Top 10 Under $20

One of the regular questions I'm asked is,
“Which wine do you recommend?”


These are my top 10 24 favorite wines priced at less than $20 a bottle. I will update this list as I taste and review throughout the year. Which explains why I now have more than 10 favorites.

Updated 13 March 2014.

All of these wines are quality wines I would enjoy drinking and sharing with family and friends. They are at attractive price points, also referred to as wines having “Good QPR” (Quality-Price Ratio). If you purchase any of these wines, I invite you to share your experience in the comment section of the related post or on my Facebook page.

These wines are listed alphabetically by Winery Name.

Badger Mountain
2012 NSA Organic Chardonnay $12. Reviewed 18 November 2013. A friendly, fruit forward, NSA, Organic Certified white wine. Ready to drink now. Soft cheese, salty crackers and sliced apple were a perfect match.

Bodegas Carrau, Uruguay
2013 Sauvignon Blanc "Sur Lie" $14. Reviewed 7 March 2014. Jasmin tea stood out on the finish. Still fresh with zesty grapefruit and soft pineapple, but enhanced by floral tea. It was just as good on day three. Terrific value at $14. Highly Recommended.

Bodegas Carrau, Uruguay
2010 Tannat De Reserva $14. Reviewed 7 March 2014. it was very focused. Not soft, not over the top, just a pure pleasure to drink. Fantastic value at $14 and a wonderful introduction to Tannat. Highly recommended.

Bodega Catena, Mendoza, Argentina
2011 Catena Malbec $16. Reviewed on Wine Show Podcast 20 February 2014. Linda and William tasted this wine live on the third Thursday Wine Muse World Tour wine show. You can listen to the show and learn how absolutely marvelous the 2011 Catena Malbec drank. Highly Recommended.

Bookwalter Winery
2010 Sub Plot No. 26 Red Wine $15, Reviewed 7 December 2013. Quite exceptional at opening. This should be a regular feature at the dinner table and at parties. Dang tasty on day two, too. Drink now if you can find it.

Charles & Charles 
2012 Rosé $9.48, Reviewed April 18, 2013. This was a dry, lively, fruity wine.

Charles Smith Wines
Charles Smith 2012 Boom Boom! Syrah $14.95, Reviewed 28 November 2013. This is a crowd pleasing wine for Syrah fans. It is also a good introduction for those unfamiliar with Washington Syrah. Go buy this one before it is all gone.

Columbia Crest Grand Estates
2012 Unoaked Chardonnay $8.99, Reviewed 30 October 2013. This Chardonnay is eminently drinkable. At the price I paid it is the wine you will want on your dinner table.

Columbia Crest Grand Estates
2011 Merlot $6.97, Reviewed: 18 November 2013. For $7 this wine is an affordable introduction to Washington Merlot. While 2011 was a cool vintage for Washington, this wine is a pretty tasty effort.

Dusted Valley
2010 Boomtown Syrah $13.98, Reviewed 5 December 2013.  bam! It was drinking like a Washington Syrah - a mix of luscious dark violets mingled with asphalt, tarragon, spice, and tobacco, acid more present than tannin, the mid-palate filled out with a good medium finish. Pretty tasty and enjoyable.

Goose Ridge Vineyards
2011 g3 Red Blend, $12.99, Reviewed 9 December 2013. An old world styled wine, restrained, almost elegant, built for food and intimate conversations. A wonderful choice for those who enjoy red wine with food. For you Pinot Noir drinkers...I think you will utterly enjoy this wine

Kiona Vineyards and Winery
2010 Lemberger Red Mountain, $11.80, Reviewed 25 October 2013. The Kiona Lemberger was very good at opening and a good companion to the dinner I prepared. If you have wine leftover, you will absolutely enjoy it the next day. Drink today and over the next 5 years.

Los Vascos DOMAINES BARONS DE ROTHSCHILD-LAFITE, Chile
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon $10. Reviewed 4 March 2014. Enjoyable at opening; smooth, lighter body than expected, lovely cherry, fluid. It was served slightly chilled and was perfect with steak dinner. A tasty wine, polished with no rough edges. Highly Recommended.

Los Vascos DOMAINES BARONS DE ROTHSCHILD-LAFITE, Chile
2013 Sauvignon Blanc $12. Reviewed  27 February 2014. A classic Sauvignon Blanc. Reminded me of a restrained Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc on day one. More my speed on day two and wonderful with the lamb. Start drinking this wine now and over the next couple of years.

Maison Bleue
2011 Jaja Red wine $15.95, Reviewed 9 October 2013. A lighter bodied red wine, at the price I paid this is a no-brainer for dinner or a party. It made friendly with the beef stir-fry I cooked for dinner. Yes, a food wine, it whetted my appetite so I had to eat while reviewing.

Masset Winery
2012 Rosato Rose, Yakima Valley $17, Reviewed 28 June 2013. This Rosato was all about summer for me; memories of running after a musical truck, laughter,  running in and out of the wading pool, lying down on the sidewalk in the sun, a favorite refreshment in hand - Masset Rosato. Life is good.

McKinley Springs
2010 Viognier $16, Reviewed 26 April 2013. Almost an elegant wine. Outstanding wine for chilling with friends or getting the party started; well suited for food too.

Parejas
Band of Sisters WYSLING white wine, $16, Reviewed 25 July 2013. I strongly recommend this wine for your summer meals. Truly one of my favorite white wines I've enjoyed all summer. At this price it is most definitely a wine of the week. Outstanding!

Purple Star
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
$15.95 Reviewed 01 November 2013. An excellent choice for grilled steaks, I enjoyed this wonderful Washington Cabernet Sauvignon at home. The price was friendly too.

Skylight Cellars
Big Red Hiney Red Wine $10.95, Reviewed 29 October 2013. A fun, humorous label, the Big Red Hiney made for a good dinner wine. It is well suited to grilled, smoky food and sure to be enjoyed by guests. Break out a fistful or two of the Big Red Hiney and put a smile on everyone's face.

Stoney Lonesome
Zero Degrees Dry Riesling by Three Brothers Wineries and Estates, Finger Lakes, NY $14, Reviewed 4 October 2013. This is the kind of wine I think of when I think Finger Lakes Riesling; dry, minerality, crisp, refreshing. Later in the evening, this wine had a steely quality I also enjoyed. I believe 2012 is an excellent vintage.

Swedish Hill
2012 Dry Riesling Finger Lakes, NY $15.95, Reviewed 5 October 2013. This wine is almost aggressive, in a good way. It reached out and said "Here I am. Drink me and enjoy me!"

Terra Blanca
Arch Terrace Red Mountain 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon $18.99. Reviewed on the Wine Show Podcast 6 February 2014. Linda and William tasted this wine live on the third Thursday Wine Muse World Tour wine show. You can listen to the show and learn how delicious the 2009 Arch Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon drank. This wine was introduced by winemaker Keith Pilgrim. Highly Recommended.

Waterbrook 
2011 Malbec, Walla Walla $15. Reviewed 3 March 2014. This was not a big or complex wine. It played friendly with my dinner of salad with blue cheese dressing and a fried steak. This Malbec was an excellent choice for dinner. Recommended.

*QPR is a designation for rating wine based on the ratio of its quality and its price. The higher the quality and lower the price, the better the ratio. Also referred to as “Best Bang for the Buck”. 

Cheers!