Summer is in full swing, meaning everything from outdoor adventures to barbecues, baseball games or balmy days at the beach. While some occasions may call for a treasured bottle to be reverently plucked from the cellar and savored thoughtfully by connoisseurs, just as many (if not more) situations call for an affordable wine that can be purchased for $10 or less, drinks well at a young age and is guaranteed to please a variety of palates. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of wines we promise won’t set you back more than a sawbuck, and span everything from Australian Shiraz to juicy Tempranillo and an Italian Pinot Grigio full of peach and pear notes that work beautifully for the season.
Recommended Wines for $10 or Less
De Bortoli 2017 DB Family Selection Shiraz (Australia); $10, 90 points. This is a lightweight, attractive Shiraz with heady aromas of red currants, cranberries, dried flowers and an herbal tonic note. On the palate, a spine of sandy tannins runs behind lush, juicy fruit. The oak is more noticeable here and is a little soapy on the finish, but overall, those who prefer their reds on the lighter, brighter side will find this a tasty, easy-drinking drop. MHW, Ltd. Best Buy. —Christina Pickard
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2017 Dry Riesling (Columbia Valley); $9, 89 points. The aromas pop, with notes of rubbed lime leaf, citrus, white peach and cut green apple. Sleek, bone-dry, Nestea Lemon Iced Tea flavors follow, with the finish sailing. This is always one of the best wine values on the shelf, and this vintage does not disappoint. Best Buy. —Sean P. Sullivan
Dominio de Eguren 2016 Codice Red (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla); $10, 89 points. A full black fruit nose punches above its weight class, with depth of fruit and smokiness normally found in more expensive wines. A full, fleshy palate is held together by firm tannins, while this Tempranillo-led blend tastes of dark fruits, herbs and spices prior to a steady, lightly toasted finish. Jorge Ordóñez Selections. Best Buy. —Michael Schachner
Robertson Winery 2017 Pinotage (Robertson); $10, 89 points. There are lovely top notes of sweet smoke, hickory-cured bacon and sweet cedar grounded by rich, ripe red cherry, raspberry and mulberry throughout this wine. It’s smooth and slightly creamy in feel, with plush red-berry flavors, fine yet structuring tannins and ample acidity to lift the inherent sweetness. The finish offers an exhale of more sweet cured meat and smoke tones, with some brambly berry on the back. Indigo Wine Group. Best Buy. —Lauren Buzzeo
Cantina Riff 2017 Pinot Grigio (Delle Venezie); $10, 88 points. Mouthwatering aromas of baked apple, ripe white peach and Bartlett pear follow over to the juicy palate alongside tangy acidity. It closes crisp and clean. Dalla Terra Winery Direct. Best Buy. —Kerin O’Keefe
Casa Santos Lima 2017 Lab Red (Lisboa); $10, 87 points. Crisp red fruits give this wine a lift while the soft tannins and warm texture bring their pleasurable contribution. Drink the wine now. Best Buy. —Roger Voss
Dark Horse 2016 Chardonnay (California); $8, 87 points. Medium in body and ripe in flavor, this wine is generous and fruity, offering a good nip of acidity and attractive apple and citrus notes. Small portions of Viognier and Gewürztraminer were blended in. Best Buy. —Jim Gordon
Oak Grove 2017 Family Reserve Viognier (California); $9, 87 points. This is a medium-weight wine that balances subtle floral and orange-zest characters against suggestions of vanilla and butter that build on the palate and add richness on the finish. Best Buy. —J.G.
Reef Ridge 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough); $10, 87 points. This is a bright, aromatic wine, with generous amounts of tropical fruit, ripe lemon, nettle, honey and a little oyster shell. The palate is light, crisp and slippery textured with a lemony finish. Tri-Vin Imports. Best Buy. —C.P.
Schlink Haus 2017 Kabinett Riesling (Nahe); $10, 87 points. Honeyed yet spry, this semidry, easy-drinking Riesling suggests fresh, primary white grapefruit and lemon flavors. It’s delicately sweet but refreshingly brisk. Enjoy now. Wein Bauer Inc. Best Buy. —Anna Lee C. Iijima
Published: June 5, 2019