OK, I’ll admit that I don’t drink a lot of wine under $15, but I do occasionally indulge. I mean, I just did my taxes and your girl could definitely use a break! Part of it is in the name of research. I mean, somebody’s gotta do to. But part of it is remembering what got me into wine in the first place and recognizing that there is a place for anyone in wine that wants to be there – and at any price level. I discovered some of these wines many years ago when I started getting into wine, while others are more recent discoveries. And some, I went searching for to see what I could find in this price range. But what they all have in common is that they are solid wines that you can find just about anywhere. So here’s my wine under $15 under list…
Cono Sur Organic Pinot Noir & Chardonnay, Colchagua, Chile ($15)
Cono Sur was one of those producers that I discovered many years ago on Twitter when I first started really getting into wine. Someone was doing a Twitter chat with them, I participated in the chat, and the rest is history.
I can’t say enough how much I love Chile’s efforts around sustainability which goes way beyond the vineyard and encompasses the welfare of everyone who touches the wine. It’s really amazing. And Cono Sur embraces these efforts as well. Even the wine label is made with recycled paper. The Chardonnay shows yellow pear, lemon curd, honey, and a kiss of oak. The Pinot (they were one of then first in Chile to make premium Pinot) is light-bodied and offers up strawberry and red plum. Both wines can be found for $15 at World Market and Wine.com. And they seriously pair with just about anything.
Longevity Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($10-15)
I had the opportunity to interview Phil Long, owner and winemaker of Longevity Wines, last year and loved learning about his story. I was just as thrilled to write about it and share it with others. Phil is the president of the Association of African-American Vintners (“AAAV”) and has been rapidly building his wine empire.
The Longevity Cabernet Sauvignon is smooth, fruit forward and easy-drinking with lots of ripe black fruits and a touch of mocha and black pepper. Great with your summer BBQ or a juicy burger. The wine is available at a wide variety of places including Total Wine and Sam’s Club, which have the best price at around $10. Wine.com and World Market retail for about $15, which isn’t bad wither.
Duchman Trebbiano, Bingham Vineyard, Texas ($12-15)
It’s not easy to find a Texas wine in this price point, but Duchman does it and does it well. While they have a diverse portfolio, I think their whites are my faves.
Most folks know Trebbiano as a prominent white wine from Italy and France that makes dry, crips white wines, but it’s also made in Texas. The Duchman wine is clean and fresh with tropical fruit and a mineral backbone and would love to be paired with shellfish or roast chicken. Find at Total Wine for around $12 as well as at Houston Wine Merchant and Spec’s.
2020 Catena Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina ($15.97)
If you know Argentine Malbec, then chances are you’ve heard of Bodega Catena Zapata. Dr. Laura Catena represents the fourth generation at the helm of the winery. Laura, who is a physician and author, is currently the managing director of Bodega Catena Zapata and has been called the face of Argentine wine. Her tireless efforts in studying and promoting not only Malbec, but the entire Mendoza region, as well as her work in viticulture and sustainability practices, have helped to propel the industry forward. She is also the co-author of the new book, Malbec Mon Amour, a loving tribute to Argentina’s national grape.
This is classic Malbec with blue and black fruits, earthiness, and leather with velvety tannins. It’s what I fell in love with about Argentine Malbec. You can find at Total Wine for $15.97. And OK, I’m cheating a little bit because this is technically over $15, but it has “15” in the price, so maybe not. Pair with some tasty flank steak or beef empanadas. Thanks to the folks at Catena for the book!
Domaine Bousquet Brut Rose, Mendoza, Argentina ($13-15)
Now y’all know I wasn’t going to get through the list without including a sparkling wine, my legit spirit juice. I’ve written about Domain Bousquet on several occasions as I’m always amazed at the quality (organic) wines they are able to make at their price points. A lot of it has to do with their unique business model.
Their Brut Rose is made in the Charmat-method (also used for Prosecco) and is made of 75% organically grown Pinot Noir (75%) and 25% Chardonnay. I enjoy bubbly made in this method because it preserves the the freshness and fruit flavors in the wine. Yes, I enjoy my chalk, biscuits, and minerals, but sometimes a girl just wants some fruit. The delicate bubbles along with strawberry cream and tangerine offers a pleasurable sip though and through. Enjoy pool-side, at the beach, or just because. Available for $13 wine.com and $15 Central Market. And as you can see, I’ve also had their Brut and it also has great QPR.
If you have any other wine under $15 that you like, I’d love to know. Cheers and happy drinking.