1. Folk Machine Parts & Labor Red Mix
Red blends can be a great place to start when looking for great wines below $20. Santa Rosa's Folk Machine label has a great example. The Parts & Labor red blended is the one to try.
This blend is made up of Syrah and Carignane and Grenache, Grenache, Barbera and Barbera. It has spice aromas, subtle raspberry and top notes of licorice, bubble gum, and licorice. The medium-bodied blend has red fruits, apples and minty notes. A blend like this is affordable at less than $20.
2. Ravines Finger Lakes Dry Riesling (2014 Vintage)
Many people are unaware that the Fingerlakes region is one the largest producers of Rieslings.
Riesling is the dominant grape of the region. Ravines' Riesling is no exception. The wine is refreshing and full of earthy minerals. It also has good acidity, giving all the typical Riesling flavours. Notably, the 2014 vintage was particularly noteworthy. You will not find a better Riesling at this price level (around $17.99).
3. Alamos Chardonnay
Argentinian whites are not easy to find. It all depends on the situation. Alamos Chardonnay is a great example of what's currently being produced in Mendoza and dispels any doubts potential buyers might have.
The oak is there, but it is beautifully restrained. What about the fruit? The fruit? This Chardonnay is crisp and has no aftertaste. It can be purchased for $13 and will pair well with grilled fish.
4. Dona Ermelinda Reserva
Another red blend is the Dona Ermelinda Reserve, which is a combination of Castelao (70%), Touriga Nacional (5%), Syrah (5%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%).
This Portuguese red is aged for 12 months in French oak. Its unique Castelao grape gives it a distinctive flavour. The wine is rich in dark fruit, spice, prunes, and even cherry cola flavour and has a spicy finish. This is another beautiful red blend that costs less than $20.
5. Burlotto Barbera d'Alba
It isn't easy to find a better wine than Barbera with red sauce pasta or pizza. The Burlotto Barbera D'Alba is one of the best choices for less than $20.
Many Barberas today are aged in oak. However, traditional methods such as Burlotto remove much of the oak from Barbera and leave it with a more natural finish. Burlotto Barbera d'Alba is a lively, old-world Barbera with fresh fruit and tomato flavours. It's a great value at just $20 and should not be overlooked.
6. Pinot Noir from Montinore Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Finely crafted Pinot Noir can enhance food and serve as a perfect ending to a cold fall evening. The Montinore Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a biodynamic favourite that costs less than $20.
It has deep, earthy flavours, with minty, herbal notes. This Pinot Noir is a great value for the price.
7. Chehalem INOX Chardonnay
Another amazing Chardonnay, the Chehalem INOX Chardonnay, is also available for less than $20. It's also from Willamette Valley in Oregon.
Many Chardonnays have oak, but Chehalem INOX Chardonnay is stainless steel-free. The wine's tropical fruit flavours are highlighted, and the aromas of floral notes are lifted straight to the nose. This is unoaked Chardonnay is a winner.
8. Inama Vin Soave and Soave Classico
Surprisingly, not many people are familiar with Italian white wines, which is a shame given how delicious they can taste. It's a wonderful starting point for anyone just starting to get into Italian wine. The Inama Vin Soave Classico, Soave Classico, is as complex and approachable. The wine has a melon, pear, citrus, and almond flavours that combine with its lean mouthfeel to produce a lemony white with an unbroken backbone.
9. La Valentina, Pecorino
Another Italian wine, this one from Abruzzo, south. This white, which shares its name with a popular Italian cheese, has flint-like minerals that push numerous fruity notes to the forefront.
It's a great bottle for anyone who wants to learn more about Abruzzi whites but doesn't want a lot of money.
10. Chateau La Canorgue Blanc
There aren't many French whites under $20, but they are all of the highest quality and consistent with their price. The Chateau La Canorgue blanc, especially the 2014 vintage, fits the bill perfectly.
The wine is a beautiful, mild white with floral aromas. It has a lot of spice and pears flavours. The Chateau La Canorgue blanc can be paired with many French dishes, but it is also drinkable on its own. Most bottles are $20.