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Favorite Wines Under $50

My favorite reds under $50, of hundreds I tasted at this price point. This list of 15 wines is all about the big reds.

Welcome to my very first wine list. These are my favorite reds under $50.00. Ultimately this will be a three part series. I’ll also be giving you a list of my favorite reds between $50.00 and $100.00, and a list of my favorite reds over $100.00.

I know there are lots of light reds and some great whites out there, to say nothing of rosés and sparkling wines. If that’s what you’re looking for, I’m sorry. This list of 15 wines is all about the big reds. We will eventually have a list of other styles, almost certainly written by someone who appreciates them more than I do.

Posts may contain affiliate links, so if you click an affiliate link and/or buy something you’ll support this blog and I’ll make a little money, at no cost to you. If you really care, you can read our full legalese blah blah blah.

Where I could, I’ve given you links; if I could find a link to the year I reviewed, I used that so that you could buy the exact same vintage. If they were no longer available, I chose the next closest year for you. Every wine on this list ranks either 4.5 or 5 stars out of 5. So without further ado let’s jump into these wines.

15 Favorite Reds Under $50

Wente Vineyards: Wetmore Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014. $19.99 average price.

Wente is based in the Livermore Valley area of California. They are known as the first family of Chardonnay; as it turns out they also know their way around Cabernet. This inexpensive single vineyard wine is really quite good, and unbeatable at this price point.

Peat, plum, and strawberry jam on the nose. Cherry cola up front. Chocolate and cedar in the midrange. Gripping tannins finish it off. This is a great value. I need to pick up some more of these to see how they age.

One Stone Cellars: Cabernet Sauvignon 2017. $19.99 average price.

This vineyard is based in Paso Robles, California. One Stone is made by woman vintners. If you want to know more about their mentoring program for women in the wine industry check out their non-profit at DreamBigDarling.org.

Smoke & raisin on the nose. Black cherry up front. Understated midrange with French vanilla. Long soft finish with baking spices and gentle tannins.

Cellaro: Lumà Nero d’Avola 2018. $20.42 average price.

This vineyard is an Italian winery located in Terre Siciliane. The grapes are 100% Nero d’Avola. I discovered this wine while living in Malta, but it is available here in America.

Elderberry, vanilla, and cherry pipe tobacco on the nose. Silky, smooth mouth feel. Red currant and chocolate up front. Vanilla and oak in the midrange. Round tannins and spice on the finish. Very nice wine.

Meridiana Wine Estate: Bel Syrah Superior 2016. $22.36 average price.

Located in Ta’ Qali, Malta. I found this vineyard while I was living in Malta. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, this wine is not available in the US.

 Another wonderful wine from the Meridiana Vineyard. Toasted oak and stewed cherries up front. Very silky mouth feel. Dark chocolate cherry cordial up front. Cigar box and cedar in the midrange. Lots of baking spices and well integrated tannins finish this stunning wine. I’m absolutely amazed at the price to quality from this vineyard. Do they know how good their wines are?

Black Slate: Porrera (Vi di la Vila) 2014. 4.5 $24.99 average price.

This Spanish wine is a blend of Garnatxa and Cariñena with a small addition of Cabernet Sauvignon. I’ve had it both in America and in Europe. It tastes better in Europe.

Smoke and dark fruit on the nose. Silky mouth feel. Dark cherry up front. Vanilla in the midrange. Tannins and spice on the finish.

Basel: Cabernet Sauvignon 2013. $29.99 average price.

Based in Walla Walla Washington, this vineyard has recently been purchased, with the intent of making it a wine destination. Hopefully the new owners will maintain the high quality.

Wonderful nose of caramel and earth. Very silky mouth feel. Cherry up front. Soft leather and cigar box in the midrange. Nice, long finish with very gentle tannins and spice on the finish.

Meridiana Wine Estate: Nexus Merlot Superior 2017. $29.99 average price.

Located in Ta’ Qali, Malta. I found this vineyard while I was living in Malta. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, this wine is not available in the US.

Black currant, elderberry and smoke on the wonderful nose. Smooth, silky mouth feel. Tart cherry, black currant, and semi-sweet chocolate up front. Chocolate and tobacco in the midrange. Well integrated tannins, smoke, and baking spices on the finish. A very nice merlot.

Mollydooker: The Boxer Shiraz 2017. $31.13 average price.

Mollydooker is based in the McLaren Vale, South Australia. They are one of only two vineyards that managed to place a wine on all three of my favorite lists. I’m a huge Mollydooker fan.

Blueberry, boysenberry, and oak on the nose. Wonderful mouth feel. Jammy and extracted. Dark cherry cordial up front, vanilla, mocha, and oak in the midrange with a pepper and spice explosion on the finish. The tannins are more gentle than previous vintages. Simply the best red wine you can find at this price point anywhere.

Meerlust: Rubicon 2016. 34.99 average price.

Meerlust is based in South Africa and was founded in 1693. A blend of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot, this is the first and only South African wine that I have ever had that was special. It is by far the best South African wine I have ever had.

Smoke, cherry, and cedar on the nose. Super soft mouth feel. Vanilla, cherry, and a hint of plum up front. Pipe tobacco and eucalyptus in the midrange. Lots of spice and some well integrated tannins on the super long finish.

Avancia: Mencia 2014. $38.99 average price.

Bodegas Avancia is located in the municipality of O Barco de Valdeorras, in the province of Ourense, Galicia, in the northwest portion of Spain. I was unable to find out what the exact blend of this wine is, but it very much reminds me of a smooth, approachable Bordeaux blend.

Mushrooms, sweet vanilla, and cherry on the nose. Very smooth medium mouth feel. Cherry cough drops up front. Vanilla, cedar, and bourbon in the mid range. Spice, tannins, and mushrooms finish it out. Very interesting wine.

Château Peyrabon: Haut-Médoc 2009. $39.08 average price.

Château Peyrabon comes to us from the Left Bank of Bordeaux, France. This blend is 71.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 3.5% Petit Verdot.

Peat smoke, elderberry, and vanilla on the nose. Very nice mouth feel. First sip jumps right out at you. Black currant and stewed cherry up front. Earthy midrange. Beautiful tannins and spice finish it off. What a value at this price.

La Giaretta: Quadretti Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2010. $42.99 average price.

This winery is located in Valpolicella, Italy. Amarone is traditionally a blend of Corvinone and Corvina. This is one of my favorite wines. No matter the year I’ve never had a bad bottle.

Earth and peat-moss on the nose. Nice and smoky up front with lots of dark fruit and some mushroom. Chocolate, cigar box, leather, and earth play through the midranges and it resolves into a nice long spicy finish. This wine is not for the faint of heart.

Alto Moncayo: Garnacha 2018. $45.00 average price.

Located in Campo de Borja, Aragón, Spain, this winery specializes in Garnacha.

The 2017 was amazing, but the 2018 is even better than the 2017. Vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, and violets on the nose. Vanilla, sweet spice, raspberry, and green pepper up front. Clove and caramel in the midrange. Finishes with raisin, light tannins, and sweet blueberries on the finish. A fantastic Garnacha!

Ridge Vineyards: Lytton Springs 2018. $45.49 average price.

Lytton Springs is just south of the Alexander Valley in California. Ridge insists on making all of their wines as naturally as they can. As a result of this, they are one of only two vineyards that landed a wine on all three of my favorites lists.

Another wonderful Ridge wine. Oak and red fruit on the nose. Super silky mouth feel. Cherry, strawberry, and blueberry up front. Leather and vanilla in the midrange. Very nice smooth finish.

Honig: Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. $49.99 average price.

Honig is located in Rutherford, which is in the heart of the Napa Valley. Family run and sustainably farmed.

I’m really liking the 2016. Very solid cab. Oak, raisin, and spicy oak on the nose. Silky mouth feel. Tart cherry, blackberry, blueberry, and fig up front. Tobacco and chocolate in the midrange. Finishes with pipe tobacco, lingering spice, and some tannins.

And there you have it, my friends, compiled and reviewed over the last two years, these were my favorites out of the hundreds of bottles I tasted at this price point. I hope these wines bring you joy.

Have a favorite under $50? Share it in the comments below!

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