Summertime and outdoor amphitheater concerts, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and romantic Netflix in bed, Valentine’s Day and vino. Some things just go better together. But budget-breaking transactions and romance aren’t exactly a match made in Cupid-infused heaven. Fear not! There are plenty of affordable and totally delectable wines that won’t leave you feeling strapped for cash. Whether you’re popping open a bottle with your crew for Galentine’s Day or gifting a bottle to your better half, here are the best wines for Valentine’s Day under $30.
1. Winc x Compartés Sparkling Red Wine ($26): Red wine and chocolate: Enough said. Each of these unique Lambrusco-style bottles comes with a chocolate bar that pairs perfectly. The grapes were grown in in Santa Barbara County, California, and instead of using secondary fermentation to produce the bubbles (the standard MO for sparkling wines), the juice is force-carbonated. And get ready for cocoa-infused bliss to wash down your vino: Compartés’ California Love bar proves an indulgent combination of organic dark chocolate and San Francisco sourdough pretzels that’s great for nibbling as you sip.
2. The Dreaming Tree Crush Red Blend ($15): Yes, the Dave Matthews that your quirky college friend saw on tour 166 times in 37 states is the mastermind behind this delightfully refined and affordable line of wines. The Dreaming Tree Crush is a California-based red blend with flavors of caramel oak, mixed berry and maybe even your first kiss sitting on an amphitheater’s lawn. Bonus: The Dreaming Tree wine bottles’ cork closures are both natural and recyclable, wine labels are made with 100% recycled brown kraft paper and the bottles are a quarter-pound lighter than the average wine bottle, making The Dreaming Tree an eco-friendly way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
3. SIMI Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($26): This wine is bright, juicy and ruby-colored — the perfect trifecta for Valentine’s Day sipping, if you ask us. We love drinking this youthful Cab with notes of cherry and plum on its own, or putting it to use in a refreshing sangria recipe.
4. OneHope California Brut Sparkling Wine ($19): We’re all about popping a little bubbly on special occasions, but on Valentine’s Day a bottle of Champagne feels a bit too expected (cue the chocolate-covered strawberries). Instead, choose this crisp and vibrant sparkling vino that will lure you in with its fresh fruit aroma. Did we mention it pairs wonderfully with cheese? Even better: For every case sold, 25 meals are donated to kids in need, so you can feel good about getting your buzz on.
5. ’13 Brotherhood Winery Pinot Noir ($15): This New York-based winery (just imagine the rolling Catskill Mountains and best-ever fall foliage) puts out this medium-bodied Pinot Noir with hints of earthiness and a personality that well outshines its price tag. For the value, you might just want to pick up two bottles.
6. Save Me, San Francisco Wine Co. Bulletproof Picasso Sauvignon Blanc ($12): Calling all wine connoisseurs: You’ll definitely want to pop open a bottle of this fruit-forward white wine that we think is quite the masterpiece. As vivid as a Picasso painting, its zesty finish is just begging to be paired with seafood or a big salad.
7. Clos du Bois Russian River Valley Dry Rosé ($20): Even if you’re not a rosé groupie (it’s okay, we can still be friends), you’ll love this dry rosé that has hints of fresh strawberries, pomegranate and more. The elegant packaging makes for a great gift that’s bound to get any recipient hooked on this smooth and palate-pleasing delight of a drink.
What wine will you be uncorking this Valentine’s Day? Tweet us @BritandCo!