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Florida Jim's Under $20 wine list

Florida Jim

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(I thought this was a good enough topic to merit its own thread - so it is split from the $100 bottle thread - Craig Camp)

Florida Jim,

I love all your posts: they're so colorful and sensual. I would love it if you would compile some kind of list, however detailed or exhaustive, of wines under $20 you recommend wholeheartedly.

I'm not sure if this bulletin board as a search feature but the Westcoast Wine Net board does (http://www.westcoastwine.net/forums/) so you could just plug-in Florida Jim as "author" and get every note I have ever written. If you stay within the last several years, the vast majority will be under $20.

However, for a more concise list, see the following:

Over the past several years, most of what I buy is $20 and under. I have a fairly substantial cellar full of wines that are maturing and I need things to drink now or age short term. The following is a list of those $20 and under wines which I enjoy the most and buy by the case.


- I dislike the smell and taste of wood so most of these do not see any new wood and the ones that do, it is quite limited. None of these will exhibit much oak influence.

-I rely upon these wines in virtually every vintage.


Light and crisp:

Bruno Giacosa, Roero Arneis $18

Julian Meyer, Pinot Gris $10

Anselmi, San Vicenzo $9

Zenato, Lugana “San Benedetto” $9

Pieropan, Soave $10

Donnhoff, Estate Riesling $15

Stronger flavors:

Baumard, Savennieres $12

Anselmi, Capitel Foscarino $14

Luneau-Papin Muscadet “Clos de Allees VV” $11

Dom. Pepiere, Muscadet $9

Smooth and round:

J.P. Brun, Terres Dorees Beaujolais Blanc $11


Elegant and gentle:

Belle Pente, Pinot Noir Willamette Valley $20

Robert Chevillon, Bourgogne $18

Michel Lafarge, Bourgogne $20

Lindeman’s, Bin 99, Pinot Noir $6

Alain Michaud, Brouilly Cuvee Non-Filtre $10

Alain Michaud, Brouilly Cuvee Prestige $18

Coudert, Clos de la Roilette, Fleurie $18

J.P. Brun, Terres Dorees Beaujolais L’Ancien VV $13

Stronger flavors and structure:

B. Palacios Remondo, Rioja “La Vendimia” $12

Abbaye de Tholomies, Minervois $12

Dom. Montaude, Minervois $8

Dom. Petite Cassagne, Costieres de Nimes $12

Big and rich:

Zenato, Valpolicella Ripassa $17

Morgante, Nero d’Avola $10

Best, Jim

Edited by Craig Camp (log)


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I believe you will find that eGullet uses state of the art technology and offers a quite a sophisticated search feature. You may find all of Jim's posts right here by simply clicking on his user name and then selecting "find all posts by this member" or you may use the regular built in search engine.

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I believe you will find that eGullet uses state of the art technology and offers a quite a sophisticated search feature. You may find all of Jim's posts right here by simply going clicking on his user name and then selecting "find all posts by this member" or you may use the regular built in search engine.

We Luddites appreciate your patience.

Best, Jim


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My under $20 regulars (buying year in and year out not mandatory, but I like them to be relatively consistent...e.g. 2002 Southern Rhone storms do not preclude inclusion of a Rhone wine)

Prices are what I normally pay in my market after mixed case discount (5-10%).


Roederer Estate NV


Navarro Muscat

Christoffel Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett

Heidi Schrock Weissburgunder

Domaine Weinbach Riesling Cuvee Theo

Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling Quartzit (new entry for me)

Donnhoff Estate Riesling QbA

St. Urbans-Hof Riesling QbA

Maximin Grunhaus Riesling QbA

Schmitt-Wagner Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg Riesling Spatlese

Strub Niersteiner Paterberg Riesling Spatlese


Clos du Mont Olivet Chateauneuf du Pape (just barely comes in under the $ line)

Edmunds St. John Rocks & Gravel

Domaine du Cayron Gigondas

Unfortunately most of my reds have fallen off the list due to rising prices. The Olivet and Cayron will bust the barrier in the '03 vintage I am sure. I now experiment a lot with Spanish reds, but none have become a wine I buy every year (yet). Generally I spend a lot more on my every day reds because the whites are just so darned available in the category with styles/varieties of wines I like.

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Domaine Weinbach Riesling Cuvee Theo

Jim and Rieslingfan,

nice lists. I should try the Zenato Lugana and the Meyer again. But where are you finding the Weinbach Theo for under-$20?!?!

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It would really help us wine-impaired folks if you would pair food with the wine:

Chicken with White or Mushroom Sauce:

Chicken with Red and Savory Sauce:

Chicken with Brown Sauce:

Grilled Trout:

Shrimp Pasta:


You get the drift.

I don't know a lot about wines, and a very generous fellow (Todd Manno) paired the food I listed with wines. I keep it as a cheat sheet in my wallet at all times, and it's saved me countless minutes staring at the wines in the grocery store not knowing what to buy.

Grilled Steak - Rosemount Shiraz or Ch Souverain Cabernet $7-9.

Gumbo - A Gewurztraminer would be my choice with Pinot Gris a close second. But stay in Alsace. The American versions are inconsistant.

Savory Chicken - Red Sauce(La Crema Pinot Noir or any Chianti)

Brown Sauce(Chianti or Rabbit Ridge Merlot)$9-15

Sweet Chicken - Rosemount Traminer-Riesling $6 Great Match

Italian Sausage - Chianti or Dolcetto $15+/-

Crabmeat au Gratin-Chardonnay (2001 Acacia or 2001 Ch Souverain)$15+/-

Crawfish/Shrimp Etouffe - Trimbach Gewurtztraminer or Pinot Gris $12-15

Stuffed Peppers - Tough match with Bell Peppers but I'd stick with

Trimbach Pinot Gris

Stuffed Poultry - Stay lighter with a Brancott(New Zealand)

Sauvignon Blanc or Mondavi Fume Blanc $12-16

Jambalaya - Trimbach Pinot Gris or Rosemount Shiraz

Greek Lamb - I'd go with a Rutherford Hill Merlot or the

Rosemount Shiraz

Trout - Sauvignon blanc or a German Riesling Kabinett

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For what it is worth here is mine:

Tramein Lagrein Alto Adige $16.95 2001

a milk chocolate cherry acid bomb

Le Fevre Champs Royaux Chablis 2002 $18.95

Not classic but rich, minerally and versatile for both burgundy lovers and americans chard people in search of acid

Darting Riesling Kabbinet (Liters) 2001 Pfalz $14.95[/b]

a terrific sweettart of a riesling with Pfalz dryness and happy dance fruit

La Lastra Chianti Colli Senesi 2000 $14.95 Tuscany

A silky, stewed cherry expression of sangio. Quality belies small price.

Melodie D'Amour Chasclun 2000 $18.95 CDR Villages

The winemaker at La Nerthe travels a few kilometers west and pulls out an intense bluberry pie crawling with density and appeal.

Cesari Sangiovese di Romagna 1999 Emilia Romagne $16.95

From north of Tuscany comes a rich black version of sangiovese that makes pizza night a cause for celebration

Handley Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Anderson valley CA $14.95The acidity is not superb but what an intoxicating medley of quince, papaya mango and pineapple. We swear there is a bit of gewurz but no, just a very atypical yet delicious SB.

Chateau de Galoupet Cotes Du provence cru Classe 2000 $14.95

Some chateau neuf are not this good- just a phenomenal lustrous value chock full of garrigue, raspberries with their seeds, and a langorous finish like an afternoon in France.

Chateau Freynelles Bordeaux Superior 2000 $11.95

Just a shitty french Merlot that lasts for days, makes you want to sing and goes with almost any food, but not tacos.

I could go on and on. If you search hard enough and are picky enough, there is great cheap wine. I have a store full of these guys. Due diligence is key and never take the deal.....

over it

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One of my favourite "cheapies" that I sell quite a lot of in the UK is CASA DE LA ERMITA (OAKED) which is from Jumilla (Spain).

The 2000 vintage was fantastic and got 90 from Parker. On his website he says that the cost is $12 but I think that the 2001 will have increased in price due to exchange rates. Parker says that the importer is Jorge Ordonez, Fine Estates from Spain, Dedham (MA) tel (781)461-5767.

Well worth a look at in my opinion (but one man's meat is another man's poison).

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Just answering a question from above: I buy my Weinbach wines when I go to Maryland to visit my in-laws. The Cuvee Theo Riesling (the 2000 was the last I bought...haven't been shopping there for 2001) was $18.99/bottle net.

Jumilla (and Toro) are great regions for value. I won't put it on my official list yet (only tried one vintage), but the 2000 Altos de Luzon from Jumilla was a killer bottle of wine for $14.99 (before discount). I bought 6 to have as everyday drinking wines & pretty much did just that. They were all gone within a month. Now it's all gone. Boo, hoo. The Vall Llach Embruix is a good (if different) substitute, but it's $19.99, and pushing the value envelope of this thread. Of course buying by the case (mixed or solid) helps matters.

There are a million (almost literally) German wines that I could put on a value wine list. Several producers like Darting (listed above by someone), Strub, Minges, Gysler (GREAT, GREAT, GREAT value in Silvaner!!!!!!!!!!!!) make fantastic everyday wines in liter bottles that sell for bargain prices.

I have to single out the Gysler Weinheimer Hölle Silvaner Halbtrocken as perhaps the best cheap (try $8 for a liter) summer wine out there. The 2002 should still be around & it is delicious. The 2001 was fantastic as well.

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I don't drink/buy much white in the winter

D’Arenberg Footbolt – 16.99

Taurino Salice Salentino – 8.99

Taurino Notarpanaro – 16.99

Pepiere Muscadet – 9.00

Pierre Breton Bourgueil “Les Galichets” – 16.99

Clos du Joncuas gigondas – 17.50

Cline Mourvedre – 16.95

Ravenswood Icon – 15.95

Hess Select CS – 15.99

2000 Ch Peyraud – 10.00

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Wine gulping at under $20, sounds good to me. Nice lists. I drink most reds, but with the whites from the Loire being great for 2002 I tasted 4 last night that I liked, all at about $20:

Sancerre...P&N Reverdy

SancerreDomaine du Carroir Perrin

Vouvray...Francois Pinon

Vouvray - Demi-sec...Le Mont

For reds...

Perrin Reserve Cote du Rhone...$8.50

Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre $20

Fox Creek JSM Shiraz Cab Franc...$20

Arnaldo Capri Montefalco Rosso...$18

Capri Poggio Belvedere....$15

Avignonesi Vino Nobile...$18

Fenocchio Barbera....$12


Ed McAniff

A Taster's Journey

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I beleive the demi sec vouvray that redwinegulper listed above is probably Huet's Le Mont Vouvray demi-sec - and if you can find the 02 for under $20, buy every bottle you can get, as it is fantastic and will age forever.

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Huet's Le Mont Vouvray demi-sec - and will age forever.

Even dry Vouvrays can age for many years because of high level acidity.

As general rule I learned by a famous Vouvray producer: "Drink it early or drink it late - but never in between." In fact, many Vouvrays close down unforthcomingly after 3-4 years and reemerge after 10-15 years of cellaring.

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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