20 Good White Wines for $20 or Less

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SIP, SAVOR, SAVE

If you think cheap white wine is only for grandma's spritzer, think again. As a wine and spirit educator and judge, I've encountered hundreds of wines working with Ultimate Beverage Challenge and selling and purchasing for restaurants and stores. Based on my experience, there's a white wine costing no more than $20 to satisfy almost anyone's palate. At Cheapism, we've spoken with experts and wine vendors, read reviews, and held tastings to round up white wines that achieve a certain level of quality at a low price. Often the trick is to look beyond the chardonnays and pinot grigios to less common varieties of grapes.
Royal Tokaji The Oddity Furmint
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ROYAL TOKAJI THE ODDITY FURMINT

Est. Price: $20
From the undisputed king of the sweet wines of Hungary, Royal Tokaji, comes this dry wine made from the furmint grape. The wine is cheerful with plenty of citrus, pear, and herbal notes that make it exciting to sip. It's ideal alongside appetizers and lighter fare.

Dr. Konstantin Frank Rkatsiteli
Photo credit: Courtesy of drfrankwines.com

DR. KONSTANTIN FRANK RKATSITELI

Est. Price: $20
Rkatsiteli is an ancient grape variety from the Black Sea region in Georgia (the country, not the state). It has flourished in the Finger Lakes region in New York, making deliciously complex wines. From a true pioneer of domestic wine, this bottle offers layers of fruit, floral notes, and earthy undertones all in balance with a dry finish.

CVNE Monopole
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CVNE MONOPOLE

Est. Price: $14
A white wine from the Rioja region of Spain, made from the viura grape, this is an all-purpose white wine. The flavors of apples, pears, and lemon make this an easy substitute for any typical white wine for drinking on its own or alongside light fare.

Hiruzta Txakoli
Photo credit: Courtesy of haywines.co.uk

HIRUZTA TXAKOLI

Est. Price: $17
Txakoli is a style of wine from the Spanish Basque country. The wines are light with a slightly airy or fizzy texture and flavors of sea salt, brine, almonds, and herbal freshness. Pair this with salty and crunchy foods and anything from the sea.

Mastroberardino Lacryma Christi Del Vesuvio Bianco
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MASTROBERARDINO LACRYMA CHRISTI DEL VESUVIO BIANCO

Est. Price: $20
The Italian region of Campania is better known for its red wines, but the whites can be complex as well. Stone fruits and aromatic pear and floral notes make this wine bold enough to stand up to dishes with similar intensity.

Boutari Moschofilero
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BOUTARI MOSCHOFILERO

Est. Price: $15
Greek wines tend to get lost in the shuffle, which is a shame considering the value they offer, especially when it comes to easy-drinking whites. This one is made from 100 percent moschofilero and has flavors of crisp citrus with some tropical undertones and a zesty mineral finish.

Gianni Gagliardo Fallegro Favorita
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GIANNI GAGLIARDO FALLEGRO FAVORITA

Est. Price: $17
Hailing from the Piedmont region of Italy, this wine made from the vermentino grape is a crowd pleaser. Friendly aromas of pears, apples, and other white-fleshed fruit are supported by earthy minerality. Drink this on its own or with mushroom dishes.

Joel Gott Unoaked California Chardonnay
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JOEL GOTT UNOAKED CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAY

Est. Price: $15
A shining example of clean fruit from California, this wine is juicy, with a brightness that keeps it fresh. The natural richness of the grape comes through, making the wine a good candidate to enjoy with food.

J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay
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J. LOHR RIVERSTONE CHARDONNAY

Est. Price: $14
A full-bodied and full-flavored chardonnay from California, this wine is balanced between elegance and power. The rich fruit takes on a tropical note while the texture gets some extra creaminess from aging on the lees, or yeast cells. A slight toastiness comes in from gentle oak exposure.

Decoy Sauvignon Blanc
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DECOY SAUVIGNON BLANC

Est. Price: $18
This is a rich style of sauvignon blanc from California. The flavors are focused on fruit, with notes of Meyer lemon, lemon curd, and stone. The wine remains bright and tangy for a dry finish after its generous fruitiness.

Gazela Vinho Verde
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GAZELA VINHO VERDE

Est. Price: $8
Vinho verde from Portugal is a light and zesty wine. Often low in alcohol, it's kind of like the beer of the wine world. The flavors are bright and easy, with some citrus, sea salt, and fresh spring breeze.

Wagner Vineyards Dry Riesling
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WAGNER VINEYARDS DRY RIESLING

Est. Price: $16
Riesling from the Finger Lakes of New York is one of the most prominent examples of domestic wine, and Wagner is one of the best producers of this style. Its reliable, dry riesling has become an iconic staple across the country for its balance, full of stone fruit flavors and earthy complexity.

Indaba Chenin Blanc
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INDABA CHENIN BLANC

Est. Price: $10
The value-driven South African brand behind this wine does not disappoint. Indaba Chenin Blanc is dry yet floral, and features flavors such as lemon, apricot, and cardamom.

Castillo Perelada Blanc Pescador
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CASTILLO PERELADA BLANC PESCADOR

Est. Price: $10
A top-selling favorite in Spain, this white is made from the same grapes as cava, the country's signature sparkling wine. Sporting a slight effervescence and a balanced and earthy flavor profile, it merges citrus flavors with fresh herbs to produce a perfect accompaniment to fish and other seafood.

Bandit Pinot Grigio
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BANDIT PINOT GRIGIO

Est. Price: $9
A great value in California pinot grigio, non-vintage Bandit Pinot Grigio comes in a 1-liter Tetra Pak — larger than the usual 750 ml bottle. This simple wine is clean and crisp, with a hint of fruity tartness.

Big House Bootlegger White
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BIG HOUSE WHITE

Est. Price: $9
A non-vintage blend of grenache, malvasia bianca, and orange muscat yields a dry wine that's pleasant and fruity. Exuding floral aromas and sweet citrus flavors, it can stand on its own or accompany salads, fish, and poultry.

Domaine L'Enclos Colombard Ugni Blanc
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DOMAINE L'ENCLOS COLOMBARD UGNI BLANC

Est. Price: $9
From Gascony in southwest France, this wine blends two grapes (colombard and ugni blanc) that are not associated with single-variety wines. As a result they are sold for cheap, and the winemaker passes on the low cost to consumers. The wine is crisp, similar to sauvignon blanc, and tastes of green apple and citrus fruit.

Crane Lake Pinot Grigio
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CRANE LAKE PINOT GRIGIO

Est. Price: $6
California's Crane Lake is a go-to producer for serious bargains that retain varietal character. While light and fairly simple, the wine retains an earthy and herbal character that unmistakably smacks of the namesake grape.

Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling
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CHARLES SMITH KUNG FU GIRL RIESLING

Est. Price: $12
Kung Fu Girl from Charles Smith Wines is an easy-to-love riesling, an often misunderstood grape variety. This mildly complex wine offers a touch of juicy fruit with a crisp, minerally core that pairs well with spicy food.

Flip Flop Riesling
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FLIPFLOP RIESLING

Est. Price: $7
This casual wine from California features juicy flavors of peaches and lemony citrus that strike a balance of sweet, tart, and refreshing. It manages to be both tasty and reliably available under $10. Bonus points for being easy to open, with a screw cap.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Sauvignon Blanc
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CONO SUR BICICLETA SAUVIGNON BLANC

Est. Price: $9
From Chile and a producer boasting sustainable practices comes this deliciously zippy sauvignon blanc. It's clean, crisp, and zesty, with flavors of young grass, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits.

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