You don’t have to be a sommelier to tell the difference between a good bottle of wine and a bad bottle of wine. Generally speaking, wine buyers have set the unofficial threshold at a price point of $20.
Upwards of $20, you can more or less trust that you’re buying a good bottle. Under $20, you might need to be more cautious. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of high-quality yet affordable wines that you won’t find in your local wine aisle — and they’re all less than $20.
World-renowned wine critic James Suckling agrees that this Bordeaux is fantastic, awarding it an impressive 91 points — a hard-to-attain score based on a standardized 100-point wine rating scale. If soft, creamy cheese or any red meat is on the dinner menu, this wine is the ideal complement. Shop here.
Halpin winery is considered a powerhouse when it comes to Chardonnays. Over the last 15 years, their Chardonnays have received over 100 ratings of 90 to 98, which is a noteworthy and impressive feat. At $15, we look at this bottle as a must-have, and we love its juicy, rich flavor. Shop here.
If you’re a big fan of rosé wines, you’ve probably had one that was sweeter than expected. We like this one for the fact that while it maintains a strong fruit presence, there is minimal sweetness compared to other rosés. And with the price marked down from $20 to $10, we’re buying multiple bottles. Shop here.
Easily the best bang for the buck wine on our list, this bottle is probably also the easiest to drink. And with a full-bodied mouthfeel that isn’t too sweet, you can trust it’ll be a crowd-pleaser among white wine drinkers. We love the price point too. Shop here.
With multiple world-renowned wine critics giving this Sangiovese-based red top marks, combined with its sub-$20 price point, this might be the biggest no-brainer on our list. Sangiovese is a particular type of grape native to Italy and known for its bold taste. This is the type of wine that’s best paired with a meal. Shop here.
Probably the best anytime wine on our list, this one is great by itself or with a meal. With its medium body and crisp finish, we like it as a happy hour wine. It’s an unbeatable value for a top European white at $19 per bottle. Shop here.
This winery recently received a 5-star award from world-renowned wine critic James Halliday, and it shows when you take your first sip. The Farm to Table cab is a well-rounded red that has a bit of everything, but it won’t overpower you in any particular way. Drink by itself or with a meal and you can’t go wrong. Shop here.
Wine critic Robert Parker has gone on record saying it’s “impossible to go wrong” with any Moundsman release, and we’re with him, especially when it comes to this $15 Chardonnay. With strong fruit and oak intensity, we like this wine alongside a snack or a meal. Shop here.
Cune winery is the only Spanish winery to receive Wine Spectator’s “Wine of the Year” award. While this one didn’t bring home that trophy, it did win a 92-point award from wine critic James Suckling. It’s an easy-to-drink, crowd-pleasing red that guests should love. And at $15, we think it’s an easy decision. Shop here.