12 Most Fabulous Wines To Enjoy Now For Under $20

12 Most Fabulous Wines To Enjoy Now For Under $20

There’s a commonly held misperception that wine peeps, aka wine geeks, aka wine bloggers only drink expensive wine. Not so! In fact, it’s the hunt for fabulous wines at great prices that really excites many of us. Check out these recommendations from some absolutely amazing wine writers!


My pick


1. 2008 Warwick Pinotage

Recommended by The Life of Vines
An easy drinking wine that combines ripe fruit flavors with a hit of spicy pepper, this approachable pinotage provides a great introduction to South African wines. Well balanced, the flavors just keep on coming throughout a long finish. This wine will pair well with most foods and is also completely drinkable on its own. At $18 a bottle, you really can’t go wrong. You’re sure to be a welcome dinner guest with this in your hands!




2. Clavo Cellars 2009 Viognier (Apparation)

Recommended by Hoot ‘n Annie
Priced at $18.00, this is a great intro to Neil Robert’s amazing wines. The hook is this, I’m giving you this white under $20, but he’s got numerous awesome whites (and reds, but they cost a bit more) that range from $18 to $25…a Grenache Blanc, a Vermentino, and an Albarino. This Viognier, chilled, on a 100 degree day does the job…dare I say a “porch pounder”?

3. 2010 Loosen Bros. “Dr. L” Riesling (Mosel)

Recommended by 1 Wine Dude
I’m a sucker for Mosel wines, and this is about as good an intro to the region’s steep-sloped, cool-climate vineyards as you can get for under $20. This Riesling has a slightly sweet side, but tons of vibrant, citrus-like acidity to balance that out, so it’s really versatile with food (especially stuff with a spicy bite to it). Think flowers, citrus fruits, stone fruits, and a healthy dose of general amiability at the dinner table.

4. Ravines Wine Cellars 2009 Dry Riesling

Recommended by New York Cork Report
If pure, electric-dry riesling is your thing, don’t miss Ravines Wine Cellars 2009 Dry Riesling ($16) an outstanding value from America’s premier riesling region. It’s begins with a burst of crunchy green apple flavor, but also shows river rock, fennel frond and lime zest character — with an intense, focused vein of acidity providing backbone and stretching out the long, citrus-river rock finish.

5. 2009 Foris Pinot Blanc, Rogue Valley, Oregon

Recommended by Traveling Wine Chick
At $13.50, the lesser-known, Alsatian-style Pinot Blanc is one of Foris’ best-kept secrets. It possesses a nice balance of acidity, crispness, and juicy apple and pear flavors that make it the perfect wine to be enjoyed alone or with a variety of foods. Pair Foris Pinot Blanc with soft, creamy cheeses, chicken, or seafood.

6. Brkic Herzegovena Čitlučka Žilavka

Recommended by James the Wine Guy
A wondrous white wine that is a delight for food–shellfish: oysters and crab, cod, halibut, Monkfish.  A great and clear expression of the wine varietal that is distinctly unique-you know you are not drinking a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Riesling or Gewürztraminer. Vegetarian dishes like pasta or gold beet salad; cheese and I’m thinking Pecorino. This wine is produced without the touch of oak and it certainly does not need it.  This wine has a suggested retail of $14.95 and is completely worth it. It is time to get to know the other “Z” wine–Žilavka.

7. Kim Crawford 2010 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Recommended by Ancient Fire Wine
The aroma captivates you like good cooking emanating from the kitchen. Aromas of tropical fruits and herbs fill the nose on this wine. The light body and clean finish of this wine make it a great conversation starter, and it can be served with a wide range of appetizers and some salads. This is a repeat performer and a solid go-to for a house wine! Available for $14.




8. Bonny Doon 2010 Vin Gris de Cigare

Recommended by WINEpiphany
Beneath the screw cap lies a light-salmon colored, unique blend of 71% grenache, 16% roussanne, 11% grenache blanc, and 2% mourvèdre. Bursting with aromas and flavors of strawberry, melon, green apple, rose petals, and minerals.  A perfect summer sipper that also pairs very well with food, so at $15 retail, you better go get some. Don’t over-chill, drink at 58°F to fully experience its wonderful complexity. Retails for around $16.




9. 2009 Yellow + Blue Monastrell

Recommended by The Passionate Foodie
An organic Spanish wine that comes in a one liter, eco-conscious Tetra Pak. A hearty wine with flavors of ripe plum, black raspberry, a little blueberry and plenty of intriguing spice notes. Perfect for the barbeque. The liter size (one-third larger than a standard 750mL bottle) retails for around $12.

10. Georges DuBoeuf 2009 Beaujolais Villages

Recommended by Wining Ways
I have been using this as my go to summer red. A beautiful purplish red, aromatic of cherries and raspberries, elegant and extremely food friendly. From the exceptional 2009 vintage for Beaujolais this wine retails for around $11 – $13 but can be found at the bargain price of $7.99

11. 2008 Bonny Doon Vineyard “Le Pousseur” Syrah

Recommended by The Reverse Wine Snob
Dark berries, flowers, and a little pepper combine to from the most enticing aroma of any wine I’ve tried to date. You can smell this easily and wonderfully just being in the same general area as the glass and it just sucks you in like an irresistible force. Retailing for $18-$20, this wine is rich and full bodied with dark fruit flavors and complemented by a smooth earthiness. The whole thing ends beautifully (oh, why does it have to end?) with a savory, tannic finish.

12. 2009 Paul Dolan Vineyards Mendocino County Zinfandel

Recommended by Beau’s Barrel Room
Rarely does a zinfandel express terroir so effectively and beautifully. This zin asserts its origins with full tannin balanced by ripe black fruits, and it’s available for around $15 on retail shelves. At such a low price, I was impressed with the complexity and it’s ability to pair with a variety of summer foods, especially BBQ. A great wine at a super price!

Time to go shopping!

No matter what your preferences are, there should be something for you on this list. Check out the wine-derful people who made these recommendations and let us know if we missed some fab finds under $20!

Marie Payton


Marie Payton clearly worships her dog Oliver. She also writes for lifeofvines.com, a blog for people who love wine. She is a tennis freak and can be found cruising around in the Boston area when not traveling to fun, new places. She is a co-host of #winechat on twitter and can be found @mariepayton.

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RT @brandcottage @12Most 12 Most Fabulous Wines To Enjoy Now For Under $20 http://t.co/SY9giWHw #12Most RT @12Most cc @heathermeeker


@mskiwifruit I'm digging it. Especially #1 #3 & of course the Reds... Hopefully, I start making some $ & can get some! #TheRack #12most


@andrewsmith1443 thx for the RT. I could probably come up with another 12 wines below $20 we love: CMS and Tempra Tantrum come to mind ;)


Fantastic list. I love it and look forward to many more. Now I have a new objective....work my way through this list. Cheers!


@mariepayton Always looking for good reds under $20. I will be trying your suggestions. I've found some good Avalon and Liberty School Cabs for under $20; also Rombauer Zins if you can find them.


@mariepayton hey there! Didn't know you were a big wine fan! We'll have to chat wine over lunch someday!


if I only was a wine drinker. My parents have tried to convince me that nostril-burning reds are the way to go, but truth be told, I am a white wine kind of girl. Maybe I will try some of these and see if I find my vineyard soulmate :)

Great post. I love your technique of getting feedback from lots of different folks!


Some excellent choices, especially the Dr. Loosen and DeBoeuf Beaujolais since both are fairly large production and widely available. For whites, I really like Bogle's Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. For reds, I find the '09 Castle Rock Monterey Pinot Noir and '09 Garnacha del Fuego to be great choices. Finally, I think everyone should try at least one Vinho Verde from Portugal. Plenty of options around $7, with "nicer" ones around $12. Simple, citrusy, low alcohol and with a touch of spritz. Great for beating back the hot weather and super cheap in most cases.


I heartily second the Dr L Riesling. Light, refreshing and delicious and I don't generally like whites. I prefer reds. Big reds. Speaking of which, Da Vinci Chianti Classico retails for about $18 and knocks my socks off.


@margieclayman Hi Margie! I say if you like whites, drink whites! Sure, try new things as you may be pleasantly surprised but in my (very humble) opinion, it's okay to not like reds! And I am a give-me-a-red-that-tastes-like-dirt lover!

I was very privileged to get such great wine writers to contribute to this post! I hope everyone gets to check out their views on wine and the wine world!


I will even admit to providing and enjoying Cheap Red Wine at my art openings. Unremarkable, yet tasty and the label always gets a laugh.

Yes, The Cheap Red Wine with the plain block lettering and brown kraft label. Retails for $5.50-6.50 depending on location.