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!
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!