Shopping for wine can be intimidating, especially when you’re on a budget. If you find yourself wandering the wine shop aisles, grabbing a cheapish bottle with a familiar label and hightailing it out of there, it’s time to change your ways and up your wine game.
The key to picking a good wine is asking someone with actual wine knowledge. That’s why we consulted Adam Fleischer, wine expert and owner of The Wine Spot in Cleveland, Ohio, to share some of his favorite reds under $20.
Asking for recommendations at your local wine shop will not only help you find the perfect bottle in your price range but it will also expand your vino horizon and introduce you to new flavors and varieties you might not have tried on your own.
These reds may be easy on the wallet, but they’re anything but forgettable — they’re fruity, flavorful, and perfect for all of your fall meals. Don’t sleep on these budget reds.
Columbia Crest H3
This bold Cabarnet is filled with notes of dark fruits like blackberries and black cherries. You’ll also notice soft notes of vanilla and maybe even some currants.
Columbia Crest H3, $12.99 at Wine.com
Intrinsic Red Blend
Intrinsic Red Blend, $17.99 at Craft Curd
Chateau Ste Michelle Merlot
If your prefer your wine with a little spice, this is the Merlot for you. It has spicey, leathery notes and a bold dark cherry flavor. It would be the perfect wine for ant beef or lamb dish.
Chateau Ste Michelle Merlot, $14.99 at Gary’s Wine Marketplace
Chateau Spencer La Pujade – “Le P’tit Spencer” Carignan Blend
A super delicious dry red blend full of sweet plum, spice and a subtle minerality. This organic wine from Corbieres, France, is a great summer wine, perfect for BBQ season. A blend of Carignan, Syrah and Mouvedre.
Chateau Spencer La Pujade, $15 at Eastside Cellars
Fattoria Del Cerro Rosso di Montepulciano Sangiovese
This wine boasts the flavors of black cherry, violet, and a hint of vanilla. The area of Montepulciano in Tuscany is full of high quality, value wines. Serve this one slightly chilled.
Fattoria Del Cerro Rosso di Montepulciano Sangiovese, $13.99 at Wine.com
Cento Cavalli Nero d’Avola
Full body and lush with hints of dark plum and liquorice, Nero’ D’Avola is a great varietal at a great value. Inexpensive without sacrificing flavor.
Cento Cavalli Nero d’Avola, $10.99 at Arlington Wine
Aguijon de Abeja Cabernet Franc
The biggest personality of the bunch, this organic wine is bright, soft and spicy with hints of herbs, ripe fruit and clove. It’s acidic with juicy tannins.
Aguijon de Abeja Cabernet Franc, $15.99 at Vivino
2010 La Cueva Garnacha Old Vines
This wine has a cherry red color, it’s a clean, well balanced Spanish wine with a touch of floral tones and ripe fruit flavors. A perfect wine to pair with pork or grilled chicken.
2010 La Cueva Garnacha Old Vines, $14.99 at Sokolin
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