Best Chillable Red: Domaine Chapel Charbonnires Fleurie
Courtesy of Vivino
Region: Fleurie, Beaujolais, France | ABV: 13% | Tasting Notes: Dried cherries, Potting soil, Pepper
After a chance meeting at the legendary Domaine Lapierre in Beaujolais, Michele Smith and David Chapel fell in love, relocated from New York and established their eponymous estate back in 2015.
Today, the duo is making some of the regions most exciting and easy-drinking wines, including this stunning cuvée from Fleurie. High-toned flavors of raspberries, dried cherries, potting soil, pepper and fresh-cut herbs lead to a thirst-quenching finish.
Domaine De Durban Muscat De Beaumes De Venise $34
With heady aromas of orange blossom, lychee, ginger, and rose petal, a complex palate of tropical fruits and florals, and an intense, lasting finish, this fortified wine from Domaine de Durban is an immensely sweet, satisfying tipple that pairs beautifully with rich pastries and cakes. Priced at just $34 a bottle, its a steal.
Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Dry Riesling Clare Valley Australia
While some of our tasters found this bone-dry bottle a little harsh, acid fiends will appreciate its bracingly tart, lemony palate. The floral notes on the nose are unmistakably Riesling-esque, but there is none of the honeyed sweetness or creamy texture many American drinkers associate with the variety. Serve it with oysters and salty snacks. Average price: $18.
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Rosso By Grand Alberone
The Grand Alberone Rosso is another red wine that is a great buy at Aldi. The grocer does not provide much information on this wine. However, the producer tells us its a blend of Teroldego, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Rosso is aged for an unspecified period of time in oak barrels.
Imported by Prestige Wine and Spirits, the Rosso by Grand Alberone starts with a nice aroma of chocolate, dark berries, spice, and plenty of vanilla.
It tastes sweet, smooth, and lush, full of savory fruit, a little cola, and even more vanilla. Underneath you may detect a bit of earthiness, but it adds to the flavor of the Rosso. The wine is fun, simple, and easy to drink. The finish consists of a combination of tart fruit and sweetness.
Best Value French: Chne Bleu Ablard 2011
Region: Rhône Valley | ABV: 14.5% | Tasting Notes: Black cherry, Red licorice, Earth, Warm cinnamon
From an ancient property at the cornerstone of four appellations in Frances Southern Rhône, near the town of Gigondas and situated in Mont Ventoux, comes this absolute marvel of a wine. Owners Nicole and Xavier Rolet are incapable of making a bad wine, and incredibly, they’ve taken the extraordinary step of aging their wine for a generous amount of time prior to release. The vintage they currently have on the market is the 2012, but its terribly hard to find. Luckily, the 2011 is up for grabs: A decade-aged Rhône red consisting mostly of grenache, it is a testament to the efforts of these renegade vintners.
Wild red berry fruit, blackberry jam, French vanilla bean and garrigue layered with cigar box spices. Silky soft, elongated tannins support a panoply of flavors, from warm cinnamon and brown sugar spices to curry powder-dusted red berry fruit, with generous dollops of black cherry and red licorice. It finishes with grippy acidity and vivid earthy notes.
Region: Douro, Portugal | ABV: 13.8% | Tasting Notes: Cranberry, Raspberry, Blood Orange, Cedar
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Best Chilean: J Bouchon Pas Salvaje
Courtesy of Plonk Wine Club
Region: Central Valley, Chile | ABV: 12.5% | Tasting Notes: Red fruits, Cherry, Wild Strawberry, Floral
Never heard of País before? If you love earthy, medium-bodied reds with tons of acid, then this historic grape needs to be on your radar.
Produced from organically farmed vineyards in the heart of Chiles Central Valley, this flavor-packed wine jumps with notes of wild strawberries, red flower petals and wild herbs. For a crowd-pleasing red that promises to satisfy the masses, look no further than this tasty, budget-friendly option.
Best Riesling Wines Under $20
Riesling The Peoples Choice
Riesling has been growing in popularity in recent years. This old-school wine variety was overlooked for some years, and this may be because it was considered just a dessert wine by many. However, Rieslings come in all shapes and sizes and modern palates have discovered that it can be a delicious wine to drink on its own. It is in food pairing that this wine really comes into its own. With our twenty-first century ability to have any global cuisine at our fingertips, it is great to have a food-friendly wine like Riesling to wash it down.
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Best Australian Red: Penfolds 2017 Bin 389 South Australia Cabernet Shiraz
Region: South Australia, Australia | ABV: 14.5% | Tasting Notes: Black cherries, Cassis, New leather, Fruit cake
Penfolds, unquestionably the greatest winemaking estate in Australia, is best known for its iconic wine, Penfolds Grange. Chief winemaker Peter Gago made it his mission to produce well-structured wines with deep flavors and, as he puts it, a propensity to age.
While Grange is primarily shiraz, with a splash of cabernet sauvignon sourced from specific sites in South Australia, Penfolds’ Bin 389 combines 54% cabernet sauvignon with 46% shiraz and is often referred to as Baby Grange. Plus, this wine comes at a more approachable price tag than the Grange.
Region: Mendoza, Argentina | ABV: 14.5% | Tasting Notes: Cherry compote, Salty dark chocolate, Cedar spice
Achaval-Ferrer’s Quimera blend is a wine of remarkable precision: Co-founder Santiago Achaval, one of the most respected winemakers in Argentina, and winemaker Roberto Cipresso comb the vineyards, tasting grapes and hand-selecting vines specifically for this blend. In 2014, they conceived a dynamic and complex blend of 50% malbec, 24% cabernet franc, 18% merlot and 8% cabernet sauvignon.
Region: Ribera del Duero, Spain | ABV: 14% | Tasting Notes: Spiced plums, Forest underbrush, Cigar box
Good to Know:
Top Riesling Wines To Try Out
Riesling is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest wine grapes and arguably the most popular among white wine drinkers. The variety can range from sweet to dry, from simple to complex and from young to old. This incredibly aromatic grape is commonly grown in Germany, though neighbouring Austria and the Alsace region of France also produce celebrated rieslings that are just as grand , though strikingly distinct from their German counterparts. Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys as well as California, Washington, and New York State also cultivate a considerable amount of riesling.
Riesling has a reputation for being a sweet wine, but there are plenty of dry rieslings to prove otherwise. Its high acidity matched with various levels of sweetness sets the stage for infinite food pairings. But more than anything, its just so delicious.
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Herman Weimer Dry Riesling
From the winemaking pioneer vineyard in Finger Lakes one of the best versions of Dry Riesling from the United States. It spotlights all the unique characteristics of the three vineyard sites in the region. It has an exquisite balance of juiciness and a clean mineral finish.
Tasting Notes: grapefruit, tangerine, citrus
Best Riesling Regions In The World
Angelica Nohra Wine Importer | Wine List Consultant | Speaker
Riesling always seems to create controversy. Many people who were drinking in the 80s and 90s remember riesling to be fruity and sweet thanks to wines like Blue Nun . A lot of the riesling on the market was made off-dry to sweet which had people both loving and hating it.
Today, riesling is mightily underrated. What is it? It’s an aromatic white wine that can be fermented from very sweet to bone-dry, I find them all so complex, great with food, clean and ageable. It’s important to note that Germany is the most important country in the world for producing Riesling. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some exceptional examples of riesling all over the world. Australia’s Clare Valley is notorious,
The bone-dry, mineral and ageable wines are some of my absolute favourites. I love how they develop into a petro-chemical, honeysuckle aroma and oily texture from a youthful lime, apple, beeswax and jasmine aroma as a freshly bottled wine. Experiencing the age changes on riesling over the years gets me very excited and it’s one of the only white varietals that I will buy a case of just to leave in the cellar .
So, apart from Germany, you can also find top quality Riesling in a few regions but the key is the region can’t be too hot, which makes Clare and Eden Valley Riesling quite an anomaly as South Australia is famous for its hot temperature.
Some key regions are:
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Best Crisp White: 2018 Amisfield Sauvignon Blanc
Courtesy of Wine.com
Region: New Zealand | ABV: 12.6% | Tasting Notes: Passionfruit, Pink Grapefruit, Lemon Peel, Fresh Grass
Fans of crisp, refreshing whites can never get enough of New Zealand sauvignon blanc. Not only is it always a great value for the price, but it also offers unique and complex flavors and aromas not commonly found in other inexpensive wines.
There is so much going on in this beautiful bottle from Amisfieldit shows vibrant tropical notes of passionfruit, mango, lychee, and papaya alongside zesty grapefruit, lemon, and lime, fragrant honeysuckle and elderflower, and freshly cut grass. Expressive but not overwhelming, it makes a great match with freshly shucked oysters, vegetable dishes or anything with plenty of fresh green herbs.
Costco Wine The 2021 Guide To The Best Wines At Costco
Costco® is the number one wine retailer in the U.S. and just one look at their low wine prices should tell you why! Read on for our Complete Guide to Costco Wine.
The reason for those low prices is simply the tremendously slim margin Costco takes thanks to their membership model. Basically they make their money on membership fees allowing them to keep product prices, including those on wine , very low. Their selection isn’t the broadest but they do tend to bring in some very nice wines from all over the world , especially in the under $20 price point.
While most of the Costco wines are available elsewhere keep your eyes out for deals on lesser-known labels as well. Inventory of wines will vary by market and even by store within a market so at times you can find some low production wines available in an individual store. Also in some states you don’t even need a membership to shop the store!
Want our FREE special report “The Five Wines to Buy At Costco RIGHT NOW” plus a printable shopping list of all our recommended Costco wines?
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Julian Haart 1000l Riesling Mosel Germany
Fans of natural wine might like this savory variety from Mosel, Germany. Green herbs on the nose are followed by notes of chicken jus and half-fermented apples on the palate, giving it a funky, earthy quality. If you served this with fried chicken in a Brooklyn restaurant people would lose their minds, one taster said. Average price: $22.
Peller Estates Signatures Series Cabernet Franc
Liquor.com / Laura Sant
This red ice wine from Peller Estates, in Canadas Niagara region, is made of 100% cabernet franc. As you might expect given the grape, bold red berries, rhubarb and pomegranate are a few of the flavors youll find here. While ice wines tend to pair well with spicy cuisine and desserts, this is a great candidate for pairing with salty olives and cheeses.
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Southold Farm + Cellar All Things Go 2018
It doesnât get more âTexasâ than this wine. It hits the nose with spicy-sweet aromas of pineapple salsa and pickled chili peppers. It grips the palate with pickley, peppery salinity and zest. Weâve never tasted anything quite like it. We canât think of a better pairing for carnitas tacos from the spit, pineapple juice dripping, and corn tortillas hot from the grill.
Best To Pair With Pasta: Castagnoli Chianti Classico 2013
Heres a free wine tip: If you find shopping for wine overwhelming , then focus on finding an importer you like. Wine importers work with a hand-selected portfolio of winemakers, and they test each wine rigorously. If you find an importer whose taste you trust, its likely that youll enjoy many of the wines in their portfolio.
Kermit Lynch is perhaps the most famous example of this. Hes built his portfolio on clean, classic wines. This Italian Chianti, imported by Kermit Lynch, is no exception. Expect a tart wine with notes of red cherry. The juicy acidity in this bottle makes it extremely food-friendly. It has enough ripe fruit flavor to pair well with saucy pasta, and it will make any tomato dish sing.
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Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Gamay Noir 2018
A fun, fantastic pick from Oregonâs Willamette Valley, this Gamay Noir hits the nose with tart fruit and sour cherry aromas, and lands on the palate with intense acidity and a bit of sweetness. It is juicy, tart, and slightly fizzy, and would do best slightly chilled and paired with a loaded rare cheeseburger.
The 50 Best Wines Of 2020
2020 has been a year like no other at VinePair, in wine country, and beyond. But despite, or perhaps because of, the uncertainty this year has brought, the VinePair team has tasted thousands of wines over the last 12 months.
To help our readers discover wonderful new wines to help ring in the all-too-welcome new year, weâre sharing the 50 best wines weâve tasted in 2020.
From screw-capped bottles for easy opening at socially distanced picnics, to high-end wines that can be delivered to our doors, these selections have met the unexpected needs of our newfound Covid-19 lifestyles.
As travel has been restricted during the majority of this year, weâve taken the opportunity to explore the world through wine. We traveled through Europe, stopping in Spain, Greece, Austria, France, and, most notably, Italy. In fact, three of our top 10 wines this year are from Sicily, a region that impressed us more than any other this year.
South Africa also impressed us with its offerings in 2020, with three wines from the nation making it onto our list. This comes after South African wine country was been hit particularly hard by the ongoing pandemic, and strict lockdown measures meant bans on the sale and distribution of alcohol. The bans have since been lifted, meaning that alcohol, including wine, can now once again be sold, but it is going to take some wineries a long time to recover.
Here are VinePairâs 50 best wines of 2020, tasted and ranked.
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Top 100 Best Buys Of 2020
Despite a world of constant uncertaintya global pandemic, social unrest, increased tariffs and wildfiresthe wine-drinking public nonetheless continues to make it a priority to have bottles on their tables. That said, while wine consumption is up, its clear that consumers are still watching what they spend per bottle.
Thankfully, Wine Enthusiast is here to help make sure your valued dollars go far. Each year, we assemble our Top 100 Best Buys list to help guide you to some of the highest-quality value wines on the market today. For 2020s edition, we combed through more than 1,500 wines that earned our coveted Best Buy designation, wines that are $15 or less and fall within a specific price-to-score ratio.
While tariffs may have increased the prices on some bottlings from France, Germany and Spain, value can still be found in those regions. In fact, our number one wine is a Rioja red from an excellent vintage thats widely available in stores for around $11.
This years list showcases selections from 16 countries and is rife with some of the worlds most popular grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. It also highlights plenty of varieties that are ripe for your discovery, like Bonarda from Argentina, Lemberger from Washington and Grüner Veltliner from Austria, along with a whole host of delicious blends.
Best Ros: 2020 Pratsch Ros
Courtesy of Wine.com
Region: Austria | ABV: 11.5% | Tasting Notes: Strawberry, Watermelon, Peach, Raspberry
Rosé has been having a moment for a while now, so there are many great options to choose from in a wide range of styles. For beginners, we recommend a light, dry style with lots of fresh, vibrant fruit, like this high-value gem from Austria.
Its made from the zweigelt grape, a locally popular variety that is known for bright berry flavors accented with a hint of black pepper, reminding us a lot of pinot noir. Succulent strawberry, watermelon, raspberry, peach, and pear notes are lifted by vibrant acidity and a hint of hibiscus perfume in this refreshing pink wine that makes a perfect companion to parks, picnics, and pools.
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Red Blend By Dancing Flame
This Dancing Flame Red Blend is a great wine when all you want to do is wind down for the evening. Its a tasty drink that is comprised of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Carmenere, and 10% Syrah.
This wine is imported and produced by Prestige Wine & Spirits. The Red Blend by Dancing Flame starts off with an appealing smell of blackberry and hints of vanilla. Upon taking a sip, youll immediately notice a tasty yet simple wine that is both smooth and juicy.
The main flavors youll experience are spice and dark fruit, however, there is also just a bit of green pepper as well. This Red Blend is the ideal wine for relaxing in the middle of your week. It doesnt require a lot of thinking. Just pour yourself a glass, sit back, and enjoy. Youll notice it ends with spice, dark fruit, and just a note of herbs.
This delicious Pinot Grigio from Aldi is produced by Pianeta Organico. It has only 5 grams per Liter of sugar and is friendly to vegans. This Pinot Grigio is imported into the United States by Mack & Schuhle.
The wine itself starts with the pleasant aroma of green apples, pears, limes, lemons, and a hint of honeysuckle. Youll get a taste of fruit, which makes the wine juicy and savory. Youll also notice that this Pinot Grigio is pleasantly thick and complex, which only serves to add to its enjoyment.