Here’s to the case buy and the grab and go. We see you, BYOB stans and quick and easy weeknight recipe lovers. Gather ‘round, grill masters and casserole makers. Hark! Pizza night, burger night, taco Tuesday, and Netflix and chill. These are your wines!

There is a sea of affordable wines out there with pearls hidden among the masses — many touting adorable labels attempting to lure you in like a siren’s song. And by all means, give in. Let the colors draw you like a moth to a flame. It’s fun to explore. But if you need some guidance, we did some leg work to help you out.

When tasting wine at VinePair, I always pay close attention to the value wines that pique my interest. To me, they are some of the biggest successes in the wine market: cheap, awesome, and often simple bottles that are soundly made and blend in with every occasion.

As I stated in the pizza roundup, simple wines aren’t always easy to make, but they’re always easy to drink. These wines are not as much about complexity — although some can have nice layers — as they are about ease and balance.

So polish off that trusty Pyrex casserole dish, start revisiting that BBQ sauce recipe, and get your playlist in order. Better times are ahead, and you’ll soon be ready for poppin’ bottles for all gatherings — spontaneous or otherwise. Start here.

Best Cheap Red Wines

Bodegas Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha $17

Bodegas Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

Real talk, this is the first bottle I bought when I decided to dive into wine and start my own wine blog (when we were still getting used to the word “blog”). It’s as solid now as it was then. It’s deep and dark, with a smooth palate that is sweetened by high alcohol. But that heat is blended well so you can enjoy the smells of spicy vanilla. BBQ, please.

Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo $10

Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

Another classic, this bottle is like an old friend; it will never let you down. It has crowd-pleasing soft fruit with good moderate acidity, making it the perfect communal food wine. It’s the bottle to buy a case of knowing that it will settle in easily, no matter the occasion.

Cantine Argiolas Costera Cannonau di Sardegna $15

Cantine Argiolas Costera Cannonau di Sardegna is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

Nothing like an island red from Italy to match a weekend cookout. Cannonau, on the island of Sardinia, is often enjoyed with spit-roasted suckling pig and seafood pasta. It’s a mouthful of fruit and earth, with bright acidity announcing the smell of plums and dark cherries. With a slight chill and paired with a juicy pork chop, this wine is a chef’s kiss.

Bodegas Ontañon Crianza $15

Bodegas Ontañon Crianza is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

Welcome to Rioja, a place that releases aged wines that are subtle, balanced, and extremely affordable. It’s one of the only wine regions from which you can get an older wine, between five and 10 years, for around $20. This is a 2017 vintage at 15 bucks, and it’s awesomely smooth with active acidity that promotes earthy cherries up to the brain. It’s great for a cheese-and-cured-meat-plate kind of evening.

Intrinsic Cabernet Sauvignon $19

Intrinsic Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

The label looks like a hipster hotel mural or a full-sleeve tattoo. It’s very attractive and will lure you in. Let it. Just go with it, man. This wine is great. It has just the right amount of oak and good acidity. It’s somewhat soft, but with a bold core of fruit. We need more balanced, affordable, Cabs like this in our lives. So thanks, Intrinsic peeps.

The Pinot Project Pinot Noir $13

The Pinot Project Pinot Noir is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

I know I have listed this bottle before, but there is no denying that it is one of the most solid, well-priced American Pinot Noirs. It’s chewy and broad with a good balance of fruit and acidity. It’s a snapshot of the style Americans are diggin’ on right now and will slay with a messy burger.

Decoy Merlot $19

Decoy Merlot is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

This wine is so enjoyable. It’s a bottle that pairs better with casual conversation than a meal. Soft, supple, and deep with good oak and medium acidity, it’s wine to just sit with after work. It smells like blackberries and blueberries with a whiff of vanilla and is ready to straight-up chill.

Trivento Malbec Reserve $11

Trivento Malbec Reserve is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

So much cheap Malbec! It’s crazy, right? If you’ve been in search of the right one to grab to have a nice weeknight or bring to the chill gathering, here ya go. This is one of the best bets on the budget shelf. It’s soft and smooth, pleasing many palates. The acidity keeps things juicy and balanced. It’s the Monday Malbec to get your friends into.

Cantine Colosi Nero d’Avola $14

Cantine Colosi is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

I’m sayin’, these Italian island reds are a joy and are often very affordable. The Nero d’Avola grape is the pride of Sicily. It has different expressions in this region but has always been a daily wine. This bottle gets to the heart of that. It’s jammy, with great acidity and a little depth for good measure. Bring it out a bit chilled with a platter of carpaccio, and stand back.

The Chook Shiraz-Viognier $18

The Chook Shiraz-Viognier is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

Get a load of this: It’s a red sparkling wine made from Shiraz and a dollop of Viognier. And get this, it’s awesome. This is your barbecue bubbly. Deep, dark fruit that is broken up by frothy bubbles that foam to the top keep this wine balanced just right. There is a slight bitter note that is almost needed to crack the sweetness a bit. It’s one hell of a unique wine, and it’s delicious.

Best Cheap White Wines

Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina $19

Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

Just off the coast of Sicily is the mainland of Italy and the shores of Napoli in Campania. Inland from there are hills and mountains populated by grapes that have been growing in these soils since antiquity. And most of them are white. They are wonderful. Falanghina (Fah-lahn-gee-nah) in the Sannio region is one of them. Lemony crisp with crazy acicidty, it’s not dry or sweet but somewhere blessedly in between. Pair this wine with a Caprese salad, and you’ll feel compelled to explore this region even more.

Alois Lageder ‘Riff’ Pinot Grigio 2019 $10

Alois Lageder 'Riff' Pinot Grigio 2019 is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

This is the Pinot Grigio you are looking for. It’s under screw cap, it has a fun label looking dope in a beach bag and it’s under 10 bucks. Oh, and it’s really good! This bottle really defines how Pinot Grigio can still be expressive and balanced, even at a high production rate. It has vibrant acidity and smells like sliced apples and spontaneity.

Louis Jadot Mâcon-Villages $14

Louis Jadot Mâcon-Villages is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

The Mâcon appellation offers some of the most affordable wines in the Maconnais Burgundy region. They are almost always unoaked and have round, moderate acidity, allowing for some depth and balance. This is one of them; it’s widely available and smells like lemons and pears.

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay $19

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

It’s nice to have a solid Sonoma wine as a grab and go. And this wine defines that. It’s widely available and is a crowd pleaser. It has good American Chardonnay depth with moderate acidity, resulting in a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. It smells like butter and pears and won’t weigh you down with too much alcohol.

Hanna Sauvignon Blanc $19

Hanna Sauvignon Blanc is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

This is a defining Sauvignon Blanc that’s affordable and under screw cap. It’s definitely California with a soft round palate but also shows it’s inherent angular side. It smells citrusy, with a waft of ripe green apples and minty gooseberries. There is a flinty vibe running through it, keeping the acidity bright and aromas at the forefront. It’s a sunny afternoon in California in a bottle.

Bodegas Avancia Cuvee de O Godello $18

Bodegas Avancia Cuvee de O Godello is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

Welcome to the refreshing world of Godello. I listed a more concentrated and expensive example on “The 28 Best White Wines for 2021,” but this option is affordable and just as tasty — so now there’s no excuse not to try this awesome grape. It smells like limes and pears, with a broad unoaked Chardonnay mouthfeel. The acidity is bounding about in the glass, keeping things active and letting you enjoy a slight depth. Come on in.

Broadbent Vinho Verde $13

Broadbent Vinho Verde is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

On summer evenings after work, watching the sun melt into the horizon, what would be better than a slightly fizzy low-alcohol white wine that smells like apples and dances on the palate? Not much, I reckon. With frothy acidity lifting up a slight carbonation, this wine is that evening.

Tablelands Sauvignon Blanc $14

Tablelands Sauvignon Blanc is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

Move over Marlborough, and let Martinborough in. In the southern, hilly Waipara region on the North Island of New Zealand is a river valley that produces dry, grippy Savvy B with bracing acidity and citrusy fruit. No gassy, sweet bell peppers here. This is a great alternative to the wines made on the northern tip of the South Island.

Best Cheap Sparkling Wines

Bisol Jeio Prosecco Brut $14

Bisol Jeio Prosecco Brut is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

This is a unique kind of Prosecco. Where most Prosecco is typically sweet, this wine is juicy. Instead of active bubbles, it has a lazy winding perlage. These qualities allow for a thirst-quenching Prosecco. It’s the kind of sparkling that you sit and chill with but keep looking at that glass like damn, this is good.

Gruet Blanc de Noirs $17

Gruet Blanc de Noirs is one of the best cheap wines for under $20.

I’m still here stanning the American Sparkler idea (DMs are open), and this is one of our faves here at VinePair. It’s so well balanced, with a nice, rich depth that loosens under persistent bubbles. The bottle will bring high-fives to a celebration or legit fist bumps at casual events.