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hey, you. you know as well as i do that some things just taste better when they’re SUPER affordable. right!?

i’m all for special-occasion wine and gifting bottles at higher price points. but for a friday night in, a wine-down wednesday, or anything in between, most of us don’t have a legitimate reason to spend more than $20. if you aren’t a trained sommelier, you probably can’t even tell much a difference between a $25 bottle and a $75 bottle (…i know i can’t).

without further ado, here are my top 10 wines under $25.

best red wines under $25

ménage à trois midnight, california, $10
a passionate red blend bursting with dusky aromas, an extraordinarily deep color, and rich, ripe black fruit. this luxurious dark red blend is perfect for a chilly winter night in.

dark horse cabernet sauvignon, california, $8
this delicious (and deliciously affordable) cabernet sauvignon is from dark horse wines out of modesto, california. If you're already a fan of Dark Horse's sauvignon blanc or rosé varieties, their killer cab will not disappoint.

hahn pinot noir, california, $14
this pinot noir’s charismatic aromas include red cherry, ripe strawberry, cola and spice. flavors of plum and black cherry are completed by a soft mouthfeel. supple tannins and a bit of acidity end in a beautifully balanced and clean finish. after harvest, this wine is aged in french oak.

best red wines under $25

19 crimes red blend, australia, $10
if you’re not sold by the label alone (an augmented-reality-capable label with an actual criminal’s picture on it), you’ll surely be won over by this insanely decadent blend of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and grenache from south eastern australia.

revolution malbec, argentina, $10
this malbec tastes like it costs >$35. no joke. with aromas of intense ripe fruit, cherries, blackberries and blueberries revolution malbec is a moderately intense wine with good balance and a long finish.

best red wines under $25

grifone sangiovese, italy, $8
head to trader joe’s and stock up on any italian, chilean, argentinian, or french wine under $15 because you are going to find your new favorite right away. this one is near the top of our list — it’s a really approachable sangiovese. the notes of raspberry and cherry are moderately intense, its floral, balsamic, and spice flavors are complex, and its long, lingering, satisfying finish is replete with smooth tannins.

il tarocco chianti classico, italy, $10
another fantastic tuscan wine at the perfect price point — this chianti is made from carefully selected sangiovese (90%) and canaiolo nero (10%) grapes. this wine has intense ruby color and aromas of ripe red fruit. find this and countless other chiantis at low price points at tj’s.

the barry bros red wine

the barry bros red wine, australia, $19
bring this bottle as a hostess gift to your next party. it’s a little pricier than others on this list, but is absolutely delectable and unique. it’s like a rush of mulberries and blackberries followed by spice, florals and coffee grounds with a whiff of eucalyptus.

albada viñas viejas garnacha, spain, $7
this complex but (SUPER) affordable spanish red is available at trader joe’s or your local wine shop and packs major black cherry flavor with a punchy spice finish.

diseno malbec, argentina, $10
you will NOT believe that this is a ten dollar bottle — it’s deliciously dry and tannic, rich and lively with simple spiced cherry aromas and tangy raspberry fruit flavors. i’ve seen this at hy-vee, target, and our local wine shop.

best red wines // best cheap wine // best cheap red wine // trader joes wine // red wine cheap
M+J 10.13.18

M+J 10.13.18