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Default Question about super-cheap reds (newbie/non-connoisseur).

I like to add a small amount of red wine to various fruit juices. I have a friend who buys inexpensive reds, usually Cabs, such as Bolla, Yellow Tail, Carlo Rossi, Barefoot, Robert Mondavi, etc. in the large bottles and gives me some to try out, but neither one of us has kept track of things. I am looking for the cheapest red that is not sweet but that has a nice "gripping" feel to it. I think I prefer medium acidity and I know I prefer a lower alcohol content (though I realize that 11-12% is likely as low as I can go for this type of wine). Also, a longer finish seems best, even if it's not the best in other ways (but it can't be sweet). Thanks for your suggestions!