8 Budget-Friendly Wines That Are Worth A Try

Expensive wine tastes better, but are they really that much better? Here’s a list of affordable wines – all under $12 – that actually aren’t that bad!

Wine should be an easy thing to pick up and bring to a dinner party – in theory.

In reality, the shelves of witty, worldly, and sometimes weird labels with descriptions of “chewy tannins” and “fleshy bodies” can leave non-sommeliers confused. And then there’s the price. Expensive wine tastes better, right? But are they really that much better?

For the last two weeks, I’ve been drowning myself in budget-friendly bottles of wine to bring to you a list of affordable ones you can purchase at your local LCBO. Here are eight different wines – all under $12 – that actually aren’t that bad!

1. Beringer Main & Vine / Cabernet Sauvignon / California / $11

As a personal favourite of mine, Beringer’s Cabernet is an easy drinking red wine that’s perfect for pairing with dinner. With silky tannins, rich berry aromas and hints of cassis and vanilla, this bottle’s quality is way above its price tag.

2. Marcus James / Malbec / Argentina / $11.95

Straight from Argentina, this Malbec’s spice, floral and black fruit aromas are augmented by the vanilla notes contributed from oak ageing. To sum it all up, it’s flavorful with soft tannins that linger on the palate. Just be careful, it’s so good you’ll want to drink it all at once!

3. XOXO Pinot Grigio Chardonnay / Blend / Canada / $10.95

I couldn’t forget to mention Canada! This white wine blend is fresh and crisp with flavours of tree fruits and minerals. The bottle and title might seem a bit tacky, but this a great, tasty white wine if you’re on a budget.

4. Bodacious Smooth Red / Blend / Canada / $10.75

As the cheapest red wine on the list, Bodacious Smooth Red is a blend that’s a simple and easy wine to enjoy. There isn’t much going on with it, but it can’t be beaten for price. It’s not as dry as other reds, yet it still contains some ruby colours and sweet berry flavours.

5. Black Cellar / Pinot Grigio / Ontario / $11.95

Black Cellar’s Pinot Grigio is another light and smooth white wine that’s super easy to drink. Its aromas are rich in stone fruits like apples and peach, with a touch of floral. You can’t go wrong with this one or Black Cellar’s Shiraz Cabernet if you’re more of a red wine drinker (both the same price).

6. Revolution Red / Blend / California / $12

Hailing from California’s wine country, Revolution Red is a mix of Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The flavours are so rich and fruity, carrying through to the finish for a well-balanced glass of red.

7. Fuzion Alta Reserve / Malbec / Argentina / $10.95

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Estrenando copas y probando vinito. ? #FuzionAltaReserveMalbec.

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This bottle was recommended to me by a friend, and it’s a great value. Its aromas are rich in chocolate, vanilla and black currant, accompanied with flavours of cherry and raspberry. It’s bold yet balanced and out of all the wine’s on this list, I think it’s the tastiest.

8. Astica / Malbec Rosé / Argentina / $8.45

Pale salmon in colour, this light bodied rosé offers aromas of rose petals and raspberries. I’m not a regular rosé drinker myself, but this affordable bottle if perfect for warm summer nights. It’s tasting notes are of citrus and tart cranberry for a crisp and refreshing finish.

Do you know any other affordable wines that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments.

Featured image: Instagram/ @mainandvinewine

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