One-hundred-fifty-nine million cases. For a country that lacks the grand wine ancestry of a place like Italy, where there are "more wines than churches," that's an impressive number recorded by America's millennials, who downed wine last year at a record clip.
But lest you think it's all Carlo Rossi and Crane Lake, studies show millennials are not only a growing target audience, but also display a willingness to drop over $20 for a bottle. Let's be realistic, though. Even an upward trend of young, discerning wine drinkers doesn't negate the obvious: the wine world can feel like a guarded palace, reeking of stiffness and suffering from a lack of sex appeal.
That stigma, however, shouldn't prevent you from enjoying one of the world's most popular liquids. The way we see it, rather than stroll into the shop looking for the perfect bottle, or limiting yourself to a specific style, your best bet is to filter options by price point. You're far better off working within parameters—asking for a $15 acidic red, for instance, a strategy that zeroes in on affordability and flavor.
Walk in with a different agenda and you're bound to get lost trying to catch the white whales, only found in the cellars of serious snobs. Which is why we tapped the expertise of Wes Narron, Chief Wine Ambassador of City Wine Tours, who has spent years running shops and organizing tastings. Whether sparkling, white, or red, we asked Narron to put together a list of accessible, mainstream options that are friendly towards all wallets.
Here we present to you the best bottles of wine for every budget.