21 Best Cheap Red Wines That Taste Like A Thousand Bucks

The benefits of drinking red wine in moderation has been well documented, and continue to be researched. Improvements in memory, muscle strength, and the cardiovascular system are just a few of the perks that come with enjoying the occasional glass of Merlot or Cabernet, but for those on a limited budget, red wine can be a luxury item.

If you don’t have an endless stream of money to throw into the Pinot fund, the line between gas station wine and an affordable, quality bottle of red is one that must be taken with care. Here is our list of best cheap red wines with quality that outweighs their price tags.

Best red wines under $10

1. 2009 Bodegas Nekeas Sindoa Tempranillo

The Tempranillo grape is lauded as the basis of some of the best tasting wines of Spain and Portugal. Originating in the Navarra region of northern Spain, the grape has now been thoroughly adopted by Californian, Argentinian, and Australian growers. Thankfully, this has resulted in an abundance of affordable reds derived from the Tempranillo grape at local wine stores. This particular brand has a good reputation among wine critics, and at only $8 per bottle, it is a certified bargain. What sets this wine apart is the hint of spiciness, which gives it a certain lightness of flavor that suits a barbecue or summer picnic perfectly.

2. 2009 Esser Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

This is another wine with a unique taste that sets it apart from its peers at similar price points. The berry-driven Cabernet is known for a slight peppery taste which is attributed to the Petite Sirah grape that is used in the production of this redPriced at approximately $10, depending on your city and state, it is another wine that delivers more bang for your buck.

3. The Wolftrap

You may notice a trend among these more affordable wines: unique flavors and ingredients that create a sensory experience that defies conceptions of what cheaper wines can offer the palate. This year’s Wolftrap follows this pattern, as it has a pronounced blackberry flavor that mixes well with its more-subtle dark plum and spicy undertones. This Syrah-Mourvedre based red will ensure you don’t break the bank while giving a dinner gift or enjoying it for yourself.

4. Broadbent Vinho Verde

Broadbent Vinho verde is a wine that comes from portugal. This one has a very tangy flavor because of the multiple number of citruses and a have a punch of ultra zesty acidity that adds to the fun and efferverance. All of this makes this wine very light yet refreshing, best when had with seafood. This wine has 9% alcohol content and a citric score of 86/100.

5. Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Riesling

Considered one of the best and most loved wines is this off-dry Riesling that has got the taste of a sweet peach and also gets a few flavors of lemon lime nuances to your glass. Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Riesling has got to be a great red wine to be used along with hot spice of thai or other hot Asian fares. You will feel the taste to be quite refreshing. This wine goes well with pork and has around 11-12% alcohol.

6. Campo Viejo Rioja

Coming from Spain, Campo Viejo Rioja has a soft, supple, clean lines similar to Pinot Noir but with a spicy punch. Not only is it well worth its price but goes well with many different food items. Campo Viejo Rioja has a classic, wallet-savvy taste from the red grapes. You can smell dark berry fruit, vanilla and clove spice. If you are in spain or want to enjoy this red wine to the fullest then have it with grilled veggies, meat, pasta or tapas. This wine has a 13-14% alcohol.

7. Cupcake Prosecco NV

The prosecco is simply the sparkling version of the cupcake portfolio. You get the classy italian charm where the initial notes are due to the citrus content. This is one of the best budget friendly sparkling wine. The name is sure because its mostly made by the grapes in Prosecco region of Italy. Cupcake prosecco has 11% alcohol content you can have it with pork.

8. Jaboulet Parallele 45 Rouge (FR)

When shopping for a quality red wine, you won’t find much quality options. The Jaboulet Parallele 45 is a wine based on Grenache-Syrah blend that does year in and year out. The major dominant flavour that go inside are cherry and blackberry. The wine has got a great balance of certain elements like citrusy, silky and somewhat cherry like.

Best red wine under $15

9. 2015 M. Chapoutier Les Vignes De Bila-Haut Rouge

In our list of the best red wine under $15, we start with M.Chapoutier which comes from a village called Cotes Du Roussillon in France. This wine goes well with any lamb dish and has a red and intense texture. With an alcohol percentage between 12-14. If you have a good nose, you will be able to smell a smooth, leather like chocolate flavored cherries from your glass. Berries dominates the smell and taste of this wine.

10. 2014 Bogle Petite Sirah

Just a small pint and you will smell notes of tea leaf, cherry cola that along with earthy tones add to the richness and depth of the grapes. When you take the first few sips, you will be greeted with a cherry like toasty herbal tones that give a silky and smooth mouthfeel. Bogle Petite sirah is usually aged in an American oak for 12 months. This makes for a great cheap sweet red wine. The Sirah goes well with lamb and has around 13-14% alcohol content.

11. 2014 Cline Lodi Zinfandel

Considered among the top 10% of all wines in the world. Cline lodi zinfandel is made from the grapes of Lodi region in USA. You can pair this wine with beef, lab or poultry. Cline lodi Zinfandel consists of 14%. You can smell fresh and deep aromas of leather and berries. The whole wine has a very concentrated essence of vanilla and red fruits. The alcohol content of this wine is 14%.

12. 2014 The Pinot project california Pinot noir

Another great option in the 10-15$ segment is Pinot project california Pinot noir that’s named after a mythical creature. The pinot is a cherry cola spice character which has been inspired by the classic russian River wines and that too at just 1/3rd of the price. This red wine goes well with chicken and turkey. In the first glimpse, the color is very red and has a critic score of 88/100 on major wine sites.

13. 2015 Domaine Skouras Red St. George-Cabernet Sauvignon Peloponnese

The Skouras red wine is one of the best recommendations in the 10-15$ wine range. Not only is this a cheap yet high quality red wine but also has beaujolais like fresh cherry flavors. This red wine is produced by Domaine Skouras and goes well with duck, Goose and Game Birds. In terms of notes, you will have 90% indicative blend and 10% Aghiorghitiko.

14. 2014 Bibi Graetz Casamatta

The Bibi Graetz is made from Sangiovese which is Graetz’s entry level red wine. Because of its price, this is a super value red wine that has plums and flavours of cherry. This wine has around 12 % of alcohol. Bibi Graetz comes from Tuscany, Italy. The beer is best consumed alongside beef and venison. There are not many options that you will get in the range between 10-15%.

15. 2015 Di Majo Norante Sangiovese Terre Degli Osci

Di Majo Norante Sangiovese is a 100% Sangiovese grown in the Ramitello and Martarosa vineyards and is hand harvested in October. A wine like this is aged in stainless steel and also in large oak barrels for six months to get a greater taste, smoothness and softness and also this is a wine that preserves the supple fruit like character of Sangiovese. The color looks very red, aromas of violets and red berries.

16. 2006 Mas Amiel Notre Terre Côtes Du Roussillon Villages

We are willing to admit that the high-brow sounding name of this wine first caught our attention, but after reviewing critic evaluations, and sampling it ourselves (in the name of science, of course), this $12 red has much to offer in the taste department. The combination of Grenache, Carignane, Syrah and a bit of Mourvèdre blend seamlessly to give off a taste that hints of cherry and raisins.

17. 2008 SKN merlot

We couldn’t create a list of affordable reds without including one of our favorites: merlot.

This particular brand of red has a supple flavor that emanates its plum-rich base, and leaves one with the impression that they are drinking a much more expensive bottle of wine than its $13 price tag would indicate. If you try any of the wines above, let us know what you think! And if you have an inexpensive favorite, share it with the class!

Best red wine under $20

18. Moss Roxx Reserve Zinfandel

The Moss Roxx Reserve Zinfandel comes from the grapes grown in Lodi. This region is specially known for great wines due to the quality of grapes. You can sense the notes of blackberry, pepper and tobacco. The Moss Roxx goes well with portions of Lamb. Produced by Oak Ridge Winery this wine under 20% has around 14% alcohol. On major wine review sites, it has been rated well around ⅘.

19. Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Aged

As its famously said “wine and cheese age beautifully with time”. The Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon is an aging red wine. Produced by Oak ridge winery, this is a red wine that is both rich and intense. This also comes from Lodi region in California, USA. You can pair this wine with lamb. This is one of the best cheap red wines in the list and has around 14% alcoholic content.

20. 1000 Stories Zinfandel

The 1000 stories Zinfandel comes from Mendocino county in the US. It is made from the zinfandel grapes and tastes great with lamb. When it comes to alcohol percentage, this wine has 15% alcoholic content. In the first taste, you will be able to make out the dominance of bourbon. A few more sips and the toasted barrel, black pepper and blackberry jam can be sensed.

21. Meiomi Pinot Noir

The Meiomi Pinot Noir is one of the finest selection in the list of best red wine under $20. With every passing year, they have been consistent with the way their wine tastes. Its admired everywhere across the globe. Pinot Noir is famous for its taste and smell, the Meiomi is no exception. You can smell the cherry like smell and a fruitful floral hint on your palate. This red wine goes well with chicken and turkey and has around 13-14% alcohol content.


The whole reason we wrote this article was because we wanted to give you some of the best choices of red wines which are available in different price segments. We ourself never go and buy red wines that are a thousand bucks. We ourself often ponder on what is the best cheap red wine and so we did our research, asked users and here are our top recommendations:

  • Best Red Wine Under $10: Broadbent Vinho Verde
  • Best Red Wine Under $15: 2014 Bogle Petite Sirah
  • Best Red Wine Under $20: Meiomi Pinot Noir

We hope you grab some chicken, turkey and cheese. Open your favorite red wine and browse through the article to pack or gift someone a bottle of aged wine!

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