The 50 Best Wines of 2019
Words: VinePair Staff
illustration: Lauren Cierzan
It’s been another wine-filled year at the VinePair HQ, and while the months passed by in a blur, 50 bottles stood out above the rest and etched a place in our memories. To help readers enter the new year (and decade!) with a list of wonderful experiences to discover with a glass in hand, we’re sharing our top 50 wines of 2019.
As in previous years, this annual ranking tells a story in 50 bottles. These labels are not only the wines we enjoyed the most over the past 12 months; they’re what we consider to represent the most important trends in wine right now.
Leading the conversation is the class and quality offered by American Chardonnay. The days of “anything but Chardonnay” became a distant memory when we tasted the bottles of several domestic producers, who are highlighting the wonders and nuance of the world’s most popular white variety.
As the months went on, we became increasingly excited about Spanish wines, especially those from less explored regions, grapes, and producers. Our staff, panelists, and wine director agree Spain is currently offering some of the best value for money, and most exciting drinking experiences right now.
It’s also been a year of triumphant comebacks from grapes that, but for the noble work of a few producers, could have become extinct. Italy more than any other nation proved notably nostalgic in this respect.
All wines in this ranking were first sampled and reviewed by VinePair’s tasting department. We then compiled a “short list” of bottles that received an A+ or A rating, and whittled that list down to 50 wines using multiple criteria.
All bottles must be readily available in the U.S., offer great value for money, and be drinking well right now. None of the wines from last year’s list could be considered for inclusion, and we placed a limit of one bottle per winery.
The VinePair staff then debated, and debated again where each bottle should place. We finally tasted the potential top 10 multiple times to cement our final ranking.
Here are VinePair’s top 50 wines of 2019, tasted and ranked.
Made from grapes grown on 70- to 100-year-old vines in Spain’s Navarra wine region, there’s a lot going on in this wine. Red fruit aromas are seasoned with hints of clove, mint, eucalyptus, and cracked pepper. The palate is lean, fruity, and structured. For just $14, this is outstanding winemaking.