Liquor Laboratory

15 Best Red Wine Blends Under $20 Ranked (2023 Edition)

Best Red Wine Blends Under $20

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Lydia Martin

The best red blend wines don’t need to be expensive. You might be surprised to know that some of the excellent red blends are under $20. That’s right! There are red blend wines that won’t break your bank.

But among all the expressions we’ve tried – from velvety Cabernet Sauvignon to charming Shiraz, we personally hand-picked every bottle in this list because each brings affordable excellence to wine glasses.

So, if you’re looking for budget-friendly options, here are the best red wine blends under $20.

Top 15 Red Wine Blends Under $20

1. H&B (Hecht & Bannier) Minervois 2013

H&B (Hecht & Bannier) Minervois 2013

Average Price: around $20/750ml (Wine-Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 14.5% ABV

Nose: Black and red fruits

Palate: Mediterranean herb notes

Blends: Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Carignan grapes

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: This red enchants our nose and palate with the essence of Mediterranean herbs. We like its vibrant character from the delightful blend of the grape varieties.

Its vibrant character is also perfect for pairing with a range of dishes, like roast chicken (the best!).

2. TerraQuilia Falconero Zero I.G.P. Emilia-Romagna Sparkling Red Wine 2017

TerraQuilia Falconero Zero I.G.P. Emilia-Romagna Sparkling Red Wine 2017 

Average Price: around $18.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 11.5% ABV

Nose: aromatic red fruit

Palate: Refreshing effervescence

Blends: Lambrusco and Malbo Gentile grapes

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: If you’re not into full-bodied wines, we suggest this TerraQuilia Falconero Sparkling Red Wine 2017. It boasts an aromatic nose with a refreshing palate, giving a unique twist on tradition.

“Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures.” – Michael Broadbent, British Wine Critic

It’s one of our favorites due to its lively character and crisp flavors. This bottle never fails to bring a sense of celebration to any occasion.

3. Luyt Pipeño Carrizal Chile País Familia Ernesto Soto 2019

Average Price: around $18.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 12.7% ABV

Nose: aromatic and rustic

Palate: Berry-spiced

Blends: Pais grapes

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: We particularly like the rustic charm of this delicious red wine. With its unique character and balanced flavors, this is one of the best Chilean wines we have tried.

We recommend this expression for beginners – it’s captivating and intriguing.

4. Matthiasson Tendu California 2018

Matthiasson Tendu California 2018

Average Price: around $18/750ml (Wine-Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 12.5% ABV

Nose: Bright red fruit scents

Palate: Refreshing vitality

Blends: Aglianico, Montepulciano and Barbera grapes

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Matthiasson Tendu California Red Wine 2018 is one of the red blends oozing with bright tasting notes, particularly the nose. It’s also a refreshing red blend, providing a unique profile.

With its vibrant character and lively flavors, we admire its ability to infuse every sip with a sense of Californian energy and style. Actually, we prefer this red blend over Apothic Red.

5. Chronic Cellars Suite Petite 2013

Chronic Cellars Suite Petite 2013

Average Price: around $17/750ml (Wine-Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 14.5% ABV

Nose: Dark fruit fusion

Palate: Cocoa-infused richness

Blends: Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache, and Zinfandel wine grapes

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Another one of the best red blends, the Chronic Cellars Suite Petite 2013, marries four varieties of grapes – Syrah, Petite Sirah [1], Grenache, and Zinfandel. We like its boldness with captivating flavors and velvety texture.

If you want depth yet approachable, we highly recommend this red blend’s perfect tasting notes!

6. Cliffhanger Vineyards Proprietary Red Blend 2013

Cliffhanger Vineyards Proprietary Red Blend 2013

Average Price: around $15.54/750ml (Vivino)

Alcohol Content: 13% ABV

Nose: Dark fruit, black cherry

Palate: Oak-kissed complexity

Blends: Teroldego and Lagrein grapes 

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: This 2013 Cliffhanger Vineyards Proprietary Red Blend boasts an enticing nose with a palate enriched by the complexity of oak. The blend of flavors unfolds with each sip, showcasing the artistry of meticulous blending.

Its intricate tasting notes make this red blend an admirable expression that keeps us engaged from the first pour to the last drop.

7. Cotes du Rhone Samorens 2014, Ferraton

Average Price: around $15.99/750ml (Vivino)

Alcohol Content: 13.5% ABV 

Nose: Red fruit medley

Palate: Silky cherries

Blends: Syrah, Cinsault, and Grenache grapes

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Crafted from three grape varieties, this rich red blend provides our senses with a captivating aroma and smooth tannins. We like the lingering finish – perfect for grilled meats.

Besides, this French red blend captures the essence of the Rhone Valley, giving away tasting notes that feel vibrant and nuanced.

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8. Casa Cadaval, Trincadeira Preta 2011

Casa Cadaval, Trincadeira Preta 2011

Average Price: around $14/750ml (Wine-Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 13.5% ABV 

Nose: Juicy berry

Palate: Subtle notes of smoke

Blend: Trincadeira Preta grapes

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: We like its juicy aroma, leading to a palate enhanced by a subtle smokiness. It gives the flavor balance with a unique red blend of fruitiness and subtle complexity.

9. Domaine de L’Obrieu Cuvee Les Antonins 2010

Average Price: around $14.43/750ml (Vivino)

Alcohol Content: 14.5% ABV

Nose: Dark fruit aromas

Palate: Earthy elegance

Blends: Shiraz and Grenache grapes

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: This red blend is a medium-bodied wine oozing with a captivating aroma and palate. The firm tannins harmoniously blend with the flavors. It has great depth and character, which we really enjoy.

The layered flavors and balanced character of this red blend can elevate both casual evenings and special gatherings.

10. Birillo Costa Toscana 2013

Birillo Costa Toscana 2013

Average Price: around $11.95/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 14.5% ABV 

Nose: Dark cherry and spice

Palate: Rich and balanced

Blends: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: This red blend impresses us with its captivating blend of aroma. Its rich and balanced profile has personally won us over, making it a stellar choice for those seeking a well-rounded wine.

We like the silky texture and balanced tasting notes that give the vibes of the sun-soaked vineyards of Italy with every sip.

But is it okay to mix red and white wine?

11. Fiuza Premium Alicante Bouschet 2014

Fiuza Premium Alicante Bouschet 2014

Average Price: around $11/750ml (Wine-Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 14% ABV

Nose: Deep berry richness

Palate: Spiced complexity

Blend: Alicante Bouschet (cross of Petit Bouschet and Grenache grapes) 

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: This expression unfolds a spiced complexity, showcasing a distinct, bold, and intriguing character. We like its well-integrated tasting notes and layers of taste.

Among other red blends from Portugal, this is one of the unique-tasting wines we’ve tried. This is a must-try if you want to explore beyond the classic tasting notes.

12. Julia James Pinot Noir 2015

Julia James Pinot Noir 2015

Average Price: around $11/750ml (Wine-Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 13.5% ABV

Nose: Red currant notes

Palate: Subtle spice notes

Blend: Pinot Noir grapes

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: The red blend exudes an alluring scent that leads to a subtly spiced palate. The tasting notes are dominated by Pinot Noir grapes [2], giving a refined and approachable profile.

With its delicate flavors and smooth texture, this wine is perfect for elevating any occasion with a touch of sophistication and charm. Compared to Apothic Red, we enjoy this Julia James more.

13. Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Average Price: around $9.98/750ml (Vivino)

Alcohol Content: 13.5% ABV

Nose: Ripe berries

Palate: Velvety blackberries

Blends: Cabernet Sauvignon grapes

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: This red blend wine exudes a captivating symphony of ripe berry aromas seamlessly transitioning to a velvety blackberry palate with a smooth texture and well-balanced profile.

Also, its smooth finish makes it an ideal companion for a cozy evening.

14. La Linda Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

La Linda Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Average Price: around $9/750ml (Wine-Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 14% ABV

Nose: Black cherry notes

Palate: Milk chocolate, balanced richness

Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon grapes

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: For those looking for a full-bodied wine at a very affordable price, we recommend La Linda Cabernet Sauvignon 2014.

You’ll like its bold character and smooth texture, with an approachable nature and harmonious flavors.

15. Domaine de Fondreche, Nature, 2014

Domaine de Fondreche, Nature, 2014

Average Price: around $8/750ml (Wine-Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 14% ABV

Nose: Rich, red fruit

Palate: Floral, wild berries

Blends: Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Cinsault grapes

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: This red blend boasts a vibrant nose that seamlessly transitions to floral finesse. We like the harmonious interplay of flavors with an organic nature and refined character.

“Red wine is where elegance and depth intertwine in every sip.” – Liquor Laboratory

Despite its lower price tag, you can count on the quality and exceptional taste of this wine [3].

Note: The star rating was determined based on a blind test, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. Each product was evaluated on its overall quality, flavor profile, complexity, smoothness, and overall enjoyment.

FAQs

What is the smoothest, sweetest red wine?

The smoothest, sweetest red wine depends on personal preferences. But we recommend looking for wines labeled as “late harvest” or “dessert” wines, as they tend to be sweeter.

Explore options like Port, Lambrusco, or Zinfandels. You may want to avoid Cabernet Sauvignon [4], Cabernet Franc, and Petite Sirah as they’re dry wines.

Is it okay to drink cheap red wine?

It’s okay to drink cheap wine. Some reds are enjoyable despite the low price tag. Also, many budget-friendly options offer great flavors and can complement meals.

While pricier wines like Cabernet Franc often have more complexity, a wide range of affordable choices can satisfy your palate without breaking the bank.

How much should I spend on a good red blend?

You can spend around $15 to $30 for a good red blend wine. However, it varies depending on factors like region, vintage, and varietal.

This price range often includes expressions that strike a balance between value and taste, ensuring a satisfying experience without splurging.

In Summary

After tasting various budget-friendly red blend options, all these 15 expressions stand out, providing a satisfying sipping experience.

However, there’s one blend that caught our taste buds big time – and that’s the 2013 H&B (Hecht & Bannier) Minervois.

The harmonious blend of red and black fruits, coupled with Mediterranean herb notes, provides an ultimate sipping experience without the need to splurge.

It’s affordable but has good quality, which we highly recommend if you opt for taste and value. Cheers!

References:

  1. https://www.seattletimes.com/pacific-nw-magazine/if-you-must-have-a-california-wine-make-it-petite-sirah/
  2. https://uk.news.yahoo.com/pinot-noir-versatile-global-favourite-115134533.html
  3. https://www.britannica.com/topic/wine
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/food/2023/may/26/south-australian-cabernet-sauvignon-selling-for-40-named-best-in-world
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