Top 20 Wines under $20 for 2016

Do you need to spend big bucks to get a great wine experience? I contend that in many cases, anything over $20 is mostly hype over limited production wines. The sweet spot is $15 but it is possible to get a really well-made wine for $10.

The trick is not to walk into a wine shop and pick wines off the end caps; nor is it to order blindly on line without any input. I put great faith in asking a retailer for his/her opinion on a wine. Most recently I held up 2 bottles and asked the retailer for his opinion as to which one was better as an aperitif. His suggestion was spot on.

I’ve compiled my own lists here in the past, however this year, I decided to follow my own advice and to add different perspectives, I asked 4 trusted wine colleagues: 3 retailers and a fellow wine instructor – for their suggestions. There is a caveat: these wines may not always be available in your area. But that’s a good starting point for a discussion with your local retailer: what wines do they suggest with similar characteristics in the same price range? Or you can ask if the retailers quoted here can ship the wines to you. NOTE: A printable version of our list is available below so you can take it with you.

So here they are: 20 wines great wines under $20 for 2016  – happy tasting, Happy New Year and may you drink many fine wines in your time!

Wine Lovers' Top 20 Wines Under $20 for 2016

Recommended by Ben Tortora of Grand Vin

Ben Tortora

Ben Tortora, of Grand Vin

  • Carpineto 2010 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva
  • Tenshen 2014 White Blend
  • Piattelli 2013 Malbec
  • Vina Polkura 2011 Syrah
  • Chateau St. Jean 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley


Recommend by William Miller of Harry’s

William Miller

William Miller of Harry’s Wine

  • 10 Mile Bridge Red 2013   $6.99
  • Del Cerro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2011    $16.99
  • Ondarre Creator Rioja 2012    $11.99
  • Le Meurger Pinot Noir 2012    $17.99
  • Man Vintners Free-Run Steen Chenin Blanc 2014 $7.99


Recommended by Len Gulino, the Wine Tutor

Len Gulino

Len Gulino, the Wine Tutor

  • G.D. Vajra Nebbiolo Langhe 2013    $23 (over our limit but Len claims it’s like a baby Barolo)
  • Tension White 2014    $20
  • Evodia Grenacha 2013   $10
  • Juve Y Camps Cava Pinot Noir Brut Rosé   $17
  • Ten Mile Bridge Red 2013    $7


Recommended by Bob Feinn of Mt. Carmel

Bob Feinn

Bob Feinn of Mt. Carmel Wines

  • Domaine du Colombier Petit Chablis 2014   $14.99
  • Michel de Fontenay Sancerre 2014   $17.99
  • Smith & Hook Central Coast Cabernet 2013   $17.99
  • La Maia Lina Chianti Classico Riserva 2008   $19.99
  • Chateau La Cardonne Médoc 2009   $19.99


BONUS 5 PICKS from Vin, Wine Lovers Tours

Alsace Wine Tour Diary - Vincent Marottoli Interviewed by FR3 at the one star Michelin La Table du Gourmet

Vin Marottoli – Wine Lovers Tours

  • Sine Metu Frascati Superiore 2013   $9.99
  • Bayten Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc 2015    $15.99
  • Selbach-Oster Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling kabinett 2014   $11
  • Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2013   $11
  • Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico ‘R.S.’ 2012   $15.99


So there you have it, our 20 Great Wines Under $20 for 2016. We hope you enjoy our recommendations and if you do, perhaps share it with your friends. Have you tried any of the above suggestions? Do you have any recommendations of your own? Let us know. We would love hear from you.

NOTE: A printable version (PDF) is available for download on the left.

Many thanks to Ben, William, Len and Bob for their time and suggestions in our 2016 list.

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