Everyday Wines Under $20

I’m no sommelier, but I like to think I know a bit about wine. I come from a family of wine drinkers, so I’ve had a lot of practice over the years. These days I’m often comparing notes about new bottles with my brother over BBM or giving suggestions to a friend heading out to a BYOW.

I love trying new wines, but I also find myself coming back to a few bottles time and time again. So, I figured I’d share. These are five of my go-to everyday wines. They’re all under $20 a bottle (click the SAQ link beside each name for more info).

In no particular order:

Apothic Red and Nieto Malbec

1. Apothic Red – California (Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot) – $15.95 at the SAQ

  • Tried this one for the first time at a colleague’s place and was amazed by how smooth it was. The label lists hints of vanilla, and you can really taste it. You can easily drink this one on its own.

2. Nieto Senetiner Reserva Malbec – Argentina – $14.30 at the SAQ

  • The credit goes to my brother for bringing this one to my attention about 4 years ago, before it had those “best argentinian malbec” (for its price range) stickers slapped on it (I think it was about $12 back then). Has that nice earthy taste characteristic of Argentine malbecs.

3. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc – New Zealand – $19.95 at the SAQ

  • Original, I know. But it really is delicious, what can I say? I can’t remember coming across anyone that doesn’t like this wine. So if for some reason you haven’t tried it yet, do so immediately. Super fresh, crisp and fruity.

4. Santa Cristina Chianti Superiore – Italy (Sangiovese) – $16.95 at the SAQ

  • Another recommendation from my brother. This is not the Santa Cristina Antinori, it’s the one that is a notch up. In his words, “a simple yet provocative upgrade to the basic bottle”, i.e. for $2 more grab this one instead of the ubiquitous Antinori. Great with tomato sauce.

5. Beringer Sparkling White Zinfandel – California – $14.95 at the SAQ

  • It’s pink, it’s bubbly, it’s fruity, it’s not too sweet, it’s looks more expensive than it is, what’s not to like?

There are undoubtedly tons of great wines under $20 that I have left off of this list, and many that I have never tried. So, share your thoughts. What are your favourite everday wines?

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2 Responses to Everyday Wines Under $20

  1. Domenico 'Boomer' Vettese says:


    I found a very good italian wine for under $20 and i’ve been drinking it
    for the past 2 years……great with pasta and grilled vegetables/meats.

    Barbera e Nebbiolo Fontanafredda EREMO Langhe 2006
    Ripe fruit richness, easy drinking appeal and a soft, rounded finish!

    Try it and let me know!!!


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