All of my friends know wine is a passion for me. I’ve enjoyed some amazing, very expensive wines. But I’ve also had some incredible reds under $20 that taste more expensive than their price tag. If you are making a nice dinner I realize you are spending a lot of money on ingredients, so here are some value reds (most under $15) to help you save money and enhance your meal.
I stayed away from heavy wines, like Malbecs, and focused on light to medium offerings.
2010 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon. ($13.99 readily available) Just like big name designers, vintners often create a second label at a lower price-point but high quality. This is the second label from the Wagner family of wines (who makes my all-time favorite wine, Caymus Cabernet).
2010 Chateau Chantemerle Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux ($12.99 at Costco). This is a blend of 65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. Rated a 91 points Wine Enthusiast Best Buy, this is the one of the heaviest on my list with a black currant flavor, but really wonderful with food.
2009 Il Tarocco Chianti Classico ($9.99 at Trader Joes). Lately I’ve really been into Italian wines. This is one of the two to make my list from Trader Joes. This wine is just consistent time after time. The bouquet takes some time though, so decant before serving.
2011 Pasqua Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore ($8.99 at Trader Joes) is a blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara from Veneto, Italy. I’ve already listed this as a Sunday Dinner Wine Find on my Instagram, but I enjoy this medium-bodied wine so much, I’m including it here too! Ripasso is actually a secondary fermentation technique used to create Valpolicellas.
2010 Lioco No/Co Pinot Noir ($20 at Select Wine Shops). I have an incredible boutique wine shop called Grapevine within walking distance from my house. The owner recommended Lioco No/Co and it is one of the best Pinots I have ever had. Beautiful hue, light body but it pops! He has a hard time keeping it in stock.
Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($19 at Select Wine Shops). I have had this wine often for special occasions. The Pinot Report gave it 93 points stating, “Medium ruby color; bright, spicy cherry and strawberry aromas; ripe, bright cherry flavors with spicy notes. Bright, spicy Pinot that’s a delight to drink right now. “
2010 Jigsaw Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2010 ($19 at Select Wine Shops). This is a second label wine from Ransom Wine Co., a winery that is also a distillery famous for gin. This is a fruitier Pinot that is great on its own or with food.
2012 Mas Jaume Cuvee Candice from Cotes Du Roussillon Villages Tautavel France ($12.99 at Costco). This blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 30% Carignan received 91 pts from Wine Enthusiast.It is the boldest on this list and actually has a hint of blueberry.
2011 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot Columbia Valley ($12 Everywhere). 89 Points from Wine Enthusiast, this wine is an excellent, affordable wine with small amounts of Cabernet, Petit Verdot and Syrah. It’s earthy, but not to thick.
Cheers to a delectable dinner accompanied by a wonderful red wine (you deserve it)! To get my latest posts, along with coupons and information on my jewelry, sign up for our email list at right – CC