Vino File: Value-packed

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Value is more important than ever these days, and Simplified Wines is happy to suggest the best bottle for your buck. The Powell store, known for creative events like a bracket-style tasting tournament, is offering "Stimulus Package" tastings, where customers can try eight wines that cost under $10 a bottle. The tastings are held the last Friday and Saturday of each month.

And things are getting even more simple every day at Simplified Wines. In response to consumer demand, owner Bob Galvin is adjusting his selection to make sure about half the store's bottles cost $15 or less. "I think people just need a break," Galvin said.

Alive challenged him to come up with his best values for three common, crowd-pleasing types, and Galvin chose some undiscovered options that are sure to please. "Wines get artificially inflated based on their popularity," Galvin said. "But you just want to pay for the juice, not the popularity."

Gnarled Vine cabernet sauvignon (2006)

Region: Lodi, California

Cost: $9

Flavors: Currant, plum and black cherry, with a spicy edge

Pairs well with: Hamburgers or barbecued ribs

Bob Galvin's advice: "To get flavors like that, you'd pay $20 for it."

McManis Family Vineyards syrah (2007)

Region: Central Coast, California

Cost: $11

Flavors: Smoky and a little spicy, with dark fruits like blueberries

Pairs well with: Anything barbecued

Bob Galvin's advice: "It tastes like a $20, $30 wine, and some day it probably will be."

Gato Negro sauvignon blanc (2008)

Region: Central Valley, Chile

Cost: $6

Flavors: Tropical fruits and grasses, with a citrus finish

Pairs well with: Shellfish, fish or other seafood

Bob Galvin's advice: "Pair it with a patio. [Laughs.] This is just a great, easy drinking wine. I call it a patio pounder."