Between the elbow-to-elbow shopping situations and your crazy family coming to visit, the holidays can be more than a bit stressful. The last thing that you need to worry about is how you are going to choose an affordable wine that will go with the fantastic holiday recipes you have in mind. Grab your favorite glass and settle in to learn which fall wines you should buy in order to look like a master sommelier on a $20 budget.
1. Rinaldi Moscato d’Asti Bug Juice 2012 ($23): This is a great one to keep on hand during the holidays so that you have something for everyone. Because of its lower alcohol content and subtle sweetness, it makes a beautiful brunch pairing as well.
2. Meiomi Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2012 ($13): Technically this is cheating a bit because this pinot noir is an adorable little half bottle, but whatevs. With aromas of fresh cranberry, candy apple and malted vanilla cream, it totally screams holiday. Gift this smaller bottle with a package of homemade cookies and you’ll be winning at Christmas.
3. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2014 ($18): All of the rich red wines that come with fall can get a bit heavy. If you’re looking to switch it up with something light and crisp, this Sauvignon Blanc is absolute perfection.
4. Michael David Winery Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 ($20): You know you’re a sucker for an interesting label, but it’s what inside of this Cabernet Sauvignon that is even more interesting. Well balanced with notes of pomegranate and oak, it’s the perfect drinkable wine for all of your holiday cooking experiments.
5. Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($20): This sexy Cabernet is big and bold, with flavors of coffee, mocha and oak. Try this one on date night with a juicy steak and you’ll experience pure bliss.
6. Kaiken Ultra Malbec 2012 ($17): This Argentinian Malbec has so much flavor, your guests will think it is much more expensive than it really is. With notes of plum, black pepper, rosemary and dark chocolate, this impressive wine would stand up well to an herbed Christmas roast.
7. Leese-Fitch Pinot Noir 2013 ($12): At just 12 bucks a bottle, this California Pinot Noir is a major steal. Host a DIY pizza night with your girlfriends to highlight its flavor of Bing cherry, tart cranberry, sour plum, cardamom and black tea.
8. RouteStock Route 121 Carneros Chardonnay 2012 ($17): Chardonnay is often thought of as a more summery wine. However, this creamy California chard is the epitome of autumn with apple, caramel, cinnamon and vanilla flavors. Pair this with your favorite chicken dish mid-week for an extra special treat.
9. Lucky Proprietary Red Blend ($24): It doesn’t get much better than this well-balanced red wine blend. Simple and fuss-free, you’re safe to pair this with pretty much anything.
10. Bodegas Muriel Reserva 2008 ($20): This Spanish Rioja will knock your socks off with its intense aroma of eucalyptus and menthol. Pair this with a chocolate ganache tart and you’ll be transported to the streets of Spain.
11. Qupe Central Coast Syrah 2012 ($20): This earthy California Syrah is full of smoke and spice to awaken your palate. Try it with your cheese and charcuterie board at your next Holiday shindig.
12. Domaine Lafage Tessellae Old Vines GSM 2013 ($15): This beautiful red blend from France is the perfect smooth and supple accompaniment to any holiday dish, with 40% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 20% Mourvedre. Notes of licorice and clove make this a lovely pairing for your pumpkin pie.
13. La Marca Prosecco ($17) You can’t have a holiday party without a little sparkling wine in the mix. This super affordable Italian prosecco is perfect to pair with any appetizer. Whip up some earthy stuffed mushrooms and sip the night away.
What’s your favorite wine to drink without breaking the bank? Leave us a comment to let us know!