Cheap and Cheerful Wines for the End of the Summer


Working at Denman Place Wines has taught me a couple of things in the last year.

One is that there are SO MANY MORE wines out there than what you get in the liquor store, and to get it you really do have to go to a specialty store like mine. Secondly, when you go to a boutique wine store, you can actually TALK to the clerks about the wine, although I’ve been to a couple where the person helping me thought they were too cool for school. We’re definitely not like that in our store, because we all started out amateurs, and we’ve all said Gewurztra-what?

The thing I get asked most in my store (being under a hotel full of Americans who are used to having two-buck-chuck as an OPTION), is what someone can get for under $15,. So here’s my list of my three white and three red go-to wines, because sometimes we’re providing for more than just ourselves and like to trick people into thinking we really pulled out the good stuff for ‘em. Yeah that’s right, I only pull the good stuff out for myself!


Inca Malbec/Cabernet (Argentina):
The Inca Cabernet (80%) Malbec (20%) blend is bold medium bodied fruit forward wine. Perfect for a cold and rainy day, this well balanced wine has a very round and fresh feel on the palate with intense explosions of berries in the mouth. Not everyone’s idea of a perfect mouth explosion, but this one gets you drunk.

Recommendation: Sip this on it’s own!

Primitivo Del Salento (Italy):
The Primitivo grape, directly related to the Zinfandel grape, provides the same bold crackle on the tongue. This wine is also medium bodied, mineral with undertones of cherries and plums; the finish is floral and spicy. Strong and rustic with classic Italian mouthfeel. Kinda like being thrown around by a hairy Italian man with big forearms.

Recommendation: Pair with tomato sauce!

River’s Bend Nouveau (BC):
Bright cherry fruit with peppery notes, this very light bodied wine comes from the Gamay Noir grape, the same grape French Beujolais is made from. Complex spice and hints of pleasant oak on the finish. Great price for BC wine! This wine comes from Surrey believe it or not, and won’t give you the clap.

Recommendation: Pair with salmon!


La Puerto Torrontes (Argentina):
Our second Argentinian contender is a lesser known grape. Aromatic nose of pineapple and melon with a Smooth, dry palate and good acidity, the tropical fruit forwardness does a good job of tricking you into thinking it’s more off-dry than it is. Deceiving but beautiful, like my last one night stand.

Recommendation: Pair with calamari or light and spicy dishes.

Montalto Catarratto (Italy):
This completely organic Sicilian wine is bright, with refreshing and classic Italian dryness but without the bite. Soft hints of lime rind and apple carry the palate with a slightly nutty finish, but not like huge walnuts, like little itty bitty smooth pistachio sized nuts..

Recommendation: Pair with baked white fish with lemon!

Gazela Vinho Verde (Portugal):
An irresistible bright fruity white wine. The bouquet is a lively mix of citrus and floral aromas. Soft flavors of grapefruit are perked up by the sparkling slightly effervescent bubbles and balanced by delightful spritzy crisp acidity and strong minerality. Perfect at the beach, like me around June, but not like me around November.

Recommendation: Sip it on it’s own!

Submitted By: Nic O.

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  • bruin

    mmm i love wine. thanks for the suggestions!

  • Ooh, thanks for the info and what to pair the wine with. I know nothing at this point, now I know a little. 🙂