2009 Big House Red, the Ultimate Kitchen Sink Guzzler

Finding under-$10 reds that don't suck can be an abject journey through liquor store fodder, Safeway drivel, and undrinkable vintage wines. Hell, some of the wines I've tried in the single-digit dollar category aren't even fit to cook with, but there are some amazing hidden gems out there. And as we head toward the last couple weeks of BBQ season, what better way to complement the hot dogs, grilled vegetables, and Saturday hangover then a terrific bottle of red that costs less then the medallion-sized, grass-fed beef patties sizzling on the grill?

Big House winery out of Livermore produces exceptional wines at exceptional value, and its 2009 Big House Red, is the best of the bunch, a testament to the kitchen sink approach to blending. Kitchen sink reds are a blend of numerous varietals, not necessarily traditional, often outright eccentric. It's an idea from Italy, where a large carafe of variously blended varietals (usually grown in the same town they're served in) is placed on the table for the whole family to imbibe without guilt.

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