Cost of Living

Top 10 Wines Under $10

In 2016, Paolo and I hit the road. What started as a 90 day trip, ended up being a location independent lifestyle for a year. In order to stay on the road, we cut back expenses across the board.

Although it was exceptionally painful, our wine budget was given no exception. Thankfully, with diligence, hard work and a lot of (tipsy) research, we found some wine winners under $10 a bottle.

I know, life is hard right!

Top 10 Wines Under $10 at Whole Foods

I’ll start by saying, we like the good stuff.

By good, I don’t mean insanely priced, auction style, collector wine. I mean good like, Muga Reserva. The kind of wine that drove us to re-route our road trip in Spain through Haro… you know for a Muga tour!

More about that later. That quick story is my way of saying, we are not wine snobs but we know good and we know what we like.

If you’re the kind of wine lover who is happy to find a table wine that triggers an unexpected “oh, that’s good!” then this list works.

For now, let’s head to the shockingly well stocked wine shelves at Whole Foods. You can find these wines elsewhere too. So why Whole Foods? Case discount. We found these all at Whole Foods pretty reliably. Which brings $10 a bottle closer to $9 a bottle in a mixed case.

If you’re a fan of red, give these a swirl and let us know what you think.

Top 10 Under 10 Lineup
Top 10 Under 10 Lineup

Malbec Consistent, Good, Affordable

First up, the Malbecs, of which there are five on our list.

Argentina wine producers have Malbec down to a science. While that won’t give you much in the way of a surprising new find, it will give you a reliably good red. Typically, you’re looking at a drinkable red that still claims character. Drier, fuller bodied, great with steak.

The Malbecs in Our 10 Under $10
The Malbecs in Our 10 Under $10

In no particular order with links to tasting notes from the pros (vintages may vary.)

Bordeaux, Cab, Petite Sirah, Grenache and Carmenere
Bordeaux, Cab, Petite Sirah, Grenache and Carmenere

For the non Malbec half of our Top 10 list, a few surprises.

Bonus: Best Red Box Wine

Ok, no judgement all right! Box wine is perfectly acceptable these days. It’s also a great solution for a cross country road trip. Just saying!

We’ve tried everything from Black Box and Bota Box to Trader Joe’s in a box. Our pick is the only red in a box, that made us forget, it’s from a box.

The LAB Red Box Wine from Lisbon, Portugal. A drier red, this one, could actually fool folks if you stash the box away. It’s a tad harder to find but for the value, it’s totally worth tracking down. Review

LAB Box Wine Portugal
LAB Box Wine Portugal

The biggest absentee on our Top 10 list is a strong Rioja, something I’m searching to find still. As my favorite varietal, I’m happy to pay a little more and have it less often.

That is, unless I’m actually in Spain. Oh happy place! The wine, the food! Saving money on wine for a year seemed like a small sacrifice while driving eating and drinking our way through Spain for a month.

If you’ve got your own recommendations, by all means pass that bottle around.


Spanish Food Story Favorites: Bargaining Our Way to the Best Paella in Spain, Devoted to Food Portland Chef José Chesa, Octopus Stronger than Man

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