Five great wines $20 or under

On a budget? Here are five great bottles, all $20 or less.

Yalumba Y Series 2918 Shiraz-Viognier

(South Australia, Australia)

Food-friendly, smooth, easy to find and very affordable, this Shiraz-Viognier has red cherry and white pepper flavours, while a bit of Viognier gives this red blend a pretty floral lift on the nose. I paired it with grilled lamb skewers and grilled red peppers, which was delicious.

About $19 at Everything Wine, Safeway Liquor, Sherbrooke Liquor, Sobey’s Liquor and Wine & Beyond in Aberta, Canada.

Oxford Landing 2019 Merlot

(South Australia, Australia)

It’s hard to find a good wine at a great price these days, but this medium-bodied Merlot from Oxford Landing ticks the boxes: fresh, plummy dark fruit flavours and aromas, with smooth tannins and a medium-long finish. Pair with lasagne for a casual Friday night dinner with friends.

About $15 at Northmount Liquor in Calgary, Canada.

Cune Cava Brut

(Catalonia, Spain)

This wine! You’d never guess the price if you were tasting blind. (Well, I didn’t, anyway.) The fine, creamy, persistent mousse (bubbles, if you’re new to drinking sparkling wines), the layers of aromas: toast, almonds, lemon peel. The freshness. The versatility.

This well-crafted Cava from Cune will pair with fresh oysters, smoked salmon, or takeout sushi. I had guessed the price to be around $30, but it’s only about $19 a bottle at Bin 905 and Varsity Wine Merchants in Calgary, Canada. 

Marchesi de Frescobaldi, Attems 2019 Pinot Grigio

(Friuli, Italy)

It can be hard to find a great Pinot Grigio these days. We’re awash in a sea of pretty forgettable ones. This fine Italian example from Attems, however, is zingy, fresh, food-friendly and packed with flavour: lemon, melon, Granny Smith apples, and, on the nose, white flowers.

It pairs with a big list of foods: roast chicken, soft cheeses, smoked salmon, grilled salmon, a mildly flavoured pork roast, you name it. About $19 at Calgary Coop Wines & Spirits, Cellar Fine Wines & Spirits and Zyn – The Wine Market in Calgary.

Caves da Montanha, Convento da Gloria 2019 Tinto Roriz

(Lisboa, Portugal)

A brambly, fruity, easy-drinking red wine that’s most Tempranillo, Convento da Gloria will pair with all kinds of typical weekday dishes: pasta with tomato sauce and meatballs, homemade burgers, lasagna, even steak or lamb. (And check out that flashy label!) About $13 at Calgary Coop Wines & Spirits, Vine Arts and Zyn — The Wine Market in Calgary.