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Good, cheap wines from South Beach Festival

   What a day for a beach party. Blue Atlantic. Sunny sky. Crisp, cool air. White sand. Smiling people offering to fill your glass at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami Beach.
   Among all the fancy wines, there also was was a stunning array of inexpensive wines on display … wines $15 and under poured by merchants who understand that we love good wine even when times are tough.
   In the Celebrate France tent, Stephen Hauser of Pasternak Wine Imports was grousing about how expensive wines have lost their “sales velocity'' these days, with cheaper wines to the fore.
   “People who were buying $35 wines are now buying $20 wines,'' he said. “People who were spending $20 are now spending $15.''
    Here are two dozen wines from nine countries at $15 and under that I tasted at last weekend's festival.

   ø‚2008 Barons de
Rothschild White Bor
deaux, France: crisp and
rich, with ripe pear fla
vors; $15.
   ø‚2006 Chateau
Fombrauge Grand Cru,
St. Emilion, France: black
cherries and black pepper;
rich and hearty; $15.
   ø‚2007 Twin Vines
Vinho Verde by Jose
Maria de Fonseca, Portu
gal: very dry, with lime
and kiwi flavors; $9.
   ø‚2008 Lucien
Albrecht Reserve Ries
ling, Alsace; aromas and
flavors of ripe peaches;
lightly sweet; $15.
   ø‚2009 San Telmo
Torrontés,  Mendoza,
Argentina: crisp, lightly
sweet, intense lychee fla
vors; $12.
   ø‚2007 Sauvion
Muscadet Sevre et Main,
France: light and dry, with
crisp white grapefruit fla
vors; $11.

   ø‚Nonvintage Mus
cat de Saint Jean de
Minervois, dessert wine,
Languedoc, France: very
sweet, flavors of oranges
and hazelnuts; $12 per half
   ø‚2008 Patch Block
Pinot Noir, Vin de Pays
d'Oc, France: tart cherry
and cinnamon flavors,
full-bodied, very rich; $10.
   ø‚2008 Falanghina
dei Feudi di San Grego
rio White Wine, Italy:
light and crisp, tart apple
and mineral flavors; $14.
   ø‚2007 Jean-Claud
Bougrier Vouvray, Loire
Valley, France (chenin
blanc): tangy, sweet-tart
white grapefruit flavors;
   ø‚2005 Rubrato
Aglianico dei Feudi di
San Gregorio Red Wine,
Italy: inky black color, hint
of oak, black plum flavors,
firm tannins; $10.
   ø‚2005 Folie a Deux
Menage ÞaTrois, Calif.
(chardonnay, muscat and
chenin blanc): lightly
sweet, flavors of pears and
cinnamon; $13.
   ø‚2007 Antigal Mal
bec, Mendoza, Argentina:
black raspberry and dark
cocoa flavors; $15.
   ø‚2009 Sanama Sau
vignon Blanc, Valle de
Rapel, Chile: soft, with
aromas and flavors of
white peaches; $8.
   ø‚2007 Straccali
Chianti Classico, Italy:
tart and crisp; flavors of
red raspberries and cinna
mon; $15.
   ø‚2008 Megapanos
Savatiano, regional white
wine of Spata, Greece:
very crisp, very tart white
grapefruit flavors; $15.
   ø‚2009 Miolo Family
Vineyards Chardonnay,
Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil:
simple, tart green apple
flavors; $13.
   ø‚2008 Miolo Family
Vineyards Pinot Noir,
Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil:
earthy black cherry fla
vors, tart finish; $13.
   ø‚2008 Marquis de
Rueda Verdejo, Spain:
intensely fruity with fla
vors of ripe peaches and
minerals; $11.
   ø‚2008 Voga Pinot
Grigio delle Venezie,
Italy: smoky, earthy, full-
flavored with hints of
green apples; $10.
   ø‚2008 Bodega Sep
tima Malbec, Mendoza,
Argentina: black cherries
and milk chocolate; $10.
Schnebly Winery Pas
sion Fruit Wine, Home
stead: sweet-tart, with
pomegranate and red
apple flavors; $14.
   ø‚2007 Cotes du
Rhone Parallele 45 Red,
Paul Jaboulet Aine, Rhone
Valley, France: muscular
red plum and cinnamon
flavors, big tannins; $11.


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