Malbec has several advantages for wine lovers on a budget. It starts in Argentina, where the dollar isn’t being killed yet, so it represents value. Its tannins disappear into the fruit—they’re softer than the tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, so the wine tastes less astringent, more accessible, even while it has structure. And it’s easy to pair with a range of casual foods, including pizza, burgers, and steaks.
The Don Miguel Gascón Malbec 2006 from the Bodegas Escorihuela Gascón in Argentina’s Mendoza region is a fine example. It features Malbec’s blueberry and plum flavors with a whiff of spice and meat. Good quality, a dose of complexity, and a fantastic bargain. At $12, it’s as easy on the wallet as it is on the palate.