7 great value wines for $20 or less
Although the holiday season is our very favorite time of the year, it also takes a major toll on our piggy banks! Between holiday parties, gift-giving, and overall entertaining, we go through more bottles of wine than we care to admit. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, all of that holiday merriment adds up quickly, so we’re constantly in search of delicious wines that won’t break the bank!
People often think that the more expensive wine is, the better it is, but we’re here to tell you that this isn’t necessarily true. What makes a wine “good” has much more to do with the viticulture and viniculture practices used to make it and whether they come together to produce a balanced wine. We’d much rather drink a wine that’s inexpensive and balanced than one that’s expensive and unbalanced!
So as we’re all hunting for last-minute stocking stuffers and preparing for our final holiday gatherings of the season, we thought we’d recommend some of our recent great value finds that are perfect for entertaining or gift-giving. It was tough to narrow down our choices, but we did so with the goal of including different varietals and wine styles so that there’s something for every palate. And the best part is, you can find each of them for $20 or less!
NV Jaillance “Cuvée de l’Abbaye” Crémant de Bordeaux Brut, France
Varietal: Blend of Semillon (60%) and Cabernet Franc (40%)
Tasting Notes: Sparkling wine with aromas and flavors of green apple, lemon and white grapefruit; hints of honey and buttered toast
Average Price: $15
2012 Vera Vinho Verde, Portugal
Varietal: Blend of Arinto (60%), Azal (30%) and Loureiro (10%)
Tasting Notes: Slightly effervescent with aromas and flavors of green apple, ripe green pear, lime and pink grapefruit; hints of honey and citrus blossom and lots of minerality
Average Price: $10
2011 Lioco Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Tasting Notes: Aromas and flavors of yellow apple, lemon curd, peach and kiwi; hints of orange blossom, chamomile and crème fraîche with oaky notes of vanilla; solid minerality
Average Price: $20
2012 Josh Cellars Pinot Noir, North Coast, California, USA
Varietal: Pinot Noir (100%)
Tasting Notes: Aromas and flavors of plum, red cherry compote, craisins and strawberry; hints of red rose and sweet tobacco with oaky notes of vanilla and cinnamon
Average Price: $10 — For every bottle purchased from now until December 31st, Josh Cellars will donate $1 (up to $50,000) to Operation Homefront
2009 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva, Tuscany, Italy
Varietal: Blend of Sangiovese (90%), Canaiolo and Colorino (10% combined)
Tasting Notes: Aromas and flavors of ripe red cherry, black cherry and black currant; hints of violet, tobacco, licorice and tomato leaf
Average Price: $20
2011 Cultivate Wines “The Gambler” Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina
Varietal: Blend of Malbec (90%) and Bonarda (10%)
Tasting Notes: Aromas and flavors of blackberry, blueberry cobbler, blue plum and raspberry; hints of smoke, brown sugar and dark chocolate with oaky notes of vanilla and clove
Average Price: $15 — 10% of every dollar spent on Cultivate Wines is donated to non-profits supporting education and human needs
2010 Ànima Negra Àn/2 Vi de la Terra Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
Varietal: Blend of Callet (65%), Mantonegre-Fogoneu (20%) and Syrah (15%)
Tasting Notes: Aromas and flavors of black cherry, ripe red cherry and wild raspberry; hints of violet, black pepper and savory spices with oaky notes of vanilla and coconut
Average Price: $20
We hope these recommendations will help you uncork your holiday cheer and give you a good excuse to open an extra bottle or two! To find the stores near you that sell these wines as well as all of your favorites, go to winesearcher.com. And don’t forget to share your own great value finds with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday full of laughter, love and lots of vino!