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30 Best Cheap Wines That Taste Like They're Expensive

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31 Inexpensive Wines To Try This Holiday Season
Entertainment And News

Tis the season!

We're going to do a lot of drinking this holiday season. Between celebrating and holiday dinners and parties and New Years Eve toasts, that's a lot of bottles to buy. It's also an expensive time of year, where we're traveling more, trying to figure out some great holiday gift ideas, and spending a lot of money all at once.

The solution is not to stop drinking (responsibly, of course). Rather, we're stocking up on some options for the best cheap wine whose bottles are so inexpensive but still drinkable and delicious. It's the best of both worlds!


RELATED: 5 (Healthy!) Reasons To Drink Red Wine Every — Yes, Every — Night


Sparkling and Rosé

1. Cavit Moscato

Moscato has a sweet floral bouquet or aroma. Its color is pale yellow with green highlights and its aroma has notes of apricot, white peach and sage. It is refreshing, lively and superbly balanced with a vibrant frizzante quality and wonderful sweetness. It is wonderful with flavorful appetizers, cheeses and spicy snacks.

(Total Wine, $8.97)

2. Fleurs de Prairie Cotes de Provence Rosé

Crafted in the traditional Provençal style, Fleurs de Prairie is a pale salmon color with delicate flavors of strawberry, rose petals, and herbs. Its bright, refreshing acidity makes it a perfect companion with a meal or as an aperitif.

(Total Wine, $18)

3. Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG

Celebrate the holidays with a bottle of bubbly! This is a sparkling wine with a clean, pleasantly fruity bouquet, reminiscent of rennet apples and peach blossom. Its flavor is rounded and well-balanced. Perfect as an aperitif, Santa Margherita's Prosecco DOCG is ideal with seafood or cheese appetizers.

(Wine.com, $28)

4. Le Grand Courtâge Brut Rosé

Le Grand Courtâge is deliciously seductive, and it's smooth and versatile. Containing the perfect balance of a hint of fruit and floral on the finish, it's a courtship of delicate flavors, red fruit aromas and baby bubbles. It's perfectly paired with beef, lamb, duck, prosciutto, soft cheese, strawberry shortcake, or berry pie.

(Vivino, $15.99)

5. Cavit Prosecco

This varietal is new for Cavit in 2018. Made from 100 percent Glera grapes, it is extra dry and has aromas of fresh, ripe peach, green apple and a slight hint of citrus that gives it a clean refreshing finish. It can be enjoyed as an aperitif or with appetizers, seafood, cheeses and nuts. It also pairs well with cured meats and desserts.

(Total Wine, $12.99)

6. Yellow Tail Rosé

This rosé offers flavors of white peach, red cherries and strawberries. The wine has a textured, well-rounded palate with a lingering, fresh mouth feel. This is a luscious pink rosé leaps from your glass with a lifted bouquet of fresh strawberries and spice. The aromas dance onto the vibrant, bright palate swirling between sweet red cherry flavors and a little Aussie sparkle.

(Total Wine, $6.37)

7. Ruffino Sparkling Rose

Ruffino Sparkling Rose is predominantly Prosecco (Glera) grapes from the vineyards within the Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto regions of Northeastern Italy. On the palate, this wine has crisp, refreshing acidity and elegant bubbles, offering alluring flavors of red berries and white fruits that linger through the finish.

(Total Wine, $13.50)

8. Martini & Rossi Collezione Speciale Asti 

More than simply a dessert wine, this Asti has a complex profile, balanced by notes of sage, rosemary and fresh elderflower. Naturally sweet, the wine’s harmonious blend of citrus fruit and floral notes can elevate holiday pairings, from aged blue cheeses to flaky dessert tarts.

(Total Wine, $11)

White Wines

9. The Drop Wine Sauvignon Blanc

Their eco-friendly packaging makes them easy to tote around during the holidays and unbreakable during any tailgating or grilling moments. The Drop is sourced by a family vineyard in Lodi, California.

(The Drop Wine, $31.99 for 8 cans)

10. Gundlach Bundschu 2017 Gewurztraminer

Celebrate the holidays with American wines with history and heritage. This Gewurztraminer is a classic Thanksgiving pairing, and a varietal Gundlach Bundschu has grown on the property for 160 years.

(Gun Bun, $25)

11. Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2017

Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillion takes a minimal approach towards this classic Margaret River blend. The style accentuates the fresh fruit characters of both varieties with the added complexity and palate weight offered by a small portion of barrel of fermentation. Featuring vibrant aromas of lime, grapefruit, and white flowers such as jasmine and honeysuckle are enhanced by chalky mineral notes and wet stone that ends with a fine, long, and elegant finish.

(Wine.com, $15)

12. Boojee 2017 Sauvignon Blanc

Be super bougie this holiday season with this 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc from Paso Robles, California. It's bright, crisp and fresh, perfect for holiday seafood dishes, and very, very drinkable if you just want a few glasses at happy hour.

(Boojee Wines, $15)

13. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc

A fresh, juicy wine with ripe, tropical fruit flavor, including passion fruit, melon, and grapefruit. Ready for immediate enjoyment Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc pairs deliciously with fresh oysters, asparagus and lobster. Kim Crawford was one of the first brands to use screw caps, rather than corks, to preserve the flavor of the wine. Now it’s an industry norm.

(Total Wine, $13)

14. Blindfold 2016

This wine blends several interesting varietals: Chardonnay, Roussanne, Viognier, Chenin Blanc, Muscat, and Vermentino, to create a bold and intriguing blend. Its juicy citrus and butterscotch flavors are balanced by a vibrant richness.

(Wine.com, $27)


RELATED: These 34 Cheap Gift Ideas Are So Cool They'll Have No Idea How Little You Spent


Red Wines

15. Bellacosa Cabernet Sauvignon

Bellacosa Cabernet Sauvignon has a complex, velvet and savory taste with dark fruit flavors, along with an aromatic richness, perfect for sipping on its own or paired with hearty winter meals and fall flavors. It has a deep ruby color with layers of dark fruit flavors, including blueberry, rich plum and red raspberry. Soft notes of vanilla and toast provide aromatic richness.

(Bellacosa Wine, $24.99)

16. Villa Pozzi Nero d’Avola

Macerated for 15 days to ensure full body and complexity and finished in stainless steel instead of oak, you don't want to miss this wine. Aromas of blackberry, white flowers, vanilla, and a hint of figs, and it has a DOC designation, one of Italy’s highest classifications for quality.

(Wine.com, $9.99)

17. The Calling Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Sourced from the famous Alexander Valley, this full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon presents black currant, coffee and French oak notes of hazelnut on the nose. You'll notice notes of black currant and black cherry as well as flavors of sweet tobacco, vanilla and a long lingering finish. This is a great, big wine at a smart price.

(The Calling Wine, $29.99)

18. Tenshen BACON

An enticing and inviting Syrah and Grenache based red blend from the Central Coast of California. Warm red tones wrap around bold, rich, and juicy flavors with a mouthwatering finish and are an excellent complement to any meal. After all, bacon goes with everything!

(Wine.com, $23)

19. Gundlach Bundschu 2016 Mountain Cuvee

A Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon blend sourced from the Bundschu's 160-year-old estate located in the heart of Sonoma Valley. The quaffable, affordable, yet seriously crafted and complex Mountain Cuvee always provides drinking pleasure to a wide audience.

(Gun Bun, $20)

20. Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec 2016

Full-bodied with a great structure, the Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec stands out for its volume and silky mouth-feel. Bright red and intense, this will be perfect with hearty stews and steaks on a cold night.

(Wine.com, $18)

21. Smoke Tree Pinot Noir 2016

The Smoke Tree vision stays true to the beauty of Pinot Noir. With aromas of black cherry, Santa Rosa plum and licorice, imbibers will also notice the finish is long and fresh. When enjoying with food, consider a roasted beet salad or locally sourced, simply grilled seafood or lean meat.

(Wine.com, $21)

22. Bonterra Organic Vineyards 2017 Young Red

A fresh-off-the-harvest wine, with a touch of Malbec for added character, the wine’s aromas of red roses, fresh fig, red berries and orange peel greet the nose and give way to a lively palate of raspberries, watermelon rind and pomegranate. Furthermore, the Young Red’s bright acidity and light profile make it an ideal wine to serve chilled.

(Bonterra, $16)

23. ONEHOPE Vintner Collection Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine is full of dark berries and toffee with an echo of vanilla, and is bold and beautiful with complex aromas and textures. To do its part to make the world a better place, every ONEHOPE purchase of makes a measurable social impact to benefit charitable causes and nonprofits.

(One Hope Wine, $25)

24. LAYER CAKE Bourbon Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon

A California wine that is dense, rich, and jammed with scents of blackberry and vanilla and a long, mouth coating finish complimented by a hint of sweetness. Toasty oak influence of the bourbon and charred barrel that result from 3 months of aging in old charred oak barrels.

(Total Wine, $17)

25. 14 Hands 2015 'Hot to Trot' Smooth Red Blend

When it’s a little chilly outside and you’re staying in with that special someone, 14 Hands Red Blend has you covered. Predominantly a mix of Merlot and Syrah, this smooth red blend gives off flavors of cherry pie, ripe berries and plums. It's deal for a wine and cheese night snuggled by the fire.

(14 Hands, $12)

26. Josh Cellars Paso Robles Reserve

This Cabernet Sauvignon has an aroma of bright blueberries with powerful earthy tones. Includes flavors of coffee, plum and blackberry, giving way to smoky spice. Pairs well with grilled steak, pasta bolognese, and beef bourguignon.

(Total Wine, $17)

27. Equinox Red Blend from California’s Bonterra Organic Vineyards

Leading with Merlot, the Equinox Red also showcases Petit Sirah grapes, adding complexity, color and a rich, rustic element to the blend. The resulting wine offers supple notes of juicy red and black fruit matched with intriguing spice, herb, and oak tones.

(Bonterra, $16)

28. Menage A Trois Silk Red Blend 

This silky red blend has notes of dried violets and berries, as well as cherry and ripe raspberry that mingle with delicate hints of rose petals and toasty spice. A sexy wine for a sexy date night.

(Menage A Trois Wines, $14)

29. Trader Joe’s Corvelia Cabernet Sauvignon

From Paso Robles, Corvelia's Cab is a ruby-red wine, ripe with currant, blackberry, dark cherry, and pipe tobacco notes. Oak influence — from a mix of French and American oak — contributes to the wine’s strong backbone, lending structure as well as a hint of smoke and some subtle vanilla notes.

(Trader Joe's, $9.99)

Wine Sets

30. HelloFresh Wine

With six full-sized bottles (and the option of a mixed case, or all red or all white), you'll be armed with something for everyone's taste if your hosting. Or, if you anticipate plenty of party invitations on the calendar this coming holiday season, you'll have a bottle at-the-ready to bring to parties. 

(Hello Fresh, $89/month)


RELATED: The Ultimate Gift Guide For Girls Who LOVE Wine


Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her at alywalansky@gmail.com.