Some things have happened over the last few months that have led me to progress further and further down the wine price-point ladder. Let’s just say abandoning a lucrative career and branching out on your own to launch a small business has its perks, but it also leaves little money left over for Grand Cru Burgundy. And yet the show must go on (And puh-lease. Not buying wine is just not an option, as Lindsay so matter-of-factly pointed out to me the other day).

Always a glass full kinda gal (my husband actually snorted on to my computer screen when he read that), I have chosen to see the silver lining in this state of affairs. On one hand, I no longer have to crane my neck to view those top-shelf bottles, or ask for assistance from surly wine store associates to pull down the bottles my five-foot frame cannot reach. The ones I am now in the market for are even lower than eye-line. A thigh-toning squat down, in fact (hello, two birds, one stone). On the other, I am getting to explore a realm of wine I don’t normally visit and, of course, share my findings with the world. Is that $6 bottle of Pinot Grigioreally that bad?

Unfortunately, the answer, as one might predict, isn’t definitive. Sometimes it really is that bad. But sometimes, you stumble across an awesome gem of a wine that is the holy grail of wine finds: super cheap and delicious.

Enter: the 2009 Thorny Rose Red Blend from Columbia Valley. Most people who know me know that I am a pretty die-hard fan of Washington State wines. Talk about bang for your two-buck-chuck. This bottle was $10 and change (although a cursory web search showed it for slightly more and slightly less, depending on the retailer) and was exactly what the doctor ordered after schlepping home in sleet and snow and traffic and wind, cursing the very founders of New York for ever building this infuriating city. Add a bubble bath, some candles and a little Billie Holiday on the iPod and you have yourself what I like to call a seriously zen moment.

I am totally encouraged by this find. It really was that good.  I know it was $10, not $6. But let’s be honest. My $10 is most people’s $6 when it comes to wine. And besides, finding a super juicy, chocolaty, belly-warming wine for $10 that doesn’t taste like vanilla and oak chips should be a hallelujah moment for all wine drinkers.

I promise I really will brave the $6 wines soon and report dutifully back. Just give me some time and a few more New-York-State-sized bills. We’ll get there. For now, go grab yourself a bottle of the Thorny Rose and tell your friends you heard it here first.

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