Five wines that are a steal at under $20

Why spend more?
Wines recommended by Dave McIntyre. [Goran Kosanovic/Washington Post]
Wines recommended by Dave McIntyre. [Goran Kosanovic/Washington Post]
Published December 5 2018

Here are five delicious wines under $20 that deliver exceptional value. You almost may wonder, why spend more? There are reasons, but don’t let them stop you from enjoying these.

Milena Pinot Noir 2015

Bulgaria’s Danube Plain is producing some delicious pinot noir. The Milena is almost as elegant as its label, with notes of rose petals and cherries. The producers wisely took good fruit and did little to it. Alcohol by volume: 13 percent.

Yalumba The Y Series Voignier 2017

This is a lovely viognier, with scents of jasmine and honeysuckle, and a hint of ginger on the full-bodied palate. Wine Spectator magazine agreed, ranking it in its top 100 wines of the year. So buy up while you can. ABV: 13 percent.

Matamis Charilys Spumante Brut

This delightful bubbly is a blend of 85 percent assyrtiko and 15 percent malagouzia, two popular Greek white varieties. It is a sparkling fruit basket in a glass, with orchard and tropical fruit flavors and impressive depth. ABV: 12 percent.

Rethore Davy Chapitre Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot noir from the Loire can be rather light, and it often makes a nice rosé. This red is deep, savory and delicious. It grew on me, getting better the second night, so if you have time, open it a few hours before dinner. It actually reminded me of Loire Valley cabernet franc, featuring some of the smoky, leathery quality I call “grandpop’s library,” but with the body and fruit of a nice pinot noir. ABV: 12.5 percent.

Evaia Rosado 2017

Not too many years ago, Spanish wineries would typically hold their roses, or rosados, until two years after the vintage, believing the extra time in bottle enhanced their flavor. Today, the market demand for rose emphasizes freshness, and we tend to think (wrongly) that any rose more than a year old is over the hill. The makers of Evaia seem to have tried to play both ways, releasing their 2017 only in the fall, without rushing it to market. It’s terrific, with racy flavors of melon and strawberry, braced with a hint of exotic spice. ABV: 13 percent.

Prices are approximate. Check to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.