Well, cheap wine night has come and gone, and basically we all had a blast. Ten people blind tasting ten bottles of wine, all under $20. We scored them on a 100-point scale, but some of us had a larger range of scoring than is usual for rating wine; this isn't a problem, since each person ranked consistently. But it does mean that the average scores might be a couple of points lower as there were a few 60's and even a 50 out there, which you wouldn't normally see.
Here are the results by average score:
87.3 - Finca Los Primos Malbec 2007 (Argentina) $9.99
84.6 - Peter Lehmann Shiraz 2005 (Australia) $16
83.3 - Henry of Pelham Baco Noir 2001 (Canada) $17.44
82.3 - Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (USA) $19.69
80.9 - Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (New Zealand) $19.99
78.0 - Lagarde Altas Cumbres Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2007 (Argentina) $10.99
74.8 - Montecillo Crianza Rioja 2005 (Spain) $13.99
74.1 - Calona Artist Series Merlot (Canada) $7.99
73.7 - Peller Estates Proprietor's Reserve Dry White Wine (Canada) $6.49
71.6 - Santa Rita 120 Chardonnay 2007 (Chile) $8.99
Hopefully we'll have another wine tasting night sometime soon. Some suggestions for the future are (a) have a more focused theme - say a specific varietal or country, (b) be less strict on the price, but perhaps set a total budget for each couple to spend, such as $40 max for two bottles, and (c) pour less - this ensures nobody is overserved, and more left over after the unbagging to share depending on who is driving and who liked which wine better.