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3 Thanksgiving Wines that Cost $10 a Bottle or Less

by Laura Duffy

Thanksgiving wine recommendations are in demand right now, and for good reason. It’s difficult to match wine to so many different types of food with big flavors. Add to that a guest list with different tastes, and you have quite the challenge!

I’ve seen articles recommending wines that cost between $50 and $100 a bottle, but I haven’t seen many recommending wines that all cost $10 a bottle or less. So if you are in the (last minute) hunt for a few good budget wines for your Thanksgiving feast, or if you just want a good wine to go with those Thanksgiving leftovers, this is the post for you!

McManis Viognier


McManis Winery 2015 Viognier

According to Better Homes and Gardens, viognier is better matched for the flavors of Thanksgiving than chardonnay because it is “refreshing, tangy, and fruity.” McManis Winery makes a very nice, award winning chardonnay, but I chose the McManis Viognier because it is different…and so good! Wine Enthusiast awarded the 2015 McManis Viognier 88 points, calling it a “Best Buy”:

“With an aroma like prosciutto and melon, a soft texture, and attractive floral and ripe peach flavors, this is a fun and affordable wine to drink at lunch or before dinner.”

Okay, so I try not to drink wine at lunch most days, but I share Wine Enthusiasts’ excitement about this wine. McManis Winery has been my go-to winery for a great $10 bottle of wine for several years now. I have tried most of the varietals they make and I like every one, which is amazing given how picky I am about my wine. Their wines have great flavor, are widely available and they’re consistent from bottle to bottle. As if McManis didn’t have enough good things going for it, the winery is well on its way to attaining sustainability certification for all of its vineyards!

The McManis winemaker describes the 2015 viognier as:

“Light straw in color, the 2015 Viognier from McManis Family Vineyards is a pleasing mixture of stone fruit and fruit cocktail scents. Once across the lips, the luscious liquid delivers loads of Peach and Apricot flavors. These pleasing properties linger in the finish and fade to a faint mineral note.”

I find that the low acidity and creamy mouth feel of this wine are prominent. It is quite floral on the nose, but peach and apricot dominate the palate along with the faint mineral finish the winemaker describes. All of these flavors would make this wine interesting and appealing to a wide range of tastes.

Line 39 Pinot Noir

Line 39 2014 Pinot Noir

I know I said pinot noir wasn’t my favorite, yet here I am recommending another one (the first one was the Castle Rock Pinot Noir). But this one is also good, and it has also won the awards to prove it.

Wine Enthusiast awarded the Line 39 2014 Pinot Noir a whopping 90 points, calling it a “Best Buy”:

“A tasty vein of cranberry and raspberry runs from the nose to the palate, and lingers on the finish, giving this value-priced wine focus and vibrance. It has plenty of fresh acidity, fine tannins and good depth of flavor.”

On the bottle, the Line 39 Pinot Noir is described as:
“reveal[ing] rich flavors of raspberries, cherries and herbs on the palate complemented by soft, supple tannins. Fruity and smooth…”

I picked up on the herbs, especially on the nose. On the palate this wine has flavors of raspberries, strawberries and cherries, though I found that this wine was very subtle. It would be an excellent wine to complement the large and varying flavors of Thanksgiving!

Apothic Crush

Apothic Crush

Let’s face it, some people will only drink sweet wine, and some of “those people” might be seated around your table for Thanksgiving.

If you suspect even a chance of this amongst your guests this holiday, I would recommend picking up a bottle of Apothic Crush. This wine has flavors inherent of a sweet wine, yet it is not overly sweet. It is these flavors that will satisfy both your guests that have a sweet tooth when it comes to their wine and intrigue your guests that do not. I even tested this on a few family members to be sure. It was loved by all!

Wine Enthusiast awarded Apothic Crush 86 points, saying:

“A darkly fruity aroma leads to sweet flavors like brown sugar, milk chocolate and blueberry jam in this medium-bodied, soft-textured wine.”

I couldn’t have described the Apothic Crush better myself. It is unique, extremely smooth and easy to drink, and did I mention tasty? It could be served as an after-dinner wine, but the flavors would also compliment dishes like sweet potato casserole.

Eat, Drink & Be Merry

I hope you and your guests enjoy these bargain wines with your Thanksgiving feast or with your Thanksgiving leftovers. Cheers!

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