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GREAT WINES UNDER $ 15

By Simone Zarmati Diament

I totally agree with what New York Times food and wine columnist Eric Asimov wrote recently at the end of a column glorifying wines under $10: “ To me, the dismissal of all expensive wines reminds me of Wilde's definition of a cynic: ‘A man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.’ "

To our delight sometimes price bears no relation to quality -- in favor of the cheaper wines and to the detriment of more expensive ones—but we should never dismiss expensive wines as having no “raison d’ętre.” That would only denote ignorance on our part of the tremendous effort and work put into a splendid bottle of wine.

We all know that things have changed drastically since the beginning of the wine boom, in the latter part of the 20th century – not more than 30 years ago!!! -- and that wine-producing countries have proliferated globally, offering us better quality thanks to advanced technology in the wineries and new control methods in agronomy.

From Latin America and Australia we’ll find out that whether with screw-caps (like the Australians) or with the traditional cork, these are delicious wines that will give you many pleasurable meals.

WHITES

Tyrell’s Lost Block Chardonnay, Southeastern Australia 2004. ($13.99)

Barossa Valley Estate Spires Chardonnay, Australia 2003 ($12)

Bodegas Salentein Sauvignon Blanc Finca el Portillo Mendoza, Argentina 2004 ($9)

Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley, Chile 2004 ($7)


REDS

Tyrell’s Lost Block Shiraz, Southeastern Australia 2004. ($13.99)

Tyrell’s Lost Block Pinot Noir, Southeastern Australia 2004. ($13.99)

Barossa Valley Estate Spires Shiraz, Australia, 2002 ($12)

Gascon Malbec, Mendoza Argentina ($12.99)

High Altitude CabernetSauvignon/Malbec, Mendoza Argentina ($9.99)

Altos Las Hormigas Malbec, Mendoza Argentina ($9.99)

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