Grilling season is here—the weather’s warm, the charcoal is available, and with any luck you’ve delegated some nearby child to scrub off all of last year’s grilled-on gunk with a handy wire brush. One hitch: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for beef and pork are up a good notch over last year.
Faced with this, I have the following advice: Buy affordable wine. More specifically, buy good affordable wine. And buy it in bulk, or at least by the case (most wine stores give a discount on case purchases, usually 10 to 15 percent). You won’t have to worry about running out the next time you have a picnic, and the extra dollars you save can be rerouted toward an additional sparerib or two. Here, in a bargain-hunting spirit, are five great bottles, all well-suited for big, charred chunks of meat:
2012 Tilia Malbec ($9) Plummy and dense, this red from Mendoza (the heart of Argentine wine production) is hard to beat at its under-$10 price point.