Amazing Red Wines Under $20 For Valentine's Day

Whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day by enjoying a night out with your bae or catching up with the galpal crew, you're probably going to need a bottle (or two) of a great wine. But we know it's no fun to have to shell out big bucks for something you might not like. To solve any potential wine-buying woes, we picked the brains of experts in the wine field—sommeliers, mixologists, and wine experts—all over the country to hear about their top picks for under $20. This way we know they'll taste great without draining your wallet. Whether you're really into wine, or will try any and every kind, we have all the tasting notes you need so you can sound ~ fancy ~ while ordering and imbibing.

Robert Mondavi Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cabernet Sauvignon, $14

If you mix the California style of winemaking with Kentucky Bourbon's aging, you get this deep red that goes well with your favorite cheese and meat board. Your S.O. who loves hard liquor might actually give this wine a shot.

Kim Crawford 2014 Pinot Noir, $18

“This would be a great choice for Valentine’s Day as it's positioned itself in the middle of a Californian pinot and a Burgundy—not too fruity and not too dry," Miri Kolici, the beverage director at Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel in New York City, tells SELF. He recommends this New Zealand wine to all pinot lovers due to its great price and light taste.

Ruffino Chianti, $9

"With the beautiful spice notes and the richness of a great red wine, it's the perfect choice for all wine lovers, and a great glass to sip on either before heading out on the town or as you get cozy before the night ends," Pamela Wiznitzer, mixologist at Seamstress in New York City, tells SELF.

Apothic Crush Red Blend, $14

This "rich, soft" wine has "red fruit flavors and hints of caramel," Nicholas Paris, master of wine (one of the highest academic wine titles) and advanced sommelier, tells SELF. He especially likes the 2015 vintage since it has a great mix of two red staples, petite sirah and pinot noir.

Chateau Souverain Merlot, $13

"Chateau Souverain’s 2014 Merlot [has] dark red fruit aromas reminiscent of black cherry, plum, and fresh blueberries complemented by hints of brown spice and baking chocolate....[and] finishes with soft acidity and a fruit-driven balance that gives the wine a polished sense of elegance," Paris says. Chocolate makes everything better, right?

Tempesta di Stelle Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, $14

If you're into history, you might know that Valentine's Day started with the Romans. What better way to celebrate than drinking wine from an area located just east of Rome? This one has a dark, rich taste and pairs well with Bolognese. Plus, it comes with a stamp of approval from master sommelier, Michael Meagher.

Emilio Moro Finca Resalso, $14

Master sommelier Brahm Callahan likes the "cherry color," of this "intense and fragrant" wine. It smells like blueberries, licorice, and black fruits. You can pair this powerful red with a variety of cheeses like asiago, cheddar, havarti, or manchego.

Finca Villacreces Pruno, $16

After aging in a French barrel, this wine picks up a bit of a sweet taste (think toffee), which "offers a pleasant and soft aftertaste," according to Callahan. Try it with grilled steak, chicken, or duck.

Vina Mayor Crianza, $16

This full-bodied red pours to a deep dark ruby color and pairs well with rice dishes and red meats according to Callahan. Try it with a paella to get the full Spanish effect.

2015 Armas de Guerra Mencia, $13

"Mencia is the new pinot! It's got the spice of the cabernet franc combined with the juicy berry flavors of a pinot. If you like lighter red wines, you'll dig this style," Alex Harner, sommelier for Domaine Somm, tells SELF.

 

Self