I’m always asked if I drink inexpensive wines. Of course, I do–if the wines are really good. Happily, I can report that it’s easier than ever to buy great stuff without spending a fortune. From my tastings this year, I’ve picked 50 wines that cost less than $50 a bottle and also deliver plenty of value for the price.
Tricks for finding the biggest bang for the buck? Look in low-buzz regions that aren’t luxury brands themselves, such as Beaujolais instead of Burgundy. Try unusual grape varieties, like assyrtiko and mencia. Above all, shop around. (That’s what the Internet is for.)
For top inexpensive bubbly, look outside Champagne.
2012 Raventos i Blanc L’Hereu Brut ($22)
This savory, sophisticated blend of native Spanish grapes from a super producer is my go-to Spanish bubbly.
Roederer Estate Brut ($24)
Reliably excellent, this crisp, sleek, citrus-y California brut comes from Mendocino’s Anderson Valley.
Domaine Andre & Mireille Tissot Cremant du Jura Extra Brut Rosé ($27)
A fresh-berry-tasting, stylish pink cuvée, this fizz is made in the now-trendy Jura from Poulsard and Trousseau grapes, with a dash of Pinot noir.