Five Gift-Worthy Wines on a Budget


Wine makes the perfect gift for almost everyone.

Boss,  sensei, mail carrier, girl scout leader, sister-in-law, best friend..with the exception of your teetotaling grandmother, wine is the perfect gift for a ton of people in your life. And, contrary to popular belief, wine does not have to be expensive for be excellent. So, in the interest of helping you cross some of those names off your list, here are five gift worthy wines that won’t break the bank.

1. Cono Sur

Not only are these Chilean wines organic and sustainably grown, they clock in around $10 and the quality is excellent. For red wine drinkers try the Carmenere. White wine lovers will enjoy the Cardonnay, but honestly all of their wines are fantastic. (And they even use ducks!) These are great for vegans, carnivores, gluten free cousins and anyone who is a fan of ducks or bicycles.

2. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

This rustic, medium bodied, Italian wine is earthy with red fruit flavors and pairs well with grilled meats, mushrooms and hearty pasta dishes. It’s delicious and affordable, as most bottles can be purchased for less than $15. Gift this to your father-in-law who loves to grill or your sister who loves Italian food. Or anyone who enjoys a hearty red wine.

3. Orange Wine

‘Orange wine’ is a recent term for wines that are fermented with a short amount of skin contact, thus resulting in a final wine with an orange hue instead of the traditional red or white. This is a very trendy wine and it makes a fantastic gift for any foodie on your list  who likes to try new things. Many orange wines can be purchased for around $15 but my absolute favorite costs $20. It’s called Naken and it’s made by a a Austrian winery called Biokult. It’s effervescent and light and citrusy and it makes the perfect gift for your bohemian sister-in-law, your hippy-dippy neighbor or anyone on your list that’s into interesting wines.

4. Anchor & Hope

Lil’ Rhody is lucky to have some great local wines which make perfect gifts! Shopping local is always a plus, and a gift from your home state adds a personal touch if you are traveling for the holidays too. Most locals have heard of Newport vineyards, (their Great White blend is a go-to), but a new player on the local scene is Anchor & Hope which only set sail in the Ocean State a couple of years and and makes some fantastic, affordable wines. Their Sauvignon Blanc is zippy without being assertive and their Riesling is fruity without being too sweet. Located in Rumford, RI Anchor & Hope is the epitome of shopping local this year and it’s perfect of your Aunt who loves California Chardonnay, your Uncle who loves Pinot Noir and anyone who loves anchors (or hope!)

5. Bubbly!

You literally cannot go wrong with something bubbly when it comes to gift giving. And you don’t have to spring for the $60 Veuve Clicquot to give something your friends and family with enjoy. Cava( from Spain) , Prosecco (From Italy ) make great gifts, are every bit as good as Champagne and there are tons of quality ones to choose from in the $10-$15 range. For a reliable champagne-esque bubbly choose a cava. (My favorite is Freixenet Extra Dry.) For something a bit sweeter go for a Prosecco (I enjoy Mionetto, but gift whatever you like best!) For something a little different try Doppio Rosso Barbera Frizzante, a dry sparkling red wine from Italy, which sells for around $12. Everyone loves bubbles!

I hope you try gifting some of these excellent, inexpensive wines this holiday season! And don’t forget to get a little something for yourself! Cheers!


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