Attention all students: Put down the Palm Bay. Step away from the beer bong. It’s time to graduate to (under-$9) grape-based libations.
Trapiche Astica Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon 2012, $7.95
This 60/40 Bordeaux-style white blend hails from Argentina’s Cuyo region. Try with Greek salad.
Ponce notes: “While there are plenty of good reds under $10, decent whites are few and far between. This eight-buck chuck, however, delivers with stony grapefruit flavours and a fresh, tangy edge.”
Farnese Fantini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2012, $7.50
Sporting a snazzy new label, this central Italian red is also available in party-size magnums (1.5 litres). Serve with spaghetti and meat sauce.
Ponce notes: “Despite the spiffy new suit, it’s still the same Italian stallion inside. Expect a medium-bodied wine with sweetly tart blackberry flavours and a spicy finish.”
JP Azeitão Red 2012, $8.95
A blend of Castelão, Aragonez, and Syrah, this is the top-selling wine in Portugal. Pour with rotisserie chicken.
Ponce notes: “The tagline for this popular vinho is ‘Tall. Dark. Available.’ With red-berry aromas, zesty acidity, and a slightly coarse finish, a more accurate slogan would be ‘Chill. Twist. Chug.’”