Enjoying wine is great because it’s accessible to lots of people. Unlike in the past, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to find a good wine. If you’ve got $20 to spend on wine, you can buy a good bottle, so long as you know where to look.
Check out our picks for top-rated red, white, sparkling and seasonal wines, all available for $20 or less.
Top-Rated White Wines Under $20
These high-ranking white wines are as easy on your wallet as they are to drink.
1. Standing Stone Gewurztraminer
A classic, Alsace-style wine produced right here in New York, Standing Stone Gewurztraminer is a delicious choice for the budget-friendly drinker.
This off-dry white wine remains less sweet than your traditional gewurztraminer, though you can still expect those standard lychee, peach and citrus notes as you sip. Standing Stone’s signature flair, though, is to push their gewurztraminer to an extra savory finish. The wine ends with an uptick of warm spices like ginger and cardamom, though it is delicate enough not to overpower the earlier residual sweetness.
The result is a fragrant, light and approachable expression of classical gewurztraminer at a great price. The 87 points it received from Wine Advocate sure doesn’t hurt, either. Serve chilled, around 42 to 44 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Paulo Saracco Moscato d’Asti
The Moscato d’Asti tag means you’re drinking a true semi-sparkling Italian Moscato — while the under $20 price means you’re getting a remarkable deal.
Saracco’s 2018 release is an outstanding blend of sweet and savory. Delivering on the flavor complexities only a few seasoned Northwest Italian vines can, this wine offers hints of pink grapefruit, lemon verbena, rosemary and honeysuckle followed by a crisp mineral finish. There are just enough bubbles to keep the drink light and zippy, helping carry the Moscato d’Asti’s signature floral fragrance. Drink on its own or with fish and white meat dishes. The wine’s dynamic flavor profile will remain with you long after you finish.
Vinous, one of the world’s premier wine publications, gave the 2018 Paulo Saracco Moscato d’Asti a raving 94 points. We couldn’t agree more. Grab a bottle or two while you can. They don’t stay in stock long.
3. St. Urbans-Hof Mosel Riesling Nik Weis
St. Urbans’ Nik Weis hails from the storied Mosel Valley in Southwest Germany. It not only meets but exceeds the riesling flavor profiles of this subregion, beginning with the slight petroleum smell that hits the nose after decanting.
That petroleum smell gives way to aromas of honey and lime, which carry through as you drink. Other noted flavors include honeydew, lemon zest and apricot, finishing with a pleasant off-dry beat. There’s an art to balancing all these mineral and fruit characteristics, one St. Urbans-Hof Mosel Riseling Nik Weis nails perfectly.
Overall, this delicious white wine is light, clean and an inexpensive crowd-pleaser. Serve cold, between 42 and 44 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Foxglove Chardonnay
Love the smooth sweetness of chardonnay? You’ll adore Foxglove’s 2016 chardonnay release, holding a whopping 91 points from Vinous and continuously heralded as a premier Californian chardonnay that tastes like it should be three times the price.
This unoaked chardonnay lets its fruit and vegetal notes do the talking. Early sips reveal tangerine, pineapple and even a green apple tartness rounded out by deep honeycomb and grass clippings. Foxglove also produces this wine without malolactic fermentation, but it does receive lees stirring, adding a rich, robust body grounding the overall drink.
Foxglove’s 2016 Chardonnay is a must-try, particularly for chardonnay fans looking for that bargain to expand their horizons.
5. Mahi Sauvignon Blanc
Anyone questioning New Zealand’s place as a leading sauvignon blanc producer only has to try the Mahi 2017 release to understand.
Mahi Sauvignon Blanc is accessibly earthy and delightfully fresh. Its palate begins with floral greens and dandelions, then leads into sauvignon blanc’s classical lime zest, kiwi and bell pepper pop. The finish is herbaceous, nodding toward basil and mint.
Mahi 2017 Sauvignon Blanc is a bit heavier and waxier on the mouthfeel. That heaviness is the perfect complement to the fresh bouquet of flavors delivered with every glass of this great, inexpensive white wine.
6. Jermann Pinot Grigio
Pinot grigio lovers, rejoice! We’ve got an outstanding 91-pointer for your shelves. And while it’s on the tip-top price range of the $20 budget, Jermann Pinot Grigio is worth every penny.
The 2017 release is surprisingly smooth for a pinot grigio. Dry and citrus-forward, it carries notes of green apple, rhubarb and almond. The medium body keeps these flavors dancing on your tongue between sips, with the weight also reining pinot grigio’s naturally high acidity back in line.
It can be hard to find a pinot grigio that showcases the varietal’s natural tartness and acidity without turning astringent. The Jermann 2017 Pinot Grigio sets the gold standard for this delicate balance. It’s sure to convert anyone to Team Grigio.
Best-Rated Red Wines Under $20
Plenty of great red wines on the market today won’t break the bank but still deliver big on taste — including the following.
1. Zuccardi “Serie A” Malbec
An Argentine Malbec that tastes as phenomenal as Zuccardi “Serie A” and is under $12 is a rare find.
From the first sip, you’ll get those quintessential juicy, vibrant dark berry notes hitting and lingering on the back of your tongue. The wine’s richer body then brings out more complex flavors like violets and sage. Serie A isn’t oak-aged, and frankly, it doesn’t need to be. The dance between rich berries and aromatic flowers and herbs is more than enough to make this a seriously delicious, 91-point red wine for an even more delightful price.
2. Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
Josh Cellars’ Cabernet Sauvignon sources grapes from vineyards in California’s Rutherford, Oakville and Stags Leap wine districts. As one of its finest releases, the 2016 cabernet sauvignon continues to encompass why California is a New World cab hub.
As sophisticated in taste as it is approachable, the cab has a medium-robust body celebrating cherries, blackberries and mocha. The wine doesn’t veer sweet, with concentrated tannins giving each glass a surprisingly tamed, silky finish. Serve room temperature, decanted an hour before drinking among friends and family. They’ll appreciate your great taste, and you’ll enjoy how little it cost.
3. Chateau Maris Cru la Liviniere la Touge Syrah
The name is long, as are the raving reviews for this 2016 release from the vine-knotted hills of Southeast France. Chateau Maris la Touge’s Rhone-style red blend is 70% syrah and 30% grenache, giving this red a uniformly sweet profile with a satisfying linger.
Expect flavors of elderberry syrup, plum and stewed raspberries wrapped up in a medium-full body. Finished notes include black pepper and just a hint of vanilla with little to no lasting acidity. The Chateau Maris Cru la Liviniere la Touge 2016 Syrah makes a fantastic choice for a summer red wine — especially during backyard barbecues and picnics featuring braised or smoked meats.
4. Familia Diaz Bayo Roble
True to the Ribera style of tempranillos, the Familia Diaz Bayo is artfully spicy, yet has plenty of nutty and herbaceous undertones to keep things interesting. Wine and Spirits magazine awarded it 92 points upon its release, and our annual wine reviews put this release in our 2018 Top 100.
Overall, it can be challenging to find tempranillos that don’t club you with their spice-driven silhouettes, which can easily drown all other flavors. Familia Diaz Bayo 2016 Roble balances its bold, muscular profile at an unbeatable price. You’ll find blackberry and stewed plums side by side with cinnamon, nutmeg, walnut, limestone and leather, each coaxed across six months of French-oak barrel aging. It’s a one-of-a-kind wine we can’t recommend enough.
5. Steele Cabernet Franc
Awarded 90 points by Wine Enthusiast — and deserving of each one — Steele’s 2015 Cabernet Franc is a surprisingly complex, cost-conscious red wine ready for your next dinner party.
With just a touch of green spices, Steele’s 90-point Cab Franc artfully blurs the line between sweet, savory and acidity. Bright raspberry and red cherries go hand in hand with mint, parsley and cracked white pepper. These flavors tend to level into one another rather than maintain competing notes. The result is a refined and leaner red wine type than many expect, with just a touch of the savory maturing its entire profile.
6. Alexander Valley Sin Zin Zinfandel
An oak-aged zinfandel is a bit of a rule-breaker. It can also go one of two ways — at its best, grounding red zinfandel’s jam-sweet notes, and at its worst, creating a confused, musky red wine.
Luckily, Alexander Valley’s Sin Zin is the former. The 2014 release is one of its best, using American oak barrels for a 10-month aging journey that deepens rather than fights zinfandel’s bright, lively zest. Experience flavors of strawberry and sugared beets with a bourbon-esque smokiness awarded 90 points by Wine Enthusiast.
7. Goldenrod Flower Pinot Noir
Sourced and bottled in the picturesque wine country of northern California, this 2016 pinot noir is as lush and silky as it gets. Opening the 2016 Goldenrod Flower Pinot Noir is like smelling an actual bouquet, with aromas of rose petals and lilacs fusing with blooming cherry trees.
Its light body offers flavors of blueberry, black raspberry and vanilla, with a smooth and subtle finish hinting toward baking spices. Goldenrod’s Flower Pinot Noir has serious flavor and finesse without getting dull like some cheaper pinot noirs — and is likely why Wine Enthusiast gave it 92 points.
Top Sparkling Wines Under $20
Get those flutes ready! Plenty of top-rated sparkling wines available on the market today won’t bust your budget’s bubble.
1. 14 Hands Brut
With only 7,000 cases made, 14 Hands’ non-vintage brut is a remarkable find all on its own. Combined with the $10.49 price tag and 87-point Wine Spectator review, you’ve stumbled across one of the most affordable, yet refined, dry sparkling wines for your next gathering.
As one of the dryest types of champagne, brut delivers that archetype bubbly sip with minimal residual sugar. 14 Hands’ flavor profile stays true to its off-dry origins, with pear, thyme and dragonfruit notes finished with a slight golden-brown toastiness. A bottle of 14 Hands Brut will maintain a slightly smoother texture than other sparkling wines, yet is unmistakably delicious.
2. Dr. Loosen Sparkling Riesling
Dr. Loosen Sparkling Riesling is a dynamic combo, marrying the zippy sweetness of riesling white wine with the expressive bubbles of champagne. Sips of peach, nectarine and cantaloupe come up with the bubbles, while on the nose, you get earthy green aromas mellowing out the sweet.
As a riesling priced under $20, Dr. Loosen Sparkling Riesling is the perfect base to create an array of sparkling cocktails. However, it’s vibrant enough to serve on its own, letting the 91-point rating from Wine Enthusiast speak for itself.
3. Juve & Camps Brut Rosé Cava
Cava producer Juve & Camps certainly can’t claim to have invented brut rosé. But they can say they’ve mastered it, producing a stunning pinot noir-based sparkling dry rosé that costs less than half what competitors charge.
Juve & Camps Brut Rosé Cava is a beautiful display of bright, tart cherries and lemon zest. These fruit and citrus flavors marry with a surprisingly musky aroma suggestive of white truffles and paraffin wax. The result is a deep, full-bodied cava that Wine Advocate reverentially refers to as “a strong personality.” Enjoy on its own or with a simple charcuterie platter to let the big, bold flavors sing.
4. La Marca Prosecco
We couldn’t consider any list of top-rated sparkling wines to be complete without prosecco.
Italy’s claim to sparkling-wine fame tends to run on the dryer side. However, La Marca Prosecco proves dry can still mean fruit-forward. The brand infuses luscious notes of honeysuckle, green apple, papaya and pear, with bubbles carrying garden floral aromas that contribute to the sweet leanings. Its finish is on the mellow, even creamy side, hinting toward lemon tart crust or buttered marmalade toast.
Grab a bottle of this 90-point Wine Spectator rated prosecco while you can. Only 50,000 cases exist!
Great Summer Wines Under $20
Good wines for summer tend to be lighter, leaner and crisper. They prioritize easy drinkability amid the warmer days and balmier nights, and can range from ultra-sweet to tongue-puckeringly dry, yet each one is as delicious as the next.
These highly rated wines check those summer boxes and more, all priced at $20 or less.
1. Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc
Nearly any varietal from Chateau Ste. Michelle earns praise from wine connoisseurs. Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast alike have lauded this Washington State winery for its high-quality yet affordable bottles, and its 88-point, under $20 sauvignon blanc is no exception.
The subtle and light-bodied Chateau Ste. Michelle 2016 Sauvignon Blanc presents bright, nicely acidic flavors like guava and pineapple, followed by more elegant notes of pine nut, sage and lime. Look forward to a pleasant gravelly finish that tucks away any acidity until your next sip.
If the savory sauvignon blanc isn’t your thing, try other Chateau Ste. Michelle wines like chardonnay, riesling and gewurztraminer. All are under $20.
2. Cantele Negroamaro Rosato
Sure, you’ve had rosé. But have you tried one of Italy’s signature rosé styles, the blush-pink Rosato?
The delicate, tangy Cantele Negroamaro Rosato is sweet like a Moscato d’Asti, but tart and acidic like zinfandel. Cantele Negroamaro’s 2018 release pushes citrus and candied fruit flavors forward, with a lighter garden-herb aftertaste. Think orange and lemon peels, candied ginger and peach cobbler filling finished with mint and basil. It’s crisp, sweet and oh so refreshing on a hot summer afternoon, plus rated a respectable 88 points by Vinous.
3. Chateau Pesquie Cotes du Ventoux Rosé Terrasses
The Chateau Pesquie Cotes 2018 Ventoux’s Rosé Terrasses blends three types of grape varietals to create its luscious, 90-point awarded rating.
Made from 50% cinsault, 40% grenache and 10% of syrah, the Ventoux Rosé Terrasses is like tasting summer itself. Juicy watermelon and ripened strawberry marry with fresh bitters and warm baking spices for a medium-bodied palate, rounded out by dark berries and orange zest. This rosé’s innate silkiness and off-dry finish make it truly one of the best summer wines available for less than $20.
4. Lapostolle le Rosé
Light and elegant, the Lapostolle le Rosé is as approachable as summer rosés can get. Its cream-blush coloration comes from a unique combination of four different Mediterranean grape varietals that produce a garden-fresh, almost perfumed palate on the nose. Sips reveal white nectarine, rose petal, hibiscus and just a hint of matcha. Grab a bottle of this wildly popular Chilean 90-pointer while it’s still in stock.
5. Zorzal Terroir Unico Pinot Noir
Who says you can’t drink red wine in summer?
We certainly don’t — especially when it’s as bright and budget-friendly as Zorzal Terroir Unico Pinot Noir. Filled with red-fruit juices softened by floral pops, the 2017 release goes down smooth even in the sun. Zorzal’s Terroir Unico Pinot Noir also leans less earthy than a traditional pinot noir, with finer tannins and a clean medium body. It’s a steal of a 90-point Argentine summer wine.
The Best Winter Wines Under $20
For wintertime, look for robust, medium- and full-bodied wines with bolder flavor profiles. Oak-aged reds and whites are especially delightful during cooler months. The flavors wrought from this technique help deepen and warm a wine’s overall palate, contributing complexities even for cost-conscious bottles.
Consider any of the following great, and affordable, winter wines when your spending needs to cool off just like the temperatures.
1. Santa Ema Reserve Merlot
The 92-point Santa Ema Reserve Merlot is one of the highest-ranked on this entire wine list — and also one of the least expensive. The medium-bodied Chilean merlot proves you don’t have to charge top dollar for top wine.
A dessert-like aftertaste softens the merlot’s bursting red fruit flavors of black raspberry, cherry and lingonberry. Think of a freshly baked berry pie with a smooth, vanilla bean creme and a mineral-crisp finish. Firm tannins hold the wine together, giving it structure and depth at a seriously rare price.
2. Beringer Bros. Bourbon-Barrel Aged Chardonnay
Yes, you read that right. Beringer Bros. uses not only oak, but bourbon-oak barrels, to take its 2016 limited-release chardonnay over the edge — the edge of deliciousness, that is.
The bourbon infusion brings this chardonnay to a new level of unctuousness. Nutmeg, allspice, caramel and candied ginger complement the velvety, cream soda-like texture, followed by a baked tart and almondy finish.
Beringer Bros. Bourbon-Barrel Aged Chardonnay is a Wine Magazine and Wine Enthusiast editor’s choice, plus an extraordinary all-around find at only $12.49.
3. Domaine Lafage’s “Bastide Miraflors” Cotes Catalanes
Awarded a whopping 94 points by Wine Advocate, Domaine Lafage’s “Bastide Miraflors” Cotes Catalanes tops our list of highest-rated, yet most affordable wines. It’s the perfect choice for any occasion — or all by yourself, so you don’t have to share.
The 80% syrah, 20% grenache blend honors its French Roussillon origins with a low-acidity, full-bodied and multilayered profile. Its fruit-forward mouthfeel is perfectly balanced with notes of dark chocolate and red currants, harmonized by the wine’s sturdy yet sweet tannins.
Red and white wine lovers alike will adore the Bastide Miraflors’ perfect balance of flavors and pure, clean finish — an absolute steal at this price.
4. Frassinello Poggio Alla Guardia
Alla Guardia is a three-parts blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and sangiovese grapes. Together, these varietals create a deep, muscular red wine with warming flavors of bell pepper, black pepper, cassis and plum, plus chewy tannins and a pleasantly dry finish.
Wine Spectator gives this Italian red blend 92 points and compares it to similar brands that cost twice the price. If a glass of Frassinello Poggio Alla Guardia doesn’t warm you up in winter, we don’t know what will.
Stock up on Top-Rated Wines Without Overspending
At Marketview Liquor, we want to make it easy to find the perfect wine. If you’re shopping on a budget, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. Browse our wines priced between $10 and $20, and you’re sure to find a good wine for under $20!