See 10 Best Red Wines Under $10 2011   Best 10 White Wines Under $10 2011


         Ten Best Wines for Under $15 

       Copyright © Deborah Dolen Syndicated

Red Wines Under $15

New! Santa Rita Chili Cabernet 2001

Wyndham Bin 555, Shiraz, South Eastern Australia, 1997Wyndham Bin 555, Shiraz, South Eastern Australia, 1997  $8.00

We hear this wine is one of the most popular.  Inexpensive, easy on the palate red wine.  It has been noted it also improves as stored over time in a cellar.

2000 Bin 999 Merlot - Newcastle Herald  $8.99

Based on South Australian grapes, this fresh, youthful merlot is an agreeable quaff that would complement Greek or Lebanese food. It is brick red and has a candied cherry nose. Juicy loganberry flavor dominates the front of the palate and persists on the middle palate, there combining with toasty oak and cinnamon and close fruit characters.

Winner is: IRONSTONE MERLOT!  $8.99

-- 1999 San Francisco de Mostazal Riserva Especial Merlot  $7.99

 This wine smelled of dark chocolate and black cherries. In the mouth, we missed the fruit in the middle part of the palate as the dark chocolate dominated the other flavors and the acidity. With the finish, though, the wine came full circle back to the nose, with plenty of fruit accompanying the chocolate.


Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon  $8.99

Dark ruby-red in color, the 1999 Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas of cherry, black currant, blueberry and violets. The bouquet is an elegant blend of vanilla, chocolate, truffles, cedar and thyme. Showing ripe and velvety soft tannins with a plump structure supported by good acidity, the 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon will complement grilled or roasted red meats.


-- 1999 Carmen Merlot at $7.99

This wine was rich and dark in color, with lots of plum and spice in the aroma. We also smelled black pepper as with a zinfandel, but the pepper did not carry on into the mouth. (Tannins are the chemicals in grapes that give red wine character but can make the mouth dry out to a pucker.) They were evident in the finish of the Carmen. This wine would go well with rare beef.


Blackstone 1999 California Merlot $8.99

         Louis Jadot Beaujolais, 1998   $7.99     

White Wines Under $15

See 10 Best Red Wines Under $10 2011   Best 10 White Wines Under $10 2011

J Lohr Chardonnay, Riverstone, Monterey 1998 $12.00

I had a chance to try this wine along with many of California's leading Chardonnays this week.  If you are looking for gobs of tropical fruit and cookie cutter oak flavoring this Chardonnay is not for you! On the other hand if style and finesse are in your vocabulary give this a try.

1999 Michel Picard Pouilly-Fuisse  $19.99

Pouilly-Fuisse is considered by many people "the wine" to give as a gift to lovers of white wine.  This wonderful winery does offer an excellent $14.99 version that  we do not show up at  a party without!  Full-bodied yet delicate, this wine would go well with shellfish and simply prepared chicken. 



2001 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc $13.00


Region: New Zealand, New Zealand
This is another excellent white wine under $15 that we have heard many rave reviews about.


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See 10 Best Red Wines Under $10 2011   Best 10 White Wines Under $10 2011

Ten Best Cigars for Under $5


Any man who is a cigar aficionado will love the fact you can pick out a few quality cigars without their help.  I keep this list in my purse for times I need to impress.  The Hurricanes have played a very significant impact on the price of a quality cigar.  Starting with Hurricane Georges (1998) damaging a major player, the Chateau de la Fuentes, Tabacalera A. Fuentes y Cia.'s Dominican wrapper farm, the hurricane beating went on driving tobacco costs up each and every storm.  

Over the past 12 months, several high-scoring brands have been released with cigars priced under $5. Henry Clay Habana 2000. The new La Hoja Selecta. Maria Mancini. Perfecto Garcia. Flor de Copan. Combined with long-standing brands such as Arturo Fuentes and Padrón, both of which have made outstanding, inexpensive cigars for years, the choices for a smoker with only a five-dollar bill are quickly expanding.  Even if you know nothing about Cigar’s below are the top ten picks of 2005 for under $5 with the exception of our constant favorite the classic Romeo y Julieta.  The list starts with lowest cost to highest cost although may vary per region you are in.  It is typically much cheaper to buy cigars over the internet in large quantities, if you are a serious player. 


Flor De Murias Epicure                                                    $2.50

Maria Mancini Robusto                                                    $2.75

Saint Luis Rey Double Corona                                         $2.75

Boliver Fuerte Sun-Ripened Oscuro Tubos Cigar             $3.33

El Rey Del Mundo Robusto Larga                                     $3.50

Cacique  Corona Perfecto Natural                                    $4.00

    Henry Clay Habana 2000                                                   $4.95     Perfecto Garcia                                                                $4.95

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature                               $5.00

Montecristo No. 2 (Torpedo)                                             $5.00 Romeo y Julieta Churchill  (Exceptional)                         $9.75




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