Argentina has been coming into its own for a while, but the past six months it's developed into a full-blown recession darling. American travel there is way, way up as the Euro continues to kick our tushes in the EU, and their Malbec has emerged as a rock star alternative to much pricier Cabernet Sauvignons. The Mendoza region in particular is churning out so many great, big, sexy reds, they've earned Wine Enthusiast's Wine Region of the Year award. All the attention may bring prices up a bit, but there should still be plenty of room for a great deal on a full-bodied number that you can afford in multiples. Two big faves:
2006 Marraso El Caballo Antiguo Malbec, Argentina, $9: Deep, ripe fruit with cherry, cocoa, and vanilla. This is a solid weeknight wine that I've paired with pizzas and pastas.
2006 Susana Balbo, Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, $26: I haven't instantly loved a wine this much in a while. It's the full package, with tons of black and blue fruit, violets, chocolate, toasted vanilla and a little twinge of mint. Meeeow. A Cab this good would be nearly double the cash.
Swing by Just Grapes for them.