If you can’t tell from my frequent visits to wine countries all over that one of the ways I like to explore the world is through good wine. It’s a great way to explore a place without having to leave the comfort of your own home. My cravings for wines also change with the seasons, in the summer I want something light and fresh, but my favorite winter wines something warm and bold.
As much as wine is a fun way to explore the world, it can easily become an expensive habit. Which is why, as much as you should explore wineries of all levels, you also need to create a base of affordable yet delicious wines for every season. So let’s kick off this winter and the new year with a few of my favorite wines that won’t break the bank.
Something Sparking To Celebrate With
La Marca – Prosecco
While sparkling can be fun all year it’s great for celebrating throughout the winter. And this prosecco is my favorite budget bubbly. It’s not too sweet and it’s a great way to have a little sparkling at home for whenever you need to celebrate. You should be able to find it in just about any grocery store for $11-14.
J. Lohr – Bay Mist Riesling
I don’t drink that many whites in the winter but when I do I’m looking for something rich. And well, since I don’t like most Chardonnay I often go a little bit sweeter. I love a good Riesling that’s on the dryer side. And the Monterey Coast does many of these including this J. Lohr that is priced just right. You can get this one for $9-12.
Cline – Viognier
Another richer white I enjoy when I want to switch things up in the winter is a good Viognier. Cline is well loved up in Northern California (especially since they do free tastings) and their Viognier is no exception. Pick it up for around $12-15. This might be a little harder find but will be around in your local Bevmo or Total Wine.
Dry Creek Vineyard – Dry Chenin Blanc
A great winery and a region I love. The Dry Creek Vineyard Chenin Blanc is another richer white I like to mix it up with during winter. The grapes come from the Clarksburg area, just a short drive from my home. You can pick it up for $10-13.
Bogle – Petite Sirah
All year, one of my go-to wineries is Bogle. In my opinion, they do the best wines under $15. You can get everything from blends to whites to reds. But in the winter, my favorite is their Petite Sirah. It’s just a little spicy and nice and rich. You can get it in your grocery store for anywhere from $7-10.
Michael David – 7 Deadly Zins
I’d be surprised if you didn’t recognize this label, but if you haven’t picked up a bottle to take home yet you should. The 7 Deadly Zins is a rich classic for the under $10 wine budget. They also recently released a blend that’s pretty delicious too. Pick it up for $9-13.
Alamo – Malbec
I really enjoy a good Malbec. You don’t seem them around all that often but they provide a nice twist from the more common varietals we find around California. Alamos has become my go to as you can find it for only $7-9 in just about any grocery store.
Three Thieves – Cabernet Sauvignon
Sometimes you just need a heavy Cab but you don’t want to break the bank. The Three Thieves is a great way to do that. You’ll want to keep a bottle or two of these in your wine fridge to impress your guests and they’ll have no clue you can get it for just $9-12.
Josh – Legacy
I’ve always enjoyed blends and in the winter I’m no different. I’ve found myself picking up the Josh Legacy frequently this weekend. Josh makes consistently high quality and affordable wines. Their blend is smooth and just bold enough to enjoy as one of my favorite winter wines. The price does vary on this wine more than much but I’ve found it from $9-15.
Dreaming Tree – Crush
Did you know that Dave Mathews makes wine? And yes, both the label and the wine are named after his songs? I’ll admit I first started drinking Dreaming Tree because of who made it but I’ve continued to enjoy it because of the quality of the wine. Crush great to add to your go-to winter wines to have around where you can intrigue your guests with its story or just enjoy while playing one of Dave’s live albums. You can pick it up all over the place for $10-13.
Enjoy These Winter Wines & More
If you’re like me you’ll spend a little more time indoors over the next few months. Enjoying meals with friends and family, curled up under a blanket with a good book, or cooking in the kitchen. All of these are perfect times to enjoy one (or a few) of these affordable winter wines.
Do you have a favorite winter wine you like to enjoy? Does it fit in your budget or is it a fun splurge?