15 Good Bottles of Wine Under $20 You Can Bring to Thanksgiving
These bottles of wine are so good, no one will accuse you of looking cheap. We promise!
Whether you’re looking for something to contribute to Thanksgiving dinner (or Friendsgiving!) or a gift for your Thanksgiving host, a bottle of wine will do the trick. However, price tags for a good bottle of wine can be sky high, and you don’t want to be the guy bringing the Two-Buck Chuck.
Sommelier Sarah Tracey of The Lush Life recommends these reasonably priced sommelier-approved bottles that taste way more premium than they cost!
Bringing a bottle of Champagne isn’t always in the budget (remember: true Champagne is only from the Champagne region of France and can be pricey); but Spain has her own delicious, budget-friendly signature sparkler – Cava! This selection from award winning Cava producer Vilarnau is a show-stopper, in a decorative bottle inspired by Spanish superstar modernist, Gaudi! If you have artsy friends, this is sure to impress.
Sparkling rosé is a festive and versatile wine for any kind of gathering. When your crew is unapologetically hip, look for wines from Portugal; which is emerging as one of the hottest wine and travel destinations out there right now. (Don’t we all know someone who just got back from Lisbon?) Made by one of Portugal’s leading young winemakers, Filipa Pato, this bubbly shows fresh strawberry notes along with peaches, lavender and rose petal.
Fresh and aromatic Italian white wines are always welcome at a table with so much heavy food. Skip the Pinot Grigio and opt for a white wine with more brightness and juicy yellow fruit flavors to balance out those buttery mashed potatoes: Grechetto from central Italy’s Umbria region! Bonus: You’ll win instant cool points for picking this bottle out from a region mostly known for red wines.
For anyone that’s heard about the natural wine trend and is curious – start with a winery that has been crafting organic, biodynamic and vegan wines since 2002 (i.e., WAY before it was trendy!). Winemaker Gerard Bertrand is a rock star in Southwest France for making impeccable but accessible wines; and this new project has him drilling down even further on clean and precise practices in order to avoid adding sulphur dioxide (a common wine preservative) during bottling. The result is fresh, alive and magical.
This white Bordeaux is your perfect apertif: a bottle meant to be popped before the meal, to stoke your appetite and cleanse your palate (always a good idea on Thanksgiving!). This is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, with its trademark citrus zestiness, and Sémillon, which brings a little roundness and creamy texture to the blend. The wines from the Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux region are a sommelier secret for combining quality and value!
Winemaker Ntsiki Biyela has an incredible history as the first female black winemaker in South Africa; and after working and studying in Bordeaux and Tuscany, she took her newly refined skills back home and started her own label. Her sensitive approach gives us a fresh and luscious Chardonnay with a mineral and crisp finish — a perfect pairing for roasted sweet potatoes or cornbread stuffing.
If a vibrant white wine with zesty peach and tropical aromas and a dry and herbal finish sounds mouthwatering, that’s because it is! Made from the Verdejo grape, this is one of the most crowd-pleasing wines from Northern Spain and has a lovely, textural mouthfeel. More than enough bang for your buck, and perfect with turkey.
A refreshing white with hints of seaside breeze, this complex Chardonnay is made from fruit sourced from estate vineyards in the Monterey Bay, ranging down to the southeast Salinas Valley. That maritime influence shines through in every sip giving us a versatile wine that effortlessly makes every dish on the table taste even better.
Rosé's not just for summertime anymore! This light California rosé is made from fruit sourced from Santa Barbara and coastal Sonoma, and is known for its freshness and purity, with plenty of floral and citrus aromas and pink grapefruit flavors. Keep a glass in hand for the perfect palate cleanser through a marathon meal.
If you’re seeking a deeper, richer style of rosé that’s more robust (aka, just right for fall and winter), your best bet is an Italian Rosato from the Abruzzo region. Masciarelli winery is helmed by the mother-daughter duo of Marina Cvetic and Miriam Masciarelli, and this wine, made from the fruity and popular Montepulciano grape, is the cranberry sauce of wine: bright, fresh, tangy and a fantastic addition to the table.
You might not immediately think of Pinot Noir when you think of German wine, but if you haven’t tried it yet, this certified organic bottle is the perfect place to start. In Germany, Pinot Noir is known as Spätburgunder (SHPAYT-boor-gun-der) and not only has beautiful acidity, but it also has a lower proof (12.5% ABV) than most red wines, which helps make it an excellent red to get you through an entire Thanksgiving meal without making you sleepy or sluggish.
A great place to look when you’re seeking wines that overdeliver for their price: Chile! This Pinot Noir is full of red fruit: wild strawberry, raspberry, red plums, with a little smokiness in the finish (fall bonfire vibes, anyone?). One trick to being a great guest is to bring a bottle you can tell a story about. Bicicleta is a tribute to the Cono Sur vineyard workers that travel around the estate by bicycle, and symbolizes their sustainable philosophy and commitment to the environment.
This is perhaps the perfect autumn red. Best served chilled, it’s full of notes of cranberry, pomegranate, ginger and white pepper. Lively and bright, it hails from the Valdarno di Sopra DOC in Tuscany. Certified organic and made from hand-harvested Sangiovese, Syrah and Merlot grapes, this drinks like something triple the price. A true winner.
For fans of rich, jammy, full bodied reds, Zinfandel should be your go-to! For the history buffs, this wine is appropriate to celebrate our all-American holiday because the first advertised Zins in America were documented back in 1832 (according to the Wine Institute), and the grape became widely planted during the gold rush era between 1852 and 1857. Filled with rich raspberry and black cherry notes, this wine spends a long 16 months aging in French and American oak barrels for ultimate smoothness.
If you’re looking for a wine host gift where you absolutely cannot go wrong, look no further! A red that is medium-bodied but intense, soft, smooth, luscious and slightly spicy, this is equally at home at a summer barbeque or in front of the fire on a chilly evening. It’s generous, but elegant (exactly how you want to be perceived as a guest!); and presenting this to your hosts guarantees you’ll always be on the guest list.