The world of wine is huge, diverse, and—sometimes—confusing or intimidating. Picking the right bottle of wine can be a big factor in making a good first impression at a social event.
Trying out bottles for yourself beforehand can be a good way of seeing what you like and making sure you aren’t just picking a bottle because of a flashy label. Unfortunately, this field research can quickly get pricey. Even the luxury of knowing what you like doesn’t mean having to make your wallet wince. And what if it’s only the pricey bottles you’ve tried before that you like?
Sometimes, you need a nice bottle of something more affordable. And going for that cheaper price point does not have to mean that you’re sacrificing great flavor at all.
In a piece written with TIME, the executive editor of Food & Wine Magazine, Ray Isle, presented his favorite cheap wine brands priced between $10 and $20. These wines are delicious and will be sure to impress your guests, all without having to break the bank. In fact, these 5 bottles—which are some of our favorite cheap wine brands—are a fantastic peek into the world of fantastic and affordable wines.
Here are our Picks for the Top 5 Best Cheap Wine Brands:
Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet
This selection from Loire Valley, France is a master in value. This Muscadet has a complex profile, offering notes of apple and pear along with a bit of orange and some tropical fruit. The bottle also carries hints of honey and baking spices along with minerals and a layer of sur lie aging, as expected from a good Muscadet.
This fantastic bottle of wine pairs with just about anything, and it’ll only cost you about $15.
Another heavy hitter when it comes to value, this bottle of wine has been considered one of the best Rhone-style white wines to ever come out of California. The aromatic white carries tangerine and ripe melon in the nose with peach and apricot leading the flavors. A very balanced level of acidity with an accent of honeysuckle and just a hint of hazelnut to finish off the experience makes for a lovely sip of wine that is as delicious as it is affordable.
Tenshen White will pair phenomenally with fish and goes for about $20.
J.K. Carriere Glass
Coming out of Oregon, this bottle of White Pinot Noir is easy to drink and truly delightful with every sip. With tart watermelon and tart apple in the nose and tart cantaloupe along with tart orange in the palate, this bottle delivers a wonderful bang for your buck.
You can find a bottle of J.K. Carriere Glass for about $17.
Apollo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
This time a bottle from Italy, this red is drier and a bit more challenging on the palate than the previous choices for anyone who isn’t already a wine lover. This wine is inky, broody, complex, and elegant. The nose carries plums, stones, and ink. Leather, tobacco, and black cherries come through on the tongue.
This bottle goes well with strong flavor profiles, definitely pairs wonderfully with pasta or pizza. The bottle goes for about $18.
Jacob’s Creek Two Lands Shiraz
This bottle of Shiraz come from Australia and offers a sophisticated taste that goes far beyond what its price tag might suggest. The complex profile gives you dark fruits in the nose—plums, black and blue berries—along with black pepper and oak with an almost mint-like cooling sensation. The palate hits again with dark berries and oak.
This award-winning Shiraz can step up to some of the best palates, and all for only about $14.
There are plenty of cheap wine brands out there that still taste delicious. While the lower end of the price range can definitely get “iffy” when it comes to wine, that doesn’t mean that good wines are reserved for those who can afford to drop $50 on a bottle. The same TIME editor said himself that $7 is probably a pretty risky price point, but going just a few dollars over, there is a world of fantastic options between $10 and $20 to discover, explore, and enjoy.
Whether you’re looking for a cheap or an expensive bottle of wine for the evening, Zipps Liquor has hundreds of bottles of wine at a wide variety of price points. All you have to do is visit one of our liquor stores near you and ask one of our friendly staff members for a wine recommendation. Our staff can help you find a bottle of wine that’s perfect for you, at any price you’d prefer!