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Cheap Red Wine Economical Merlot Cabernet

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My 13 glorious years of restaurant work did count for something. During my career, I had the pleasure of working in some of Des Moines’ finest eating establishments. I started off in November 1993 at the downtown Marriott Hotel. My employment began at the Pitcher’s Lounge. From there, I worked upstairs at Allie’s Restaurant. Later on, I moved onto the Embassy Suite Hotel and waiting tables at Scott’s Landing. After that, I enjoyed my time in three, Diamond Dave’s Taco Company stores, Ryan’s Steakhouse and Garfield’s. I also opened two Johnny’s Italian Steakhouses in Des Moines (Iowa) and Moline (Illinois).

During my employment, I learned one thing. Customers loved drinking wine! I learned so much about a wine’s texture, pairing with food and drinkability. I shared that with my customers. Even, I embraced tasting wine myself. But, I did take home one thing from being a restaurant server. Good wines are also cheap!

The best wines aren’t the most expensive. Red wines are extremely cheap. The hard part is finding the right one for you. I don’t like spending a lot of money on a good red. I have no time for a $250 bottle of Moet or a $300 bottle of Opus One. Ruffinos are out of my budget at $50 each. My wine won’t cost twice as much as two dinners. If your feelings are the same as mine, here are some inexpensive to delight that palate and pocketbook.


For the under $50 crowd, a Blackstone Merlot has a “status” to it. Blackstone doesn’t have the stigma of a “cheap, red wine”. This brand is found in HY-VEE and Target Food Stores. It is also found in upscale, fine-dining restaurants, like Allie’s and Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse. Match this merlot with a filet mignon or a New York Strip! It has a robust, cherry oak flavor perfect for enticing a steak’s natural flavors.

R.H. Phillips Shiraz ($22.00)

The southern continent of Australia created this brand. This wine is served in Johnny’s Italian and Rock River Grill and Tavern. HY-VEE food store has Phillip as well. The shiraz is laden with a dry red. Spicy pastas and tomato-based sauces go terrific with it!


These are cheap wines by the price; but by the flavor. Copper’s Creek and Ravenswood are specialities at attracting first-time, wine tasters. You won’t customers experiencing “buyer’s remorse” after purchasing it. The wines are less than $20 a bottle each! The cabernet has a dry, peppery taste. The merlot has a cherry, but very “oaky” flavor a sip. Ground steak, ribeyes, porterhouses or beef dishes are good choices for these brands.

You just got a lesson in “What to buy as far as the best, cheap red wine?” Have fun dining out or eating in!

1. Best $15-and-Under Red Wines | Food & Wine
2. Cheap Red Wine –

Category: Health