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Impress even the pickiest wine snobs with these budget-friendly bottles (all under $15)

2019-09-28

Wine, in one form or another, has been a staple of the human diet for millennia. While some spirits have been enjoyed primarily by those in the upper echelon, wineries have grown and flourished the most when creating wines for the masses.

That’s why it can be fun to explore wines that cost less than $20 a bottle. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and that’s never been truer than when wineries put their ingenuity to work on creating affordable bottles.

Whether you’re a lifelong wine connoisseur or a newbie trying to impress at a dinner party, the following affordable wines will not disappoint. And remember — a beautiful decanter will also prove that you know what you’re doing.

1. Staple sauvignon blanc: The fresh citrus flavors in this light white are wonderfully complemented with tropical undertones. Papaya, mango, and pineapple accents combine with herbal hints to make this sauvignon blanc a long-finishing crowd pleaser.

2. Gorgeous Bourgeois: A deep, dark red that will improve rapidly with age. This is the perfect option for those who enjoy the intensity of black fruits. Mature palates will also detect hints of nutmeg, clove, and black pepper in addition to mocha, baking spice, and tobacco. Don’t miss out on the chance to try this unique ruby red masterpiece.

3. Perfect end-of-summer rosé: Nothing says casual summer fun like a light and refreshing rosé. This deep pink provocateur tickles your fancy and your tongue with whispers of watermelon, strawberry, and a touch of citrus in the end. Perfect for summer staples like spinach salad, grilled steak, and fresh oysters.

4. To go with your steak: Some are not fans of a deep red like this one because they find it too intense. This bottle doesn’t suffer that fate. A medium-full bodied wine, it balances its inherent earthiness with enjoyable flavors of black raspberry and cassis.

5. A lighter red: This pinot noir will have you smiling from ear to ear with its wide variety of pairing options. Its pale ruby color forecasts the light aroma of white raspberry, Rainier cherries, and strawberries upon opening the bottle. The smooth cherry, violet, and kola flavors that follow make this wine one of our favorites for outdoor grilled food dining.

6. Fruit-forward rosé: This blood orange colored Rosé is slightly more serious than others of its kind. With white peach, melon, blood orange, and apricot touches, it tastes more “grown-up” than other rosé options. This wine is best for those want a more complex aroma and flavor recipe than the average rosé offers.

7. Northwest red from a great vintage: A full-bodied wine, this red gives you the savory punch not available in lighter wines. Scents of bacon, cured meat, and cracked black pepper will have you salivating the moment you uncork the bottle. If you’re a fan of a spicy, savory finish, then you won’t want to miss this intriguing wine.

8. Classic Sonoma chardonnay: A wonderful medium gold wine from the Golden State. This wine is all about variety. Cedar spice, yellow apple, pineapple, and lemongrass aromas combine with the taste of baked apple, white peach, and toasty oak to create an interesting aroma and flavor combination that will have your guests all tasting something different.

9. Unique and full-bodied red blend: This rich, deep red has the scents and flavors of a classic old-world wine, though it’s borne of new world passions. Its wild berry fruit flavors are a joy to behold. We recommend opening the bottle and leaving some of it for a couple days. If you’re able to muster the self control, when you drink the remainder it will be even more delicious than round one.

10. Award-winning red blend: The violet and dark chocolate aromas of this California red offer clues to the delicious flavors that follow. The simple yet fanciful cherry, blackberry and chocolate that round out this fun wine mimic the spirit of the winery that produces it. It’s called Jelly Jar as an homage to the Italian immigrants who first made California wines in leftover jars in some of the west coast’s first wineries.

11. Organic and no detectable sulfites: This organic cabernet sauvignon is a straightforward and unpretentious wine that gets right to the point. The dark fruit and vanilla aromas telegraph the same flavors that are to follow. This certified organic “Cab” is a smooth and rich flavored wine that’s also gluten-free and completely vegan.

12. Classic Cotes du Rhone (lighter French red): Smoked black plum, lavender, blackberry, and black olive give this French red its beautiful purple color. Add the consistent cracked pepper and dried flower finish and you have a satisfying full-bodied wine that reminds you what French winemaking has always been about: The pursuit of perfection.

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for?

If you’re interested in exploring all the wine world has to offer from the comfort of your own home, check out these online wine clubs for all your oenophile needs:

Wine Access: This club is one of the best out there. They get all of their wines directly from each individual winery themselves, which eliminates the extra costs of a “middle-man” and allows them to have an amazing selection. Although they might not have your local wine available, they offer a wide variety from around the world. Membership is $600 per year, which gets you 24 bottles of wine.

Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews.  BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.d

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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