Primal Family Living

Two Parents. Five Kids. One Radically Different Lifestyle.


Cheap Wine Review: Lucky Duck Tempranillo

One advantage of being primal is that you’re allowed to drink alcohol. Some of my stricter paleo brothers and sisters deprive themselves of this pleasure, but although I see the advantages of tea-totalling, to me it isn’t worth the cost.

Wine – specifically red wine – is at the very top of the “alcohol can be beneficial” list. And as much as I’d like to be a $10-$20 bottle of wine guy with an occasional $50-$100 bottle for special occasions, I have kids. So I’ve become a $2-$6 bottle of wine guy with an occasional $10-$20 bottle for special occasions. C’est la vie.

The stunner here is that as the years have gone on, I’ve found some absolutely impressive values for $6 or less. It used to be that wines in this price range were astringent and bitter, but now there are some truly fantastic buys out there for that price that won’t make you feel like you have to choke them down. I intend to review these here as I come across them. Tonight, I’m starting with a wine from that bastion of Oenophilia, Wal-Mart. I’ll start with a selection from their signature exclusive vintner’s collection, known as Lucky Duck.

Lucky Duck Tempranillo

The bottle isn’t really that blurry. That’s just my crappy Droid X camera.

I was confronted with an impressive array of choices from the Lucky Duck brand. I’d had very good luck with their Riesling in the past, which tastes a great deal like the Barton & Guestier Vouvray for less than half the price, and pairs remarkably well with spicy thai food or curries. The entire Lucky Duck lineup comes in at $3.97 a bottle, so it’s well within the acceptable price range. There’s a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, an Argentinian Malbec, Southeast Australian Shiraz, and a Spanish Tempranillo. Lately, I’ve developed a weak spot for Tempranillos, so I reached for that one.

I have a glass in front of me as I type, and the bottle has been open for a little less than an hour. I’m no sommelier, but I know what I like, so here are my tasting notes. I may be using the words all wrong, but you probably don’t know what I’m talking about either! ;)

When I stick my nose in the glass, I smell wine. Shocker, right? But I do pick up the red fruit notes and a bit of a grassy scent. This wine has nice tannins, and some decent structure. It tastes a little young (I didn’t see a vintage on the bottle) but not too young. It has some of that young wine tartness about it that can be either a good or a bad thing depending on where it falls.

The flavors are of bright, red fruit. Most of all, I taste ripe cherries. There’s some spice on the finish that I like – I’m a fan of big, bold wines that grab you by the tongue and whip your head around. This isn’t big like a Sonoma Cabernet (and I’ve had some Tempranillos that I think are there) but it’s got some kick.

I’m not sure what this would pair with since I’m just drinking it by itself it for the sheer taste of it, but I’m guessing it would be amazing with some sheep’s milk cheese. The Spanish might pair this with a Manchego, but personally I’d go for a Pecorino Toscano and some Italian Salami – probably a Sopressata.

Since I’m already talking about food and not what’s wrong with it, you may have already guessed that I like this wine. I think it’s a fantastic bargain for under $4. I’ve tried several Tempranillos lately in this price range (from Trader Joe’s and Aldi, my go-to cheap wine sttores) and I think I’d put this at the top of my list. If you like Tempranillo, definitely give it a try.

19 Responses to Cheap Wine Review: Lucky Duck Tempranillo

  1. Angel Rodriguez says:

    I’ve becomed really attached to the Lucky Duck brand. I’ve only tasted the Cabernet and Malbec which i find exquisite.

    Here in Mexico i’ve only seen at Wal-Mart 3 (Cabernet, Malbec and Shiraz) of the 4 you mentioned but still, i’ll make an effort to get the Tempranillo one and see how it goes.

    Thank you for your review. I enjoyed it very much.


  2. Steve Skojec says:

    Thanks, Angel! Glad you enjoyed the review.

  3. Rebecca says:

    I live in Missouri and I tried the Moscato the other day, very nice. Didn’t know I could get decent wine for next to nothing..

    Good find!

  4. TwoBRed says:

    I just recently purchased the Moscato and have tried it twice. The first time, I did not fully chill the wine and I was rather sorry I did that. It was not very good slightly chilled. This tasting, I fully chilled and it is much better to the taste. Although, I am not really thrilled with the aroma of this wine, for the price and the alcohol volume, I can not complain too much. I am surprised by the alcohol content being 11% by volume. That is huge for a moscato. Most decent to great moscato’s that I have tried range from 4% to 9% with 5.5% being the most common. Moscato’s are generally a dessert wine, but I am not sure if this would be a great accompaniment to every dessert, but I can tell you it goes really good with chocolate. The darker the chocolate the better.

  5. Marie A says:

    What are the calories per glass?

  6. Tracy says:

    Thanks! I really enjoyed the Cab and Malbec, I also have kids and have to downsize on occasion. The Lucky Duck Cab is rich, a bit peppery and smooth.. I just can’t get thru the Yellowtails these days.. And the Rex? Goliaths? Just better than some.. But bitter. I like Chillean wines in general, they are good fail safe wines.. But this is really quite pleasant. I did not have to add ice to handle it. Cheers!

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  8. JWS says:

    I just cracked a bottle of the Chardonnay, having liked the Riesling before, and being on a bit of a wine kick lately (and, frankly, for the rest of my days) after a glorious tasting/winery trip through the Grand River Valley AVA of Ohio Wine Country. (We live in the Cleveland area.) That’s some GREAT Chard for under $5!!! As we have a WM within walking distance of the house, I’ll definitely be giving the Lucky Duck line a go. I saw that Tempranillo, as well as the Malbec, at one of the other stores, and will be trying those as soon as I get paid again. For that price, I might just go pick them up tomorrow night!!!

    I leave you with my fave wine quote of all, from the great Galileo Galilei:
    “Wine is sunlight held together by water.”

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  12. Jodi says:

    I love the Walmart Lucky Duck Tempranillo myself! Was Googling it to see if it was “Walmart specific” to find your post. I usually like Malbec’s, but am not as fond of L.D. Malbec as I am of Redwood Creek Malbec. We purchase that at Harris Teeter in the Carolina’s for about $6 a bottle. Between the 2, I cannot decide which I like better.


  13. corky hawkinson says:

    my walmart quit lucky duck – where can I get?

  14. corky hawkinson says:

    my walmart appears to have dropped lucky duck – where is it available?
    thank you,

  15. Rob Johnson says:

    I really like the sauvignon blanc. I was disappointed with the $10 bottles of sauvignon blancs I was trying and was getting ready to jump to the $20 level, hoping to get better quality. Glad I tried the $4 bottle of Lucky Duck! I’m more than satisfied.

  16. Tanya says:

    I love this wine for $3.97! My fave is the Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. I did not like the Malbec but will be trying the Tempranillo after reading this.

  17. Kimberly says:

    I too have had to cut back on the 12 to 15 bottles and the occasional 30 to 50 dollar wines, but I have found that I like the naked grape, Pinot Noir. I am trying the Lucky Duck tonight as i watch the Panthers vs Patriots. Go Pantheres! ( I live here)
    I opened the Lucky Duck Tempranillo thinking of the 3 choices my Wal mart had, it would be closest and 3 bucks cheaper. I opened the bottle and as usual, the signature cheap wine synthetic cork, but I do realize there is a cork shortage…lol and even expensive wines are going with the “plastic” cork. At least it had lucky duck on the cork. I have found that Aldi brands don’t have writing on some of their wines. not that the cork is that important, but it is!!! I love to make it pop when I open the bottle and look at the cork…I save them!!! Sometimes I see one and have a fond memory or a pissy one…lol.
    It was a bit more oak taste than my naked grape of course, since naked is uses stainless steel fermentation, but after the second taste, it set in quite well. I will for sure be picking up more Lucky Duck Tempranillo. Maybe I should buy stock…naaaaahhh!

  18. TheMinister says:

    Just got into my second glass of Riesling. Wow. Well, again, Wow. More alcohol than I expected, heavier than the other Rieslings, but I really have enjoyed it, along w/turkey and stir-fried veggies [I hate that word]. Anyhow, I’ll surely move out to others, beginning w/the Cab. got a bottle for my sister, a wine wrapper and one Oak Leaf, all for the low-low price of $13.+change. Yes, at our friendly neighborhood WM.
    We’ll be cheking in at Aldi’s tomorrow, to look for another bottle and some chocolate truffles., sd

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