Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

7 great value wines for $20 or less

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.
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.

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!

Allie Albanese & Melissa Diaz
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