In these tough times, I’m picking up more and more wine around $10 and under and trying them specifically because I write this blog and the newspaper column. It’s been a real adventure.

Frankly, the wines haven’t been great but they have been better than I expected. It’s a Saturday night and I just wanted to open a bottle and grabbed a 2005 LaYunta Tinto I had purchased at Cork & Cracker in Indianapolis.

This wine is a blend from Argentina’s Mendoza Valley – home of the world’s best Malbec. This wine is 28 percent Cabernet, 28 percent Malbec, and 28 percent Bonarda with a 7 percent hint of Torrontes.

I had to do a little research on Torrontes, the most widely planted white wine grape in Argentina. I haven’t had a pure varietal bottle but want to try it. I suspect the winemaker puts the grape in this wine much like some winemakers use Vignonier. The little bit of white adds some nose to those big Argentinian red grapes.

This was a bit of a dry and spicy wine. There wasn’t much tannin to deal with making it a nice little wine for the price point. I am not sure I could honestly call this a well-balanced wine. The Tinto (Spanish for red blend) is almost always a great value. I would recommend you try this as something different if you come across it.

You should definitely try Tintos from Spain and Mendoza if you’re looking for big flavor at a value price!

I think it would be really good with pizza and perhaps pasta.
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