Wine is widely appreciated at the holidays as a host gift, at the dinner table, or at a party, but finding an eminently drinkable one that won't drain your wallet can be a challenge. Based on expert recommendations and tastings, Cheapism.com has rounded up 10 enjoyable wines -- five reds and five whites -- for $10 or less (for a 750-milliliter bottle; prices and distribution vary). While they may not demonstrate remarkable complexity or depth, there are some delicious, easy-to-love wines that will satisfy a diverse gathering of friends and family.
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Cabernet sauvignon is one of the most popular and beloved grape varieties. A familiar version of this ubiquitous wine is always an appreciated contribution to a holiday meal or gathering. This wine from Chile ($10) hits all the points of a traditional cabernet sauvignon, with rich flavors of black currant and cassis, and green pepper undertones.
Malbec continues to be a darling of the wine world, beloved by multiple generations of wine drinkers. The big, soft fruit, subtle spice, and full body of South American malbec make it easy to love. This food-friendly wine from Argentina ($10) is a good option for a holiday feast with a lot of different dishes.
This strong California red ($10) is laden with spice and rich, chocolate-y flavors sure to satisfy those looking for boldness. Break out this bottle toward the end of a party or meal and try alongside dessert or by the fire. Warming and robust, this old vine wine delivers a lot of flavor for its modest price.
If you're at a complete loss for a wine selection, Bordeaux is always an appropriate go-to. Nearly every wine drinker has at least heard of this iconic French wine. Exceptionally suited to a gathering of new friends or strangers, this bottle ($8) has flavors of red fruit with an earthy core.
The flavors of holiday meals and parties tend to be big and robust. This full, fruity, and creamy chardonnay ($10) is the perfect complement to rich dishes such as ham, turkey, and mashed potatoes and gravy. The dry crispness of the finish makes the wine as refreshing as it is indulgent. Coming from South Africa, it also provides an opportunity to introduce guests or a host to a lesser-known wine-producing region.
Pinot grigio is a must-have for white wine drinkers. The most common white wine, it is a crowd pleaser with enjoyable flavors. This typical example from California ($7) offers crisp, white fruit flavors and a dry, minerally core that satisfies equally on its own or alongside nearly any food.
Refreshing, tart, and light, sauvignon blanc is a recognizable option for white wine drinkers. Ideal as an aperitif, this Chilean wine ($9) is ideal for cocktail hour but has enough fruitiness to enjoy alongside a full meal. The price is so good that you don't have to feel guilty about using this white wine for spritzers.
While not everyone enjoys perfumed and tropical aromas, those who do will especially appreciate this selection. It's a rich wine that blends a few different grapes. A natural match for heavy holiday dishes and especially good with turkey, Big House White ($9) makes an excellent gift or bottle to keep chilling in the fridge.
The holidays offer many opportunities for celebration, and a toast with sparkling wine is a festive addition to any gathering. Skip the expensive Champagne and go for this Spanish cava ($9), which offers many of the same elements. Made using the same method as traditional Champagne, the small bubbles offer a piquant texture accompanied by a tart, citrusy tang.