I am a wine lover. I love the flavours, tasting notes, trying new wines and sipping old favourites. However, I also love saving money. My whole family is of the mind that there is no greater joy than finding a great bang-for-your-buck wine. We all share new discoveries and recommendations. I also always get asked by friends to recommend good wines at a reasonable price point.
Tori and I compiled a list of our favourites and why they are a part of our core rotation. All of the wines listed are under $20, available at the LCBO and some even at a grocery store. They are easy to find, easy to drink and easy on the wallet!
Just a heads up, most of these wines are pretty darn dry as myself and the fam don’t tend to like wines on the sweeter side. If a sweeter wine is your jam, that is awesome – this just may not be the list you want to take reccos from.
I would love to hear if you have tried any of the list already. What were your thoughts? I would also love to see what some of your favourites are. What are your recommendations?
Beyra Vinhos de Altitude Red 2017 $13.95 – “We just tried this the other night and I am in love. I always like trying reds from regions other than the well known Italy, California, France… this Portuguese wine tastes super expensive even though it’s a steal. We may have just ordered a case… whoops”. – Spencer
Wayne Gretzky Estates Baco Noir $15.95 – “The perfect summer red. It pairs amazingly with BBQ and is light enough to drink on a summers night. This is the red I always like to have on hand because it is suits any time of year and goes with anything. It is the versatility queen. I also love that it is a great example of a Canadian red”. – Spencer
Fantini Montepulciano D’Abruzo $8.95 – “This is a great wine for the price. It’s good right out of the bottle but gets even better with a little aeration. I love this aerator or you can just swirl your glass and let it sit for a few minutes too. This is a nice enough tasting wine to serve with a fancy dinner, but cheap enough to serve at a party. This was the go-to wine for Spencer and my 28th birthday celebration this year”. – Tori
Monte Antico $15.95 – “This is the perfect dinner red with bolognese, steak, or pizza. Most Italian Sangiovese blends of this caliber cost a lot more. I find this one also tastes better after decanting. We love our decanter/aerator combo for red wines that we got at Costco – this one is similar: decanter/aerator” – Spencer
Smoking Loon Cab Sauv $16.00 – “This is definitely one of the best bang for your buck wines despite being a bit pricier. It is nice enough for special occasions or to gift without breaking the bank. Any time a bottle of this is procured at a family gathering, all of a sudden everyone is having a glass of red.” – Tori
Susana Balbo Crios Malbec $16.95 – “The best Malbec I have ever had. It is so so so good – this wine started my love affair with Malbec’s” – Spencer
Lupi Reali Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC Organic $12.00 – “An awesome wine for a great price, plus it’s organic! Italian family friends of ours did a blind taste test of a bunch of reds to decide what to serve at their Buck and Doe…this was the winner. You know it must be good if it got the Italian seal of approval!” – Spencer
Ruffino Chianti $14.95 – “Our go-to for Sunday night dinner, which usually involves having lots of family over. It’s delicious and right up pretty much everyones alley. Most similar Chianti blends cost a lot more- this one is a great value and is wayyyyy to easy to drink 😉 ” – Spencer
Susana Balbo Crios Torrontés $14.95 – “My all time favourite white. Friends of ours brought this for us as a gift when we had them over for dinner. They had been taking a wine course at George Brown college in Toronto and this was one of the wines their professor used as an example. It tastes super expensive even though it isn’t. It tastes like pineapple and tropical fruits but is somehow still dry. It’s sooo good.”. – Spencer
Château des Charmes Barrel Fermented Chardonay $14.95 – “My husband Jonathon’s favourite white wine. We literally always have at least one bottle of this in the wine rack. It is so buttery smooth”. – Spencer
Long Weekend Chardonnay Pinot Grigio $12.95 – “This is the grocery store saviour. If I have to pick up a wine from the minimal selection at a grocery store, this is almost always the white I grab. It is a bit unique in that it is a Chardonnay Pinot Grigio blend. I have bought this many times for nights with friends and don’t think I’ve come across anyone who didn’t like it. Dry for those who hate sweet wine, but fruity flavours to keep it from tasting too dry.” – Tori
Cave Spring Dry Riesling $15.95 – “A very unique Riesling since it is more on the dry side, where typically most are sweeter. However you still get all of the mineral and earthy flavours of rieslings that I love”. – Spencer
Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier $ 11.70 – “A very easy to drink dry white. Definitely best served cold on a hot day. “- Tori
L’Orangeraie Rose Pays D’OC $11.95 – “The perfect easy drinking rosé. It is super refreshing, ideal for sipping in the summer.” – Spencer
Château des Charmes Cuvée D’Andrée Rosé $16.95 – “Maybe my favourite Rosé. It’s super flavourful (sometimes I find rosé can lack big flavours). I love that is has lots of red berry notes, but is still very dry (not sweet). Even though the price is a bit higher than some of the other rosés listed, I had to include it because it is that good. I still think it is great value for your money because of how delicious it is. It also pairs PERFECTLY with salmon, which I often find tough to pair wine with”. – Spencer
Casillero Del Diablo Reserva Shiraz Rosé $10.25 – “We decided to give this one a try randomly because the bottle was super pretty and we knew the brand from their red wines. We really enjoyed it, it is an easy drinking rosé. I suggested it to Spence last summer and now it is a go-to for the whole fam.” – Tori
Peninsula Ridge Beal Vineyard Cabernet Rosé $14.95 – “Such a great rosé! I love that it is from 100% cabernet franc grapes so you get lots of cab flavours, but more refreshing for warm weather!” – Spencer
Ogier Cotes Du Ventoux Rose AOC $12.55 – “A delicious and flavourful dry rosé with a beautiful dark berry colour. My finance and I polished off a bottle recently relaxing in our backyard on a hot Saturday afternoon in May. It went down EASYYYYY”. – Tori
Mionetto Prestige Prosecco $16.95 – “My go-to prosecco. Anytime I bring this to an event, without a doubt everyone ends up asking for a glass. It feels and tastes special, but with a price tag that allows you to drink it freely!” – Spencer
Lily Sparkling Rosé $17.95 – “The perfect summer patio drink. Light and refreshing but still flavourful. I love that it tastes like berries and cream but without being sweet. The beautiful pink colour and packaging doesn’t hurt either!” – Spencer
Segura Viudas Reserva Brut $15.95 – “This is the perfect Champagne dupe. It tastes nutty, toasty and creamy. At this price point, it doesn’t have to be reserved for special occasions… Wednesday nights on the deck are reason enough!” -Spencer
Ruffino Prosecco $17.95 – “This is a classic, my old reliable. It has been my go-to when I want something sparkling or to bring as a gift. It never fails me. While it is still not sweet, it is more medium-dry on the sweetness scale so I find it is approachable for everyone.” -Spencer
Cono Sur Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé $15.00 – “This is a best of everything wine: the best of a rosé with berry/rhubarb flavours. The best of a sparkling wine with some dry acidity and fine bubbles. And the best price point!” – Tori
Have you tried any of the above wines? What were your thoughts? Do you have any recommendations of great bang-for-your-buck wines? I’d love hear and keep adding to the list. Cheers! Salud! Santé! Salute!