If you ask a room full of wine experts about tasting value wines, most often you’ll get a kind of collective “ugh” at the prospect. I don’t know why, exactly, but I always find the prospect exciting—there’s always a visceral thrill when you find an under-$20 bottle that wildly over-delivers in terms of quality.
The bottles below are a grab bag: Some appeared in the pages of Food & Wine this year, some I tasted at events or industry wine tasting, some I happened across while sitting at a restaurant bar, waiting for a friend to arrive. As a wine writer, your taste antennae are always attuned to the new and the good (and, honestly, smartphones have made note-taking in unlikely places radically easier).
The ten wines below cover a range, from sparkling to still, white to red, light to rich. Essentially, there’s at least one representative for every occasion or every palate, or at least I hope there is. At the very least, though, I can promise that all of them are radically better than their modest prices might indicate.