The World's Best Value Grapes
Monastrell from Spain
The wine regions of Jumilla, Yecla and Alicante in southeastern Spain produce dark, juicy reds from the scrappy Monastrell grape. Basic bottlings may run as little as $20 on a wine list. Top producers: El Sequé, Casa Castillo, Finca Luzón, Casa de la Ermita and Castaño.
Malbec from Argentina
Some of the best and most affordable South American reds—spicy, luscious and intense—come from Malbec grapes grown in the Mendoza Valley in the foothills of the Andes. A few are expensive, but terrific wines can be had for $25 to $40 on restaurant lists. Top producers: Bodega Weinert, Rutini, Valentín Bianchi, Santa Julia and Catena.