Wine can be a pricey indulgence — but it doesn’t have to be. The market for budget wines has flourished in recent years, and so have the reputations of some of the selections that fall into that category.
We took a look across the market at some of the most popular and highly rated wines that cost less than $20 a bottle. Our selections include white, red, sparkling and dessert wines from several countries and a range of flavor profiles. Every wine we’re featuring scored at least a grade of 90/100 from top wine critics and at least an average grade of 4/5 from the buyers at online shops.
Here are the best wines under $20, according to drinkers.
Fonseca Bin 27 Reserve Port
If you’re in the market for a bottle of dessert wine, this port from Portugal might be the best you’ll find for less than $20. Drinkers have given Fonseca Bin 27 stellar grades at online sellers like Wine.com, Total Wine and Drizly, while the experts at The Tasting Panel gave it a grade of 91. Its flavor profile includes plum, chocolate and berries in a deep red hue, which sounds like a perfect blend for an after-dinner sip. We found it available online for as little as $14.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle.
Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc
You’ll see a number of delicious sauvignon blancs on this list, including this one from New Zealand. Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc comes from that island’s Marlborough District, which is known for producing great wines. This particular option boasts notes of grapefruit and lemongrass and has been described as crisp and refreshing. The 2016, 2018 and 2019 vintages have each earned grades of at least 90 from various wine guides. Bottles can be found for less than $13, depending on where you look.
Invivo X Sarah Jessica Parker Sauvignon Blanc
There are plenty of celebrity wines on the market, but this selection from actor Sarah Jessica Parker and Invivo has unbeatable grades for its price. For less than $20, Invivo X SJP Sauvignon Blanc will hit you with refreshing flavors like Key lime, passion fruit, honeysuckle and grapefruit. Wine Spectator even found ginger and green apple candy in each sip, according to a glowing review in which it awarded the wine a score of 90. Carrie Bradshaw would definitely approve.
If chardonnay is more your speed, this selection from Raeburn comes highly recommended at a great price. The winemaker describes this as akin to classic California chardonnay, “with intense fruit flavor, creaminess and toasty vanilla.” If that doesn’t sound delicious enough, famed wine critic James Suckling praised the intensity of Raeburn Chardonnay and its notes of ripe peaches in a strong review. Every edition of this wine released since 2015 has earned at least a score of 90 from major publications, according to Wine.com.
Marques de Riscal Reserva Rioja
This Spanish red apparently tastes a lot more luxurious than its price tag would suggest — it can be found for less than $15 from online sellers. British wine critic Tim Atkin fell in love with it when he had a taste, giving the 2014 vintage a mark of 93. He said it was loaded with fruit flavors and called it “floral, elegant and stylishly oaked.” Reputable publications have been giving Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva top marks since the mid-2000s, and regular drinkers have left nothing but stellar marks for it online as well.
Gruet Brut Rosé
If you’ve fallen in love with rosé, like many wine drinkers have in recent years, this is definitely one of the best options you’ll find, regardless of price. The word “smooth” keeps popping up in descriptions of Gruet Brut Rosé, and the winemaker boasts that you’ll find notes of strawberry, raspberry and cherry in a dry style. The bottle is also attractive and, at less than $20 a bottle, it could add some real elegance to your next brunch gathering without denting your wallet. Gruet has found many fans in the wine community, as you’ll see this isn’t the brand’s only sparkling selection to make our list.
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
This is yet another delicious sauvignon blanc to come from New Zealand’s Marlborough region. Bottles of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc can be found online for less than $13, and that’s remarkable when you consider this wine’s reputation for excellence. Top publications have been giving it scores above 90 since 2004, according to Wine.com. This variety, which comes in a screw-top bottle, is recommended for summer nights and is said to have notes of passion fruit, mango and grapefruit ringing through each sip.
Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco Superiore
Wine Enthusiast was so impressed with this sparkling Italian selection that it topped the publication’s list of the 100 best wines of 2019. That kind of prestige doesn’t come with a huge price tag, though, as you’ll find it retails for $19.99 a bottle. Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco Superiore is described as “creamy, soft and delicate” by the winemaker. In its glowing review, Wine Enthusiast noted scents of white spring flower, Bartlett pear and citrus, as well as flavors of yellow apple, lemon drop and orange zest.
Bodega Norton Malbec Reserva
For lovers of a nice glass of red, this highly rated choice from Argentina can be found for less than $13 a bottle. Bodega Norton Malbec Reserva holds an average score of 4.4/5 from more than 150 drinkers at Wine.com, which is one of the best user scores we found on that website among budget-friendly wines. The winemaker says you can expect flavors of ripe black fruits, violets and tobacco in each sip. James Suckling gave it a grade of 92 for 2017 and 2018, writing that the scents of plum and blackberry permeated his glass.
Joel Gott No. 815 Cabernet Sauvignon
We found several acclaimed cabs when scouring the online cellars for this list, but Joel Gott’s No. 815 had possibly the best marks of them all, especially at less than $13 a bottle at some stores. This California-grown red is said to have aromas of bright red fruit, black cherry and raspberry, according to the winemaker. The Tasting Panel gave it a stellar score of 92 for the 2017 release, calling it “instantly approachable” and heaping praise on the sophistication of its palate, finding notes of everything from fleshy fruit to vanilla and soy sauce.
Louis Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
This cabernet sauvignon from Louis Martini also has a sterling reputation and can be found from $15 to $20 a bottle. Every version released since the 2014 vintage has earned grades of 90 and higher from top publications, including the most recent 2017 variety, which got a 92 from James Suckling. The critic said it was a full-bodied choice with a juicy finish, and he found the flavors of berries, chocolate, spice and toffee. Sounds perfect for a nighttime indulgence.
Giesen Sauvignon Blanc
While all the wines on this list can be found at great prices, Giesen Sauvignon Blanc is one of just a few that can be had for less than $10 a bottle. This selection from New Zealand has gotten grades of at least 90 from major wine publications every year since 2013. Wine.com called it a “lovely and lively rendition” of the sauvignon blanc variety in a review for 2019 with a score of 91. The winemaker boasts that you’ll find hints of mint, apple and pineapple among its aromas.
Marqués De Cáceres Crianza Rioja
This red variety from Rioja, Spain, can typically be found for less than $19, and we found it for as low as $11.99 from some online sellers. Marqués De Cáceres Crianza Rioja is a blend made largely from Tempranillo grapes and is noted for its attractive color, according to the winemaker. James Suckling called it “fruity and delicious” and singled out its blackberry and cherry flavors as highlights, according to Wine.com. It has been routinely getting high marks since its 2007 release.
Michael David Winery Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon
Of all the wines we checked out for this list, this one had our favorite name and label. Michael David Winery’s Freakshow line includes several varieties at a good price, and wine drinkers seem to love the cabernet sauvignon best. Every release since the 2011 has earned a grade of at least 90 from top publications, including the 2017 cab, which got a 91 from Wine Enthusiast. The outlet called it a “bold, flamboyant wine” but said it was easy to appreciate. What else could you expect from a Freakshow?
Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay
We found this acclaimed white for less than $11 online, which is reason enough to celebrate with a glass. More than 700 users at Wine.com have given it an average grade of 4.2/5, and its average score at Drizly is a 4.7/5, making it a verified favorite of many wine lovers. Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay is a natural pairing with seafood Alfredo and is packed with flavors like pineapple, mango and papaya, according to the winemaker. Wine Enthusiast called the 2018 release a “crowd-pleaser” and Vinous called it “gorgeous.”
Tropical Mango Moscato
Moscatos are perfect for people who like their wine sweet, and this fruity variety comes highly recommended at a great price. Tropical Mango Moscato blends the Italian wine with mango pulp for a tropical sip that could make your summer a lot more fun. The alcohol content is relatively low, at 5.5% alcohol by volume, but users at Wine.com didn’t find that to be a problem as they’ve given it an average score of 4.5/5 so far. In a 90-point review, The Tasting Panel remarked that it was “sweet and lush with a considerable yet very pleasant mango taste.”
Substance Cabernet Sauvignon
The last budget-friendly cab we’re going to feature received scores of 92 and 93 from top wine publications for its past few releases. In addition to coming with a bold label, this deep red drink has been noted for its depth and complexity. The winemaker says you’ll find black cassis, dark cherry, tobacco and morels among its palate, which makes this sound like some serious drinking. In a 93-point grade for the 2018 release, James Suckling wrote that Substance Cabernet Sauvignon is “real wine for the money.” We found it selling for less than $13 online.
E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge
An elegant-looking bottle, a tough-to-pronounce name and a French maker all add up to a wine that seems like it should cost a lot more than $12, which is what this red blend sells for at some online shops. Its grapes include syrah, grenache and mourvèdre, making for a full-bodied wine in a deep red hue. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate singled it out as “a terrific value” in a review where it was awarded a 91.
Cusumano Nero d’Avola
The maker of this Italian red recommends pairing it with your favorite pizza or any meat-based meal for the best results. Cusumano’s Nero d’Avola can easily be found for less than $15 a bottle and is a great choice for people who like their wines fruity. In his recommendation, James Suckling wrote that you’ll get elderberries, blackberry crumble and raspberry cheesecake when you pull the cork. Who needs dessert with a drink like that?
More than 260 users at Wine.com have given this bubbly option an average grade of 4.1/5, which is, well, sparkling. Gruet Brut comes from New Mexico and boasts green apple and grapefruit flavors in its ultra-fine bubbles, according to the winemaker. Wine Spectator also caught the aroma of cinnamon in each flute in a glowing writeup. The experts at The Tasting Panel gave it a 91 and called it “an amazing value.”
Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses Rosé
There’s no more beautiful looking bottle on our list of budget-friendly wines than this selection from the South of France. The bottom of each bottle of Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses Rosé is molded to mimic a rose, making it a nice countertop decorative piece before you pull the cork. More than 500 users at Wine.com have given it an average grade of 4.1/5, and we found bottles online for less than $13. It is said to smell amazing once you pour yourself a glass.
Erath Pinot Noir
There’s still a slight stigma around screw-top wines among some oenophiles, but Erath Pinot Noir is one that has earned great marks from some of the world’s top wine critics. For its last two releases, this Oregon-grown red has gotten scores of 90 from the likes of Wine.com, Wine Spectator and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Raspberry, huckleberry, blackberry, spices and even some cherry candy can be tasted in every sip, according to the winemaker.
Bogle Vineyards Phantom
A nearly 50/50 split of petite sirah and zinfandel grapes make up this red blend with a spooky label. California’s Bogle Vineyards has been earning grades of 90-plus from top publications since 2011, and its most recent offerings are no different. If you like your wine dry, Phantom will give you a full-bodied sip that is loaded with notes of black plum, blueberry, juniper and spicy pepper. We found it selling for anywhere from $16 to $20 a bottle online.
Silk & Spice Red Blend
You’ll see words like “smooth” and “easy drinking” pop up in descriptions of this red blend from Portugal. Silk & Spice Red Blend is made of touriga nacional — widely regarded as Portugal’s finest grape variety — Alicante bouschet and baga grapes. Cooked black fruits are at the forefront of each taste, along with notes of vanilla and mocha, according to the winemaker. It has earned a 90-plus score from Wine Enthusiast for four years running, according to Wine.com, and more than 100 users at that site have given it an average grade of 4.1/5.
Sokol Blosser Evolution White Blend
A perfect marriage of nine white grapes give this choice a layered flavor that wine-lovers have fallen for. More than 170 users at Wine.com have given Sokol Blosser’s Evolution an average score of 4.3/5, which is one of the highest grades on this list. The Oregon-based winery says it can stand up to virtually any food pairing you can imagine. In a 90-point review, Wine Enthusiast called it “spunky” and suggested vegetarian and light seafood dishes as the best partners for a refreshing meal.
Oyster Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
There’s one more delicious sauvignon blanc from New Zealand to add to your list of must-try wines. We found bottles of Oyster Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc starting at less than $10 online, making it an exceptional value. It’s extremely popular with users at Wine.com, with more than 700 of them giving it an average score of 4.0/5. The winemaker calls it “crisp, elegant and refreshing,” while James Suckling found gooseberry, passion fruit, sage and mint among its flavors in a 90-point review.
Nielson Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
This California-bred selection is noted for being vegan-friendly and having amazing aromatics. Nielson Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir gives its drinkers a “luxurious mouthfeel” and “a savory quality that demands another sip,” according to the vineyard. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gave it a grade of 90 and marveled at its aroma, finding scents of violet, tangerine peel, Earl Grey tea and pipe tobacco. For its flavor, he called it light- to medium-bodied with notes of earthy fruits.
Wente Vineyards Morning Fog Chardonnay
This chardonnay comes from California’s Central Coast and has earned plenty of rave reviews. Wente Vineyards Morning Fog Chardonnay hits you with scents of citrus, pear, lemon curd and oak when you open it up, according to the winemaker. Its last three releases have earned at least 91-point scores from top publications, including recently from Wine Enthusiast. That outlet called it “well balanced and refreshing,” pointing out the flavors of pear, cream and baking spices.
Eppa Suprafruta Red Sangria
Only one sangria made our list, and it’s this fun-to-say blend from California. Eppa Suprafruta Red Sangria boasts a heavy amount of antioxidants because of its inclusion of juices from pomegranate, blueberry, blood orange and acai. This drink is certified organic, according to the winemaker, with both its wine and fruit juices meeting the certification of California Certified Organic Farmers. The Tasting Panel gave it a grade of 90 and recommended it be served over ice, with soda or mixed with a shot of gin.
This sparkler from Italy can be found for less than $11 a bottle online, based on the searches we ran. The critics at Vinous found apple, pear and passion fruit in both its flavor and aroma, and they gave it a 90-point grade. In an identically graded review, James Suckling called it medium-bodied and “fun” with “lots of frothy bubbles.” More than 330 users at Wine.com have given it an average score of 4.0/5, making it a great, budget-friendly choice for those occasions when you want to shoot a cork across the room.