A good bottle of wine doesn’t have to be a splurge. Budget-friendly reds and whites are vinified all over the world, and if you stick with something from these go-to regions, grabbing a random bottle based off its low price won’t be a gamble.
Located in the northwestern corner of France, the Loire Valley is home to some of the best quality to price ratio wines on the planet, and encompasses more than 50 appellations across 300-plus miles. Eastern Loire is best known for flinty Sauvignon Blancs and earthy Pinot Noirs. Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, and a slew of other red varieties reign in the Central Loire, and to the west, saline-tinged bottles of Muscadet always hit the spot. Many Loire Valley growers even cultivate their fruit organically: a win for both the environment and your wallet.
Castilla y León
Spanish wine goes far beyond bottles of Rioja, and Castilla y León has some choice alternatives. Covering approximately 20 percent of the country, it’s the largest of Spain’s 17 overarching regions and covers. Regional production is dominated by red wine, most of which is produced from Tempranillo and Mencia. For earthy, wallet friendly reds, check out the appellations of Ribera del Duero and Bierzo. For crisp, thirst-quenching whites, go for the Verdejo-based bottles of Rueda.
Although the majority of Italy’s 20 regions offer affordable options, Sicily is definitely one of the most versatile. Explore an array of refreshing white wines crafted from the indigenous Grillo, Cataratto, and Carricante varieties, perfect for pairing with fresh seafood and chilled appetizers. For heartier reds, check out varietal bottlings of Nero d’Avola and the island’s signature Etna Rosso reds.
South West France
Located just south of Bordeaux, France’s South West wine region is an excellent place to find crisp, easy-drinking whites produced from Sauvignon Blanc, Ugni Blanc, Gros Manseng, and Petit Manseng. For red wine fans, there are peppery Duras and Négrette based light reds, plus heavier options as well.