February 01, 2023 by Arden Montgomery
Best Wine on a Budget
Wine is sometimes considered to be a beverage synonymous with privilege and more than a few dollars shed for a really good bottle. And no mistake, wine can get pricey – many experienced oenophiles with cash to spend will hardly blink an eye at laying down a couple hundred for something special.
But a bottle’s price tag does not always signal better flavor, and foodies low on funds will be glad to know that it is absolutely possible to enjoy a balanced wine that won’t break the bank.
What contributes to the cost of wine?
The amount for which the end-buyer eventually purchases a bottle of wine is decided by many other factors besides simply the quality of the product. Desirability and relative excellence of the fruit as well as the land on which it was grown absolutely has an impact, but so does the size of the vineyard, the year in which it was grown, where in the world it is being made, and where it’s being purchased.
You already know why price fluctuates for different vintages of the same varietal from the same winemaker: ideal weather conditions will make a better fruit resulting in a better product, and the price may go up. However sometimes the opposite can be the case, where a hard year may result in scant harvest. If the quality of the grape is not affected, a low supply may increase demand, and therefore the final price tag.
Of course overhead costs are another factor in wine cost. Generally, with a few notable exceptions, we might find that U.S. wines are a little pricier than European bottles, as a greater number of vineyards on the continent are lineage farms and so are subject to fewer external land-maintenance costs. Shipping costs, import fees, and tariffs can balance these numbers out however on bottles arriving from outside the country.
As with any business, cost of labor will influence a product’s end-price as well. Smaller wine operations may be able to sell a really amazing bottle for less as they’re supporting fewer workers and a smaller area of land.
Best wine under $25 from Argaux
- 2020 Chateau des Antonins AOC Bordeaux Blanc – $25
It’s fresh and dry and delicious with an oeuvre that feels like tasting your way through a garden planted exclusively with white flowers and green veggies. Pairs with fish, carbs, and hard, salty cheeses.
- 2019 San Giorgio a Lapi Sangiovese Rosso – $20
This one’s a food-friendly red from the heart of Italy. If it grows together it goes together as they say, and the tasting notes of spice and tomato tell you exactly what this bottle begs to be matched with.
- 2021 Angelo Negro ‘Onorata’ Langhe Favorita Vermentino – $22.10 (sale!)
The Favorita stretches your budget ever further with its broad appeal to a wide audience of wine drinkers. Versatile flavors cover a number of genres sure to please even the most particular palates. Invite her to your next dinner party!
- 2020 Les Athlètes du Vin Chinon Cabernet Franc – $24
Serve in a stemless glass at your next outdoor soiree – ideally one where the barbecue is fired up and sizzling throughout. Throw it in the cooler for about ten minutes before you pour, and after you’ve sweat it out with your friends on the lawn.
- 2021 Herd & Hart Western Cape Sauvignon Blanc – $20
Terroir is no thing reserved for the wealthy. This delicious Sauv Blanc hails from the coasts of South Africa, bringing with it the flavors from that storied soil. Fruit, salinity, and a little herbaceousness round out this wild experience.
- 2021 Par Fore the Course New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – $18
Another sporty option from Aotearoa, like fresh-cut grass and a bevy of tropical fruits that feel as deep and delectable as New Zealand’s mountain lakes. Enjoy on the course, in a hammock, or under the party tree at your uncle’s eleventy-first birthday party.
- 2021 Von Winning Sauvignon Blanc II – $25
Germany’s famous for their beer expertise, but that doesn’t preclude the region from producing a really delicious wine, too. It’s classic, yet genre-defying, which is just so German, if you ask us. Pair with fish, veggies, and anything spicy.
- NV Sorelle Bronca Extra Dry Prosecco – $22
Bubbles on a budget, perfect for creating sparkly wine-based cocktails to grace your next cute brunch date. Goes with anything really salty – we’re thinking a pate-and-olive spread and perhaps a few rosemary-almond crackers.
- 2021 Chateau Barbebelle Aix-en-Provence ‘Cuvée Madeleine’ Rosé – $25
It’s a food-friendly, sustainable, delicious, classically-made rosé from a woman-owned winery. What’s not to love?
Other offerings from Argaux
If you want to take a vacation of the tastebuds – but you’re squirreling away for plane tickets – take a trip with Argaux to the old world and new world of wines.
The Old World vs. New World Tasting Set offers a sensual Mediterranean tour from both the actual Med and its twin off the western coast of the Americas. In this box is included 2 to 4 bottles (your choice) of red or mixed red-and-white wines from both California and France, to give you a taste of what each region has to offer. Experienced tasters may encounter a little bit of culture shock, but also come away swooning at the serendipitous similarities between the two giants of the wine world.