With the holiday season approaching, bringing quality wine to dinner parties doesn’t need to break the bank.

‘Supermarket wine’ seems to have come a long way from low cost, low quality ‘goon’ brands, or in classier terms: cardboardeaux.  Low-cost, high-quality wines have been growing in popularity all across the world and lately, winning prestigious awards normally reserved for the big ticket wines.

Lindauer, a popular New Zealand sparkling wine, recently took home the gold for their Rose at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards.  Lindauer has become a well-respected brand amongst Kiwis.  Averaging in at $8.99 NZD per bottle, it’s good to see a brand dedicated to quality regardless of price.  The love for ‘supermarket wines’ didn’t stop there.  Other Air New Zealand award winners included: Mud House, Wither Hills, Yealands Estate and St Clair Vicar’s Choice.

In the United Kingdom, Toro Loco Tempranillo, a Spanish wine sold at Aldi supermarkets was awarded  a silver medal at the International Wine and Spirit Competition this past May.  Pretty impressive for a wine that rings up at about  £3.59.  Toro Loco Tempranillo has beat other esteemed brands priced around £30.00.

Across the pond in the States, California wine Charles Shaw, more commonly known as “Two-Buck-Chuck” for its $1.99 USD price tag, caused an uproar when its Chardonnay reaped the Double Gold award at the 2007 California State Fair.  Charles Shaw is owned by boxed wine mogul Fred Franzia.  Two-Buck-Chuck triumphed against 350 other California Chardonnays in the competition.

Now, we’re not saying pricier, classic brands will be rendered irrelevant, everyone loves a nice glass of Cloudy Bay.  However, in today’s economy it’s assuring to know that when you’re pinching your penny, you won’t need to pinch your nose, too.