The Best 50 Wines Under $50, 2019 Edition
After a year of sipping and swirling, a wine critic finds a whole constellation of new stars—ranging from cheap, fun fizz to exotic unfamiliar grapes.
By Elin McCoy
December 13, 2019, 8:55 AM EST
Every year I sample thousands of wines, and I’m always on the hunt for great bargain bottles. Happily, I found more delicious and affordable wines than ever in 2019.
Where to look for the best buys?
Rieslings from every country remain undervalued, and there are stellar offerings from newly popular wine countries such as Portugal as well as familiar regions like the Loire Valley, Alsace and Beaujolais, and seemingly everywhere in Italy. Less well-known varieties continue to be a source of reds and whites at good prices. Wines made from criolla (red) and schilcher (white), which I’d never heard of before this year, also made my list.
Entry level and second wines from the best estates usually offer top value, especially in Champagne and Bordeaux.
Even Sotheby’s auction house, known for selling some of the priciest wines on the planet, is on the bargain track: their just-launched wine collection includes 12 wines at prices between $17 and $40. I’ve included two of them.
Producers recommended in previous 50 under $50 columns are still churning out fine go-to bottles, but I’ve put the spotlight on what’s new.
And finally, my advice as always is to shop around. Remember that the holiday season offers the lowest prices on sparkling wine and champagne. (Big hint: stock up in case the 100 percent tariffs suggested by President Trump take effect in 2020.)
Light and Rich Reds
Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand is a source of fine cabernets, and turns out to be great for malbec, too. This one is brighter and more floral than Argentinean examples.