Our Guide to the Best Cheap Wine (That Also Tastes Good)

You might have Champagne tastes on a boxed red wine budget plan, however that doesn’t suggest you need to go for a bottle of red wine that tastes like maroon vinegar. Or simply plain vinegar.

Wine can run the range from Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck all the method to vintages that can cost more than our houses.  However, many people who can manage extremely pricey bottles – like this 2005 Petrus Pomerol that opts for $8,997 at some Total Wine places – most likely aren’t too concerned about the expense of their houses.

Total Wine describes the tasting notes, which might be wonderful or offending depending upon your gratitude of the words chewy and supercaressing mouthfeel: “Full-bodied, with ultrafine tannins and a supercaressing mouthfeel. Coffee, dark chocolate and berry. Chewy yet balanced. Very long in the mouth.”

But there is something to all of this red wine understanding (chewy simply describes a thicker textured red wine) and we’re here to assist you discover a few of the very best inexpensive red wines on the marketplace. And by economical we suggest less than $15.

We provide ideas however likewise methods for you to separate the pricey red wines from the very best inexpensive red wines when you’re travelling the alcohol shop aisles. We talked to some sommeliers to get the techniques of choice and point us to the budget-friendly red wine.

The 6 inexpensive red wines they advise originated from:

But First, a Word on How Wine Is Priced

It’s typical that purchasers relate quality with expense. Surely, a $35 cabernet is much better than one that can be found in under $15, right? Not always. Wine is priced utilizing a number of variables.

Pricing shows the expense of products and labor, and likewise volume. A big vintner like Kendall Jackson produces countless cases of chardonnay yearly. Patz & Hall, another Sonoma County, California, wine maker produces significantly less.

Depending on the year and design, a Kendall Jackson chardonnay can be had for less than $15, often as low as $8 on sale at big-box sellers. Plan to invest a minimum of $30 for a bottle of Patz & Hall chardonnay. The shop winery launches about 15,000 cases of chardonnay a year. Size does matter when it concerns rates.

Is the 2017 Patz & Hall chardonnay much better than the very same vintage of Kendall Jackson? Maybe, possibly not. Sometimes the rates can be chalked up to viewed worth. But the only understanding we are worried about here is where to get the very best inexpensive red wine.

Don’t Let a Cute Label or Familiar Name Lead You Astray

A big supermarket stocks numerous bottles of red wine and the costs are generally affordable. For a number of us, this is our red wine shop. There are a lot of brand names that you acknowledge: Yellow Tail from Australia; Robert Mondavi out of California and even La Marca from Spain that makes a popular $15 bottle of prosecco best for Sunday breakfast mimosas.

(Bubbly lesson: The champagne of France is called Champagne. In Italy that’s prosecco, and in Spain it’s cava. Bring on trivia night!)

Rather than acknowledging brand names, you may think that France ends up the very best red white wines and California the very best gewurztraminer. Again, our understandings on what’s expensive and what’s not assists set the costs.

Then there are simply a great deal of cool labels, which’s how a few of us choose red wine. Honestly, how can you withstand Michael David’s Petite Petit with its circus-themed label and enjoyable name? The primarily sirah mix can be had for $13 or less on sale.

Inexpensive red wine is an offered at supermarket and the red wine area of Costco, Sam’s Club or Target, however great red wine can be more difficult to choose amongst the huge choice.

4 Tips for Scoring Good Cheap Wine

You’ll get more choice assistance at a regional red wine store or perhaps a big-box alcohol shop than you at the typical supermarket or Costco, however our ideas will assist you bust out by yourself and discover a lot of great inexpensive red wine priced listed below $15 — heck, even around $10.

1. Buy International Wines

The United States — and particularly California — produces a lots of remarkable budget-friendly red wines, states Vincent Anter, creator and host of the V is for Vino red wine program that’s streamed totally free on YouTube and numerous other locations.

Because California produces a lot red wine, he states, it’s harder to find out the great things.

However, South American red wines tend to be cheaper due to lower labor and land expenses with total great quality. Or, want to Europe, particularly Italy, where expenses might be kept lower through a number of elements, consisting of:

  • Government help for red wine manufacturers, which is offered in numerous wine-growing areas.
  • Regulations that manage whatever from grape yields to where the grapes originate from to using ingredients.
  • A circulation design that doesn’t differ from one state to another and doesn’t consist of 3 tiers, with each tier increasing the red wines each action of the method.
  • The production of more entry-level red wine, since the majority of Europeans see red wine as part of the meal rather of a high-end product.

2. Stay Away From Trendy Wines

Wine, like all things, goes through patterns, according to Matt Woodburn-Simmonds, a sommelier who runs The Plate Unknown, a site commemorating world food and beverages.

To get a deal, he recommends preventing the patterns.

“Rather than a New Zealand sauvignon blanc or Argentinian malbec, look for an Argentinian cabernet franc or New Zealand pinot gris,” he states. They will be the very same rate, however a greater quality, since appeal isn’t driving the rate greater. Yes, you can discover an Argentinian malbec for $15 however it’s most likely that the $15 cabernet franc will be much better.

The very same uses to lesser-known Eastern European wine-growing nations like Greece, Slovenia and Hungary, all of which are presently ending up excellent quality red wine at pocket-friendly costs, Woodburn-Simmonds stated.

3. Don’t Be Afraid of Unusual Wines

Instead of grabbing a California cabernet sauvignon — since the very best cabernet grapes grown there enter into the more pricey bottles — search for a cabernet from Argentina.

Argentinian red wine manufacturers are understood for their malbec, not their cabernet, so much better quality grapes will likely remain in that bottle of cabernet, according to Kathleen Bershad, author of The Wine Lover’s Apprentice and owner of Fine Wine Concierge in New York.

“Along those lines, look for the grape you’ve never heard of,” she stated. “While you might love chardonnay, a torrontes can offer a similar feel and flavor, but because it’s not well known, the quality is likely to be better for the price.”

You can quickly snag a good bottle of torrontes for about $5 to $10. Try the Mendoza Station Torrontes ($7 at

4. Pay Attention to Where the Wine Comes From

Much of what enters into the expense of a bottle relates to where the red wine is grown and produced, states Melissa Smith, creator of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Service in Oakland, California.

“Have you seen the cost of an acre of land in Napa Valley?” she states. “Between that, French oak barrels starting at $800 a piece and a celebrity winemaker, you can see why a bottle of cabernet might cost $100 per bottle.”

She has ideas on discovering quality red wines at a lower rate, based upon their area:

  • Watch for areas that don’t usually utilize fertilizer or pesticides in vineyards. Smith states Europe (search for Bordeaux or Chianti), North Africa (cabernet sauvignon or red wine) and the Middle East (chardonnay and sauvignon blanc) fit this description.
  • Look for nations where red wine belongs to every day life. Such holds true in Greece, Spain, Italy and France. A great deal of red wine in those nations is made in co-ops, where the grapes have actually passed specific requirements and vineyard practices, and in big amounts, keeping the costs low. In other words, traditional table red wines.
  • Understand where red wine is more labor extensive. For example, equipment can’t be utilized in vineyards with high hills or narrow balconies, so those grapes require to be collected by hand. You’ll understand if this held true if the label states “hand-picked grapes” or “hand harvested.” That red wine might not always taste much better, however it will increase production expenses. As an outcome, the rate of the red wine will be greater, according to sommelier Woodburn-Simmonds.
    Some of the steepest vineyards on the planet remain in the Mosel area of Germany. Riesling is the star grape there and it’s not unusual to see costs of more than $25 a bottle. The Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley riesling out of Washington State can be had for under $10.

Try These 6 Cheap Wines From Different Regions

This is a starter list of the very best inexpensive red wines for red wine fans. Get a taste of them and after that begin to branch off to other red wines from these locations, keeping your wallet in mind all of the time.


Try this red wine — Recanati yasmin red

Taste — This is a vibrant and complicated red wine from the grape-growing area around the Sea of Galilee in Israel, states Sneha Saigal, a sommelier in New York who has actually resided in India and Spain. It is a mix of red wine and cabernet sauvignon.

“It pairs really well with meats and BBQs, and plus, it’s kosher,” Saigal states.

Price — $13.99 at

South Africa

Try this red wine — Radley & Finch “Alley Pack” chenin blanc

Taste —  Chenin blanc grapes have actually been grown in South Africa considering that the mid 1600s, and the varietal come from France, states Gary Schueller, a New York red wine purchaser. It’s a flexible grape that can make red wines of all designs and rate points, consisting of champagne.

At the lower rate points, chenin blanc is usually a medium-bodied crisp, revitalizing red wine that’s food friendly, however can quickly be delighted in by itself. It’s kept in mind for tastes of stone fruit, pear, apple and yellow citrus, Schueller states.

“Having tasted hundreds of wines at this price point, it certainly is at the top of the pack,” Schueller states.

Price — $9.99 at


Try this red wine — Riff pinot grigio

Taste — Alicia Ortiz, the tactical interactions supervisor at Sippd, a white wine app that matches red wine to your budget plan, suggests this bottle from delle Venezie, Italy. The rate is ideal and its fruit is sourced from a few of the leading growers in northeast Italy.

You’ll taste tips of apple and mineral in this light-bodied red wine. Pair it with grilled fish or a snack.

Price — $9.99 at


Try this red wine — Beaujolais-Villages 2019

Taste — The land-locked Beaujolais area of France produces this deeply flavored gamay. Tasters note tips of raspberries and strawberries in the fruity red. It has low tannin levels and is scrumptious when a little cooled and is finest served with poultry and moderate cheeses.

Price — $12.92 at


Try this red wine — Bonterra sauvignon blanc

Taste — California has a lot of scrumptious summertime red wines priced at less than $10, states Shana Bull, a white wine author in Sonoma County. This revitalizing bottle in specific is excellent with spring veggies such as asparagus with grated parmesan cheese or fish tacos.

They likewise make a canned Bonterra Rose that’s priced under $10 that sets well with velvety brie cheese and strawberries or melons. Think picnic or beach red wine, Bull states.

Price — $10.99 at 


Try this red wine — Casa Julia Reserva carmenere

Taste — Boasting a few of the earliest vines on the planet, Chile is putting out red wines at amazing worths that are crowd-pleasing for newbies and skilled red wine drinkers alike. This particular red wine is a $12 bottle made from 35-plus-year-old vines, Schueller states.

Random cool reality: This grape was thought to be extinct till it was uncovered in Chile in the mid-1990s.

“So this is a grape with a lot of history, but really just in recent years is getting its due and is surging in popularity,” Schueller states.

Price — $11.99 at

Danielle Braff is a Chicago author who focuses on durable goods and shopping on a budget plan. Her work has actually appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Real Simple and more. Senior personnel author Robert Bruce contributed.


A news media journalist always on the go, I've been published in major publications including VICE, The Atlantic, and TIME.

Related Articles

Back to top button