One of the main frustrations voiced by our readers is the difficulty one sometimes encounters when trying to track down highly rated wines. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable due to the fragmented nature of the wine distribution industry in the U.S., though occasionally one can assemble a group of wines which are nationally distributed and widely available.
During the craziness that is the holiday season, it's nice to be able to have a few fall-back wines in mind when shopping at your corner store, just in case you can’t find a specific wine that you’re interested in. We are also faced with a lot of last-minute shopping at this time of year, shopping that may take place far from our home turf and familiar wine shops, so check out this list of my suggestions for great cabernets from $10 to $50 that you should be able to find just about anywhere that sells wine, and maybe someplaces that don't!
One little tip, don't feel as though you have to spend a lot in order to get a lot. It's true that you might end up getting more if you spend more — more color, more alcohol, more oak — but you may not end up with more enjoyment. My top picks from this selection include the ever reliable Kenwood Cabernet Sauvignon and the totally delicious example from Rodney Strong, at $14 and $20, respectively. Either makes for a lovely dining companion, and they would certainly be my choices for a large gathering or party where you might have wine lovers and novices alike.
— Gregory Del Piaz, Snooth