Sure, we might love to sip a $100 bottle of wine every day of the week, but most budgets simply don’t allow it. Try one of these affordable options instead to appease your wallet and your palate. (Some selections were sent for editorial consideration.)
Aromatic Rhone and Rhone-style whites are ideal for fall weather, layering white peach with floral notes and spice. From Ferraton Pere & Fils Samorens Blanc in Northern Rhone, a white blend of traditional varieties matches a well-rounded palate with fresh acidity ($15 at La Cave).
Napa Valley wineries Miner ($22 at Sigel’s) and Pine Ridge ($12 at Total Wine) craft luscious Viognier-based wines from vineyards in Lodi and Central Coast. Pine Ridge adds an additional floral, crushed stone note by adding Chenin Blanc to their blend.
Texas terroir is ideally suited for Rhone whites, specifically Viognier and Roussanne. From McPherson, Les Copains White blends classic Rhone varieties for a honeysuckle, melon, and citrus filled wine ($15 at Spec’s). Llano Estacado, one of the oldest wineries in Texas, celebrates our state’s history with their 1836 White, blending Viognier and Roussanne with Chardonnay for a rich wine with creamy honey and tropical notes, via the winery.
Very bright, high acid white wines of Alto Adige showcase high elevation vineyards at the base of the Dolomite Mountains in Northeast Italy, producing character filled, mineral intense wines. If Pinot Grigio is the signature white of Italy, those produced in Alto Adige are the finest. Tieffenbrunner, Castelfeder, and Abbazia di Novacella showcase the terroir with elegant expressions of the variety. All available at Jimmy’s.
Incredibly affordable for the quality from the region, Alois Lageder Riff Pinot Grigio is a steal at $10 a bottle. Produced in an Italian style, J Pinot Gris ($20) highlights the warmth found in Sonoma vineyards producing a tropical-fruit-filled wine, both at Pogo’s.
If you are a Chardonnay fan, affordable options are endless, but not all are great. A few quality selections include Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Chardonnay ($22), Olema ($20), Hess Collection ($15), True Myth ($14) and Edna Valley Chardonnay ($15), available at Total Wine & Wine.com.
To find well-made Russian River Chardonnay for under $20 can be a challenge, however, Raeburn excels with their offering, highlighting the freshness that cool evenings bring to Russian River fruit ($19 at McKinney Wine Merchant). Landmark Vineyards celebrates their 25th anniversary of the Overlook Chardonnay highlighting their dedication to producing premium products, with reasonable prices, $25 at Total Wine.
Though Sbragia may be known for Cabernet and Zinfandel, they also craft luscious Chardonnay from their Home Ranch estate with crisp apple, lemon, and vanilla ($20 at Wine.com).
If you are a fan of Chardonnay, try a Soave from the Veneto region of Italy. Made primarily from the Garganega variety, Soave melds bright acidity with textured roundness. Favorites include Inama Soave Classico ($15 at Pogo’s) and Pieropan ($14 at Total), celebrating the 50th vintage since their current leader, Leonildo “Nino” Pieropan, took over his historic family estate.
If you enjoy Sauvignon Blanc, consider the white wines of Portugal. Produced from varieties like Arinto, Trajadura, Azal, and Alvarinho, often as a field-blend, as varieties can be interspersed in the vineyard, the wines are fruity, fragrant and youthful. Raza Vinho Verde ($10), with a touch of light carbonation, is a low alcohol, lively wine. Defesa Do Esporao ($14) from the southern Alentejo region, layers flowers, lime-zest, and stonefruit, at Spec’s.
Mineral-driven white wines from Sicily reveal a herbaceous earthiness, as displayed in the steely, crushed stone filled Tenuta Capofaro Didyme Malvasia ($25, at Jimmy’s).