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Cheap Wine Challenge

Lively and Smoky: Red Muscadet

Courtesy of Louis/Dressner

Here, wine experts reveal their favorite bottles for under $17. Many of the selections are lesser known but absolutely worth the search.

Who: Noel Sherr, owner of Cave Taureau wine shop in Durham, North Carolina.

What: 2012 Domaine de la Pépière, Vin de Pays de Loire-Atlantique, Cuvée Granit, $16

Why: Muscadet is more known for its minerally white wines that pair brilliantly with shellfish, but the cool region also produces a small amount of lively red wines. This blend from the revered winemaker Marc Ollivier includes Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Côt (a.k.a. Malbec) and Merlot. Sherr says: “It’s just delicious: supple and slightly smoky.”

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and co-founder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.

Related: How to Find Value Wines 
French Wine Region: The Loire Valley
Where to Drink Wine Now

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