Budget Buzz: 14 Tasty Wines Under $20

As the blustery winds come rolling in, we're on the lookout for a buddy to hibernate with through the long, cold months. And sure, a friend (or boyfriend) to chat with, dance with, complain with, and watch Real Housewives re-runs with would be great, but we have a much more, uh, savory seasonal partner in mind: a fine wine.
Yes, the right vintage will keep you sane when it counts—that is, at the end of a long workday or any time over the weekend. We're not suggesting that hitting the bottle is a cure-all for well, anything, but it sure doesn't hurt when it comes to taking a load off. Only thing is, it's not so easy when the most coveted bottles also brag jaw-dropping price tags. That's why we're serving up some affordable om in the form of 15 under-$20 bottles of wine you can really cozy up to this fall. Hey, it's wine five o'clock somewhere!
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Click through for 15 expert-approved bottles of vino—all wallet friendly.
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Puzelat-Bonhomme Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2011
On a gray day, this is a wine that will bring a little sunshine to your life. It's bright and fruity, with zippy notes of citrus and cut grass. If this wine doesn’t cheer you up, there’s always kitten pictures.
Price: $14.99
Available: Here

Qupé Central Coast Syrah 2010
Among my friends, there’s not one who’s tried this wine and not loved it right away — it has become our go-to wine for a get-together that demands something on the other side of $10. It boasts gorgeous plummy fruit, mild tannins, and a punch of black pepper that I dare you not to adore.
Price: $9.99
Available: Here
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Pittnauer Burgenländer Rot 2010
“Rot” just refers to the color of the wine (red) in German. A blend of Blaufrankisch, St. Laurent, and Zweigelt, this is a feisty little red that’s got nice brambly fruit, punchy tannins, and bright acidity. It’s biodynamic, too, you kno, if you’re into that.
Price: $12.96
Available: Here

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava
This killer Cava is an absolute steal. For under $10 a bottle, you get a beautiful sparkler with bright acidity, notes of almonds, and a streak of minerality that mimics the best of Champagne.
Price: $7.99
Available: Here
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Palmina Arneis 2010 Honea Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley
The flavors of this wine are well-suited to the Pinot Grigio devotee, but the body’s all Chardonnay. With clean flavors that skew towards green fruit, minerality, citrus, and a rich texture that fills the mouth, this wine’s a no-brainer for a crowd.
Price: $17.99
Available: Here

Produttori Del Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo
Nebbiolo is one of the world’s noble (and most expensive) grapes, and the Langhe is a hilly region in Piedmonte, Italy, where it thrives. While you may not have the cash to pony up for this wine’s more expensive cousins, Barolo or Barbaresco, this wine is a great alternative without a lot of sacrifice. Even without a hefty price tag, you’ll still get plenty of dried strawberry, leather, dusty tannins, and refreshing acidity that make this a striking vino at a great price.
Price: $18.99
Available: Here
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Heitz Grignolino, Napa 2009
Heitz is one of the great Cabernet Sauvignon producers in Napa, with some bottles commanding prices that easily surpass the $100 mark. This wine, however, is a Heitz family favorite, inherited from the owner of the vineyards before them. It was preserved because the weird little grape, Grignolino (native to Piedmonte, Italy), makes such an easy and delicious wine. Fresh strawberries, a pleasing touch of bitterness, mild tannins, and lip-smacking acidity make this a wine that’s just plain fun to drink.
Price: $18.99
Available: Here

Les Deux Rives Corbières Blanc
A blend of Grenache, Marsanne, and Roussane, this is a lovely full-bodied wine to carry you into fall’s chillier nights. Pears, honey, and a characteristic note of tea on the nose all lead into a luxurious white wine that has plenty of heft but finishes dry. It's a great wine to quaff on its own, as it will stand up to the season’s heartier fare, too. 
Price: $9.99
Available: Here
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Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Granges 2011
Chinon is a region in the Loire Valley where Cabernet Franc is made into some of its most elegant iterations, and this wine is a great wallet-friendly introduction to these wines. Floral with notes of lavender and tobacco on the nose, a light to medium body, fine tannins, and tangy acidity, this is a beautiful food wine.
Price: $19
Available: Here

Burgans Albariño 2011
I’ll admit — Albariño is not the first wine that comes to mind when you think of fall. However, this is a softer and rounder Albariño that still has the bright fruit and aromatics the wine is known for, but some notes of nutty minerality on the finish that set it apart. The wine’s racy acidity also makes it a good choice to pair with more delicate dishes like fish and fall vegetables.
Price: $13.99
Available: Here
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Wiemer Semi-Dry Riesling 2010
This wine is proof that there’s nothing wrong with a little sweetness in your glass. Though the wine is labeled semi-dry, there’s a trace of residual sugar that lends body and helps the wine’s flavors to really carry through to the palate. The wine’s intense floral nose gives way to notes of apples, slick minerality, and bright acidity to keep the wine from cloying.
Price: $16.99
Available: Here

Erste Neue Lareith Lagrein 2010
This is a great wine to tuck into on a dark and stormy night — plush, plummy, with soft tannins and a rich mouth-feel, it’ll do the job better than a warm blanket. Plus, Lagrein is definitely an up-and-coming variety from Italy’s Alto-Adige, so if you’re looking to impress, chances are even a well-travelled wino may not have had much experience with the grape. This wine packs mad wine-geek street cred.
Price: $18.99
Available: Here
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Original Sin Newtown Pippin Hard Cider
The renaissance of ciders in the U.S. is exciting, and there’s no better time for them than the fall. This particular cider is made from a single heirloom variety of apple, the Newton Pippin, that Thomas Jefferson favored. It makes a cider that’s tart, clean, funky, and, of course, nice and apple-y.
Price: $11.99
Available: Here

Lambrusco Secco, Gemma Rubio
Forget everything you thought you knew about Lambrusco. This sparkling red is dry, packed with notes of berries and tobacco, and absolutely delicious. It works especially well as an aperitif paired with charcuterie and cheeses.
Price: $13.99
Available: Here
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