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Wines Under $20

Great Inexpensive Wines for Superbowl Sunday

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Oh, you know, why not? Just because every single media outlet in America is probably doing a Superbowl-tie-in story right now doesn't mean I shouldn't, too, right? Anyway, I was going to write about the following five wines regardless; they'd be dandy for a Superbowl get-together, but they'd be equally good if you were sitting on a sandy beach, or heading over to a friend's for dinner, or making venison chili over a camp stove in a shed outside Durango, Colorado. Why you'd want to do that last one, I have no idea, but at least you'd be drinking good wine while you did.

2007 Fournier Sauvignon Blanc ($12) This Loire Sauvignon Blanc, from vineyards in the Touraine and Anjou regions, comes across like a good Sancerre for about half the price—it's grassy and zesty, with lemon and gooseberry flavors and a spicy finish.  

2007 Ajello Majus Bianco ($14) A blend of the local Sicilian varieties Grillo and Cataratto. This is all midsummer Sicilian sun: smoky pineapple notes and full-bodied texture. The Ajellos have grown grapes in Sicily since 1860, and while they still sell the majority of what they grow, they reserve the best lots for their own wines.

2006 Feudi di San Marzano Sud Negroamaro Puglia ($12) Sweet, rich blackberry fruit wrapped up in spicy tannins—that’s pretty much the story with this easygoing Southern Italian red. It isn't exactly a brainy wine; more just lush and simple and inviting.

2007 Domaine Jean Bousquet Malbec ($13) Jean Bousquet started off making wine in southern France in the 1970s, but in 1997 he moved to Argentina's Tupungato Valley, evidently so he could make wines like this one: generous, black, full of ripe raspberry fruit.  

2006 LiVeli Orion Salento Primitivo ($15) This is a Puglian wine produced by a Tuscan family (the owners of Avignonesi). Powerful and earthy, it seems as though it might have been siphoned out of the ground rather than fermented in a tank, which in my book is a good thing.

 

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