When we used to think about wine experts, we imagined snobs who would turn their noses up at anything under $50. But the more we've learned about wine, the more we've realized that sommeliers, beverage directors, and general wine enthusiast appreciate a good deal as m
uch as the rest of us. In fact, if you ask them, they can get crazy passionate about some really affordable bottles.
These wines range from big, bold bottles that can stand up to the richest bolognese to light whites great for picnics and day drinking. In other words: there's a perfect bottle of under-$12 wine for every kind of palate and preference. The best part? At these prices, you can buy several bottles at a time to keep on hand for when you need a reason to feel a little decadent mid-week.
Ahead, 10 bottles that are expert-approved and cost you little more than 2 trips to Starbucks.
“For under $12, the best wines right now for my money are coming from wine regions that are still a bit under the radar…and one of the best is Sicily! If you love smooth, easy drinking reds that are full of rich red and black fruit flavors and a savory mineral finish, try a Nero d’Avola wine. I recommend Stemmari Nero d’Avola as an incredible quality wine for the price-point” –
Sarah Tracey, Wine Director at Rouge Tomate Stemmari
Nero d’Avola, $7.99, available at
"This Sangiovese from the Romagna DOC of North Central Italy is a remarkably straightforward, no frills yet still strikingly elegant expression of the variety. Fragrant aromas of tomato, ripe raspberry, plum, violets, and spice, all carried by a penetratingly refreshing acidity, medium body, and mellow tannin render this a friendly wine for tomato-heavy pastas, light pizzas, and meaty stews; all heaping with the world-famous Parmigiano Reggiano cheese from the same region, of course. The 2014 Bolla Sangiovese di Romagna swells with old world charm and drinks just as well as $20+ bottles of the same variety from Tuscany. "
Jaden Trompke, Wine Director/Food & Beverage Manager at Monarch Prime & Bar Bolla
Sangiovese 2014, $8.99, available at
Applejack Wine & Spirits
"Wine under $12 is what I call a 'Tuesday night wine.' I mean, let's be honest. No one likes Tuesdays; they are like the February of the week. But you still need a delicious, super inexpensive bottle waiting for you after work.
"I have been on Austria's Grüner Veltliner train for a few years now and don't plan on hopping off-- ever. So incredibly refreshing with great acidity, minerality, lemons, apricots, and the classic white pepper aromas. If you enjoy Sauvignon Blanc but are looking to change it up a bit, Grüner is your next wine. Aichenberg retails for about $9.99 where I live here in NYC." –
Sayle Milne, Wine Savvy Aichenberg
Gruner Veltliner Premium, $8.99, available at
"It’s a pleasurable, medium- to full-bodied red wine with silky, giving tannins and juicy blackberry fruit with some violet and peppercorn dancing around too. This Carignan (red wine grape) comes from the south of France in the Languedoc, where they make buckets of wine (not all of it great) and, if you sift through smartly, many treasures can be found." –
Kimberly Prokoshyn, head sommelier, Scampi Les Hérétiques
VdP de l'Hérault 2016, $8.99, available at
"Another thing to consider when seeking out truly value-driven wines is the location. Don't ever overlook Portugal. Red, white or fortified, this country has been making incredible wine for centuries. For the wallet-friendly shopper, you need to get familiar with a white grape there called Vinho Verde (even thinking about this wine makes me happy).
It is light, ever-so-slightly frizante (sparkling), and is what would happen in your mouth if you bit down on apples and pears at the same time. It is also SUPER inexpensive. (Seriously, I have seen this varietal for as little as $5.99 in wine stores and even in places like Trader Joe's.) The extra bonus about this wine is its low alcohol content, making it perfect for those longer drinking days (football games and picnics in the spring and summer)." –
Sayle Milne Quinta da Aveleda
Fonte Vinho Verde, $8.99, available at
"Bodegas Ego's stellar Goru Verde is made from 25-year old Monastrell vines (the same grape the French call Mourvedre). It's the perfect red to buy by the case and keep as a 'house wine' for parties and weeknights. This wower has plenty of dark fruit and a little spice, making it ideal for anything from burgers to pizza. And best of all? It's organic! " –
André and Tenaya Darlington, authors of Booze & Vinyl Bodega Ego
Goru Verde, $9.99, available at
Paul's Wine & Sprits
"The wine we pour for happy hour and parties at David Burke Kitchen is organic and from the area Gascony in France. The grape is Colombard and it is a relative of Chenin Blanc. Super fresh and easy to drink. Bright, crisp wine with some depth to it. Everyones love it." –
Marissa Copeland, sommelier at David Burke Kitchen
Mont Gravet Cotes de Gascogne 2016
"Some of the best values in wine can be found in Italy. I love the Ca’Furlan Beatrice Prosecco from the Veneto. This wine is lively and juicy, with a vibrant little mousse! Light floral aromatics and a slightly sweet palate, this wine can accompany a variety of cuisine, and can usually be found between $9-$10." –
Liz Martinez, sommelier at Prime + Proper Ca' Furlan
Prosecco Cuvee Beatrice NV, $10.99, available at
Gerard's Wine & Spirits
"Sherry is an extremely underrated style of wine. The good thing about that is that you can find great bottles for a lower price point. I like this particular sherry because it is dry in style (Manzanilla is similar to Fino), it can serve as a great aperitif or pairing (amazing with oysters and cheese) and is also nice to sip on it’s own. It’s got nice toasty, nutty notes as well as built in salinity for a well-rounded drinking experience." –
Trish Gavin, Beverage Director at Tullibee Bodegas La Cigarrera
Manzanilla Sherry, $10.98 for a half bottle, available at
Hi-Time Wine Cellars
"This wine is a phenomenal value. It is a refreshing versatile white wine that can pair with a wide array of dishes or even be drunk as an Aperitif. Zippy white wine with a persistent finish is all I ask for and this wine delivers at a minimal price." –
Alexandra Martin, Food & Beverage Manager at The Apparatus Room Luis Pato
Maria Gomes, $10.98, available at
The Wine Club
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produced by Brianna Donnelly; edited by Sam Russell; produced by Sarah Lee.