wine gets a hint of vanilla and cream form the barrels used to age it. The grapefruit and stone fruit flavors are crisp and vibrant while the floral notes that are superb to smell. Going for $9, you will enjoy a glass of this expertly aged wine with no worries.
Château Haut Bernasse Le Clos Monbazillac, $15
Monbazillac in the southwest of France often gets a bad rep owing to the fact that the nearby Sauternes region produces top-notch brands. However, this is just bad luck for good wine producers in the area. This particular wine for instance, has a mixture that makes it a cut above the rest in class. A bottle of this savory wine has the mixture of sauvignon blanc, Semillon and muscadelle. As you drink it, you will enjoy the sprightly acidity as well as the marmalade and honey flavors. It goes for $15 but could easily cost double that with such quality.
Chateau Beaumont, Haut Medoc, $11
The wine has a refreshing mid palate flavor that hits you with cassis, cedar and violets. The supple and soft tannins are just extracted to the right amount to make sure this bottle has a splendid flavor; and for $11, you can enjoy it too.
Chateau Mont-Perat, Castillon, $11
The dark berries that go into making this wine give it a firm yet bubbly structure. It has concentrated flavors with earthy tones that blend well with cedar and are finished off by a mineral taste. At $11, it is well-made and offers great value.
Chateau Capbern, Saint-Estephe, $18
It has plenty of layers that include violets, plums and cassis. The intensity is perfect and leaves a lingering taste that makes you want to have some more. It goes for $18.
Château Saint-Maur, $25 (Splurge - Perfect Summer Sipping Wine)
It has an expressive taste with lots of elegance to it. This is the perfect wine to enjoy during summer days and create lasting memories with. A bottle of this neatly produced wine goes for $25.
La Vieille Ferme Rouge, Côtes du Ventoux, $8 (A Steal!)
It comes from the Perrin family, known for the respectable Chateauneuf-du-Pape, a favorite for many. This is a 2009 wine filled with a warm flavor reminiscent of bright summer days. With slight spicy taste and vigorous blackberry and raspberry, you will enjoy this to the fullest and what’s more, it’s not hard to find. A bottle of this fine wine goes for $8.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Domaine Saissac, Vin de Pays d'Oc, $9
While most French wines have that traditional European taste, this one differs from the norm. Most wine aficionados like to call it a modern wine thanks to its divergence in taste. Grown in the temperate climate of Languedoc, this sauvignon has irresistible tannins and cassis that you will most definitely love. The wine goes for $9.
Asda Beaujolais, $5 (A Steal!)
This Beaujolais has the fruity flavor of cranberry and the top-notch quality of a classic Beaujolais wine. This red wine goes well with a sumptuous steak and the flavor may just have you pouring yourself more and more. A bottle will set you back $5.
La Parde de Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, $25 (Splurge - Good Conversation-Making Wine)
If there is a wine estate in Bordeaux that has enjoyed immense improvement in quality, then it has to be Chateau Haut-Bailly. The aromatic smell is accompanied by a silk-textured smooth and fresh finish. You will get a bottle of this top quality wine at just $25.
Domaine Hudelot-Noellat, Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy, $10
The typical plain Bourgogne rouge rarely impresses. However, this fragranced, silky and fruity wine rises above this. It a charming wine that you will enjoy drinking young.
Basic Bourgogne rouge is rarely pleasurable: you can usually find much better pinot noir from elsewhere in the world at the same kind of price. However, there are several exceptions, and this gorgeously silky, perfumed and fruit-driven wine from Domaine Hudelot-Noellat is certainly one. It's taken from the just-released 2009 vintage, which has produced some charming, amiable wines that are great for drinking young, you’ll like the fact that it costs only $10.
Wine lovers will enjoy a lot of the selections in this list because there is a little bit of everything. French taste in fine dining cannot be complete without considering the added effect of a good wine.
Dr. Akhil Reddy is a dentist by profession, but always makes time for a good wine tasting. Dr. Reddy has made it his mission to hunt down good varietals for years now and has become a wine connoisseur with a palate for balanced flavors and masterful wine production. As a self-confessed oenophile, Dr. Reddy has vast knowledge of the best wines and a knack for finding good wines where others would not think to look. The doctor is currently attached to MB2 Dental, a group practice outfit whose mission is to supply affordable, quality healthcare opportunities to people of all means.
Here is how you can connect with Dr. Reddy online:
Dr. Akhil Reddy on Twitter: @drakhilreddy
Dr. Akhil Reddy on Instagram: @drakhilreddy
Dr. Akhil Reddy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drakhilreddy/
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