… ever since my trip to Argentina last year.
there are plenty of reasons that Malbec might appeal to “regular people” (perhaps the same reasons it doesn’t appeal to sommeliers): It’s rarely expensive or hard to find. Its flavors are straightforward, with notes of spice and red-berry fruit. The best Malbecs also have a lively acidity and approachable tannins. I think of it as a meatier, manlier version of Merlot.
In the > $20 range:
2009 Altos Las Hormigas Valle de Uco Terroir Malbec, $12
2010 Crios Malbec, $11
2008 Bodega Norton Reserva Malbec, $14
2009 Hacienda del Plata Malbec, $11
(h/t Yanqui Mike)