Even when times are flush, everyone loves a bargain. And so this year, as stock markets have swung to and fro and global behemoths have come begging for bailouts, we place special emphasis on our collection of Best Buys by placing them in the leadoff position. Just as our Special Value Issue is a perennial favorite, so we think this list will be 2008’s most valuable wine reference.
This year, our editors bestowed only 744 Best Buy awards out of more than 11,000 wines reviewed. So what earns a wine Best Buy status? First, we limit the pool to wines that carry a suggested retail price of no more than $15. Second, we evaluate the quality of the wine in comparison to its price. Wines that score only Good (83-86) on the Wine Enthusiast 100-point scale must be less expensive to receive the award than wines that rate Very Good (87-89), Excellent (90-93) or higher.
From that already restricted group of contenders, our editors then painstakingly whittled the list to just the Top 100 Best Buys you see here. As in all of our Top 100 lists, we do value diversity, so you’ll find a wide range of wine styles and wine origins broadly reflective of what we’ve tasted over the course of the year. Low-cost producers and producing regions dominate the list, but the good news is that the quality of wine in these regions has never been better.
To see our picks for the top value wines of 2008, click the download button below.