12 of the Best Thanksgiving Wines for $15 or Less

Thanksgiving spread with budget wines
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Whether you’re planning an intimate dinner for one or heading to a meal with your entire extended family, Thanksgiving is generally an expensive affair. Turkey and pecans don’t come cheap, and neither does holiday-weekend airfare.

To help, we’ve compiled 12 of the best budget-friendly wines, all found on our Top 100 Best Buys of 2019 list, for Thanksgiving. Our editors’ favorites include California Pinot Noir and Washington State Chardonnay, as well as Provençal rosé and a few other far-flung options.

Best of all, the most you’ll spend on any bottle is $15—so you can focus on gratitude and gravy.

Top 100 Best Buys of 2019

Recommended Thanksgiving Wines

Hahn 2017 G-S-M (Central Coast); $15, 92 points. Freshly crushed blackberry, leafy herbs, charred meat and a hint of oak show on the nose of this value blend of 65% Grenache, 33% Syrah and 2% Mourvèdre. It’s fresh on the palate in a black currant flavor yet savory in smoked meat, all framed by bright acidity and layered tannins. Best Buy. –Matt Kettmann

A to Z 2018 Riesling (Oregon); $15, 91 points. Off dry in style, this pops out a tasty mix of orange, grapefruit and apple fruit, with acidity that suggests a dash of lemon tea. There are more highlights, unexpected in a wine at this price, bringing floral and honey notes on through a lingering finish. Best Buy. –Paul Gregutt

Beringer 2017 Founder’s Estate Pinot Noir (California); $10, 91 points. This medium- to full-bodied wine is one of the best values in Pinot today. It shows classic black and red-cherry aromas, a broad palate of dark fruits and light oak spices. Lifted acidity and moderate tannins complete the nicely composed picture. Best Buy. –Jim Gordon

CVNE 2016 Cune Crianza (Rioja); $14, 90 points. Berry, spice and tobacco aromas work in unison to give this Crianza a nice start. A firm palate avoids jamminess and shows grip. Dark plum, raspberry, spice and pepper flavors hold on through the finish. For everyday Rioja, there isn’t much better than this. Arano LLC. Best Buy. –Michael Schachner

Domaine Houchart 2018 Rosé (Côtes de Provence); $15, 90 points. Always an attractive wine, this release remains as reliable in this vintage. The classic blend is full and ripe, with a touch of caramel as well as raspberry flavors. Lightly textured and full of fruit, it is ready to drink. David Milligan Selections. Best Buy. –Roger Voss

Thanksgiving Dinner, From the Turkey to the Side Dishes

La Posta 2017 Armando Bonarda (Mendoza); $15, 90 points. Grapy blackberry and black plum aromas come with oak spice on the side. While this is round in feel, the palate is packed with fruit flavors, blackberry and cassis in particular. Chocolate and toast notes grace a satisfying finish. Fans of Argentinean wines seeking something other than Malbec will be well served by this. Vine Connections. Best Buy. –M.S.

Willm 2017 Réserve Pinot Blanc (Alsace); $14, 90 points. Hints of lemon and green pear on the nose become fully fleshed and expressive on the dry, fresh palate. Bright lemon provides freshness and grip throughout. It’s a refreshing wine with a lively, brisk finish. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd. Best Buy. –Anne Krebiehl, MW

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2017 Chardonnay (Columbia Valley); $11, 89 points. This wine’s aromas are pleasing, with notes of apple, cream and spice. Full-feeling yet nuanced fruit flavors follow. Spice notes linger on the finish. It displays a lovely sense of balance that kicks it up a notch. Best Buy. –Sean Sullivan

Hay Maker 2018 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough); $12, 89 points. This is an attractive, perfumed Sauvignon with heaps of lime popsicle, peach blossoms and dried green herbs. The palate is both chalky and slippery in texture, nicely balanced by crunchy acidity, bright fruit and dried herbs. Accolade Wines. Best Buy. –Christina Pickard

Masseria Li Veli 2017 Orion Primitivo (Salento); $14, 89 points. Ripe cherry and blackberry aromas are lifted by orange and potpourri spices. Rounded in feel, the palate pops in bright, bouncy red-fruit flavors, with spicy tannins riding underneath. Accents of violet and graphite arise on the midpalate and extend through the finish. Dalla Terra Winery Direct. Best Buy. –Alexander Peartree

Concha y Toro 2017 Casillero del Diablo Reserva Carmenère (Central Valley); $12, 88 points. Aromas of blackberry and black cherry carry this easygoing Carmenère. Toasty black-fruit flavors offer a hint of smoke on the palate, with a balanced finish that ends clean. Fetzer Vineyards. Best Buy. –M.S.

DeMorgenzon 2018 DMZ Rosé (Stellenbosch); $12, 88 points. There’s a light bubblegum accent upfront, but it quickly subsides to reveal more central notes of watermelon rind and citrus zest. The palate is nicely balanced and harmonious, with ample acidity and bright red-berry flavors that have good staying power. The medium-length finish is bright and tasty, with a mouthwatering flourish of fresh citrus and tart strawberry flavor. Cape Classics. Best Buy. –Lauren Buzzeo

Published on November 22, 2019
Topics: Holiday Entertaining


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