My favourite time of the year is finally here, and I’ve been making the most of the plummeting temps by popping into my local bottle shop every week or so to pick up a few bottles of red wine. Part of the reason I’m having so much fun with wine right now is because I managed to get Harry on board with it. He’s always been a beer and spirits kinda guy, but one sip of my favourite pinot noir on a cold autumn afternoon brought him over to the fun side. It’s become a fun little evening ritual for us — twisting the cap off a new bottle and figuring out if it’s our vibe or not.
It’s safe to say that we’ve gathered quite the list of reds we love, so our fridge always has a bottle or two of our favourites to fall back on. I thought I’d do everyone a solid and share my top picks of the ones we’ve tried. Each of these is under $20 and is guaranteed to be a winner for every occasion — whether you’re catching up with friends in front of a fire or on the couch making your way through Mare of Easttown on a Saturday night [I know which one I’d choose].
Farm Hand — Merlot
Medium-bodied, dry and subtly spicy, I reach for this one when it’s cold outside and I want a vibrant glass of red with dinner.
Little Giant — Grenache
Grab this if you want a red wine that’s as dry as it is fruity, with a velvety mouthfeel and palatability. We always buy this grenache because it goes well with everything and it’s so nice to drink.
The Ethereal One — Malbec
One of the first malbecs I tried — I go back to this one all the time. Each sip tastes like berries and cocoa, and for that reason, we love having this wine on the couch with some dark chocolate. It’s the perfect after dinner treat.
Little Giant — Cabernet Sauvignon
Full-bodied and mouthy, this wine is oaky with elements of chocolate and spice. I think I would classify this as one of my top three reds — it’s the perfect sip for winter evenings at home.
Elephant In The Room — Merlot
We drink a lot of reds from this brand and if you’ve ever tried an Elephant In The Room red you’ll know why. They’re just so good. Smooth, full of flavour and with beautiful aromas. Their merlot is my favourite of all the merlots — it’s just a wonderful experience to drink and savour.
Elephant In The Room — Tempranillo
Tempranillo is my current favourite variety of red, and this particular bottle is the reason why. Flavours of red berries mixed with hints of liquorice and tannin — incredible.
Tread Softly — Pinot Noir
I recommend picking up this pinot noir if you’re new to red wine and want something easy to drink. It’s light, refreshing and lower in alcohol than other reds so you can fill your glass a little more than usual. It’s also beautiful to cook with.
Elephant In The Room — Cabernet Sauvignon
If you’re looking to have some fun with a cabernet sauvignon, pick this one up. It’s super mouthy and jammy with hints of tobacco. A firm favourite in our house.
And there you have it — my favourite reds under $20. If you’re a newbie to the red wine world, I recommend starting with either pinot noir or grenache. That’ll set you on the right foot and prepare you for some of the fleshier, mouthier reds like malbec or everyone’s favourite — cabernet sauvignon. I hope you found this post useful, and most of all — I hope you try some [if not all!] of these reds and let me know which is your favourite.