As summer approaches, the only thing better than long weekends is having a slew of back-pocket bottles for impromptu getaways — or Tuesday nights on the patio.
Fortunately, for those with ample enthusiasm but limited time or budgets, supermarket wine sections have never been better. We’re not just talking about fancy boutique grocers, either. Large supermarket chains are responding to Americans’ growing thirst for wine by hiring serious experts to curate their shelves, making one-stop shopping even easier. From Master Sommelier Devon Broglie curating selections at Whole Foods, to Target or Costco’s massive wine departments, to Aldi’s award-winning budget bottles, stellar wines are landing in supermarkets nationwide.
We’ve rounded up the best bottles under $30 available at retailers from coast to coast. While all of these recommendations benefit from national distribution, in-store offerings vary geographically and seasonally. If you don’t see a recommended bottle at your store, try looking for another offering from the same geographic area. Either way, be sure to toss a bottle or two into your basket on your next Captain Crunch run.
France’s leanest, meanest Chardonnay, Chablis has a pricey reputation, but Jean-Marc Brocard’s bargain bottle is hard to beat. Crisp and bursting with tart green apple and minerality, it’s the answer to spring’s fresh dishes and the return of patio dining. Average price: $18.
From southern Portugal, Herdade de Esporao’s red blend is a crowd-pleaser, no matter what’s on the table. It’s made from a blend of native Portuguese grape varieties with tongue-twisting names, but this blend is easy to love. Average price: $9.
From New Zealand, a global Sauvignon Blanc capital, comes this outstanding iteration of the tropical-scented classic, with loads of stony minerality and a long, herbaceous finish. Average price: $17.
From California’s sunny Central Coast, Daou Cab is a standby with lively cherry flavor and vanilla finish. Love a smooth, oaky red? This wine’s for you! Average price: $24.
Clocking in well below $30, Bieler is a rosé go-to among a sea of pink wines. Dry and peach-scented, this Provencal bottle is everywhere for good reason. Picnic? Beach Day? Wednesday? Trust us, it works. Average price: $11.
From Spain’s northwestern coast, Albariño is a light and bright white wine that dazzles with lemony acidity and fresh peach flavors. An exotic alternative to aromatic whites like Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, Albariño gets points for style and its food-pairing prowess, so bring on the oyster tower. Average price: $14.
Long before Chardonnay barged into Napa Valley with its seductive, buttery richness, Sauvignon Blanc was the valley’s star. This bottle puts SB back in the spotlight. A mix of lemon and Bosc pear, Mary’s Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and fruit-laden — like a springtime walk through an orchard. Average price: $20.
Bodegas Beronia brings classic, bold Spanish styling to the table with a plethora of baking spice and tart red fruit. Its Crianza and Joven lines are also solid. Sliders, meet your match. Average price: $20.
This California icon is on seemingly every shelf for good reason. Its full-bodied Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon packs a punch with oak nuance (think cinnamon, clove, and vanilla) and tannins that aren’t for the faint of heart. Average price: $30.
From the Champagne magnate’s American HQ in the chilly Anderson Valley, Roederer Estate Brut is a ripe, apple- and pastry-scented bubbly that’ll make you forget why expensive Champagne ever seemed like a good idea. Average price: $23.