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    Tuesday, November 28, 2023

    As wine prices rise, this $15 Portuguese red shows bargains do exist

    Wine prices have been creeping upward for several years, even before global inflation took off in 2022. While the sweet spot for value used to be $12 to $20, I would now put it at $15 to $25, and that hurts those of us who prefer wine over other drinks. So here are three affordable wines that still show quality for the price - two of these are repeat recommendations that have increased in price but still bring pleasure to the palate.

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    EA Red Blend 2020

    Two stars

    Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal, $15

    This delicious red blend demonstrates why Portugal, and especially its Alentejo region, is a reliable source of bargain wines. This is good burger wine. Spaghetti wine. Weeknight wine. Alcohol by volume: 14 percent. BW: 415 grams (Light).

    Imported by Tri-Vin Imports. Distributed locally by DMV Distributing.

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    Independent Garnacha 2021

    Two and one-half stars

    Bajo Aragón, Spain, $16; $43 for a 3-liter box

    The label describes this wine as "explosive." I might opt for effusive to describe its fruit-forward, juicy character. This is a fun wine, meant for casual sipping. Inflation has hit its price tag since I recommended the 2019 two years ago, but splurging on the 3-liter box format brings the per-bottle price down to just under $11, still quite a value. Organic. ABV: 14 percent. BW: 385 grams (Light).

    Imported and distributed locally by Artisans & Vines.

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    Domaine de Chevilly Quincy 2022

    Three stars

    Loire Valley, France, $25

    Here's crisp and supple sauvignon blanc, with a stony minerality that evokes the fine terroirs of the Loire Valley. Quincy is less famous and expensive than the better-known sancerre (even with inflation), and more complex than the wider Touraine designation. It's a great partner for seafood, salads or any dish featuring goat cheese. ABV: 13 percent. BW: 410 grams (Light).

    Imported and distributed locally by Elite Wines.

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    Prices are approximate. For availability, check Wine.com, Wine-searcher.com and the websites and social media feeds of the wineries, importers, distributors, and your favorite local wine store. You can also ask your local retailer to order wines from the distributors listed.

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