Around the World in 40 Wines: US Tour - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Around the World in 40 Wines: US Tour

photo by Chona Kasinger

For most of 2020, we learned how exhausting it is to stay in one place. Now, our imaginations are alive with the possibilities of small summer gatherings.

To make al fresco gatherings easier, we’ve gathered a list of brands you can count on for good drinking at $20 or less. Each of them has outperformed the competition in our focus tastings over the last 12 months, with affordable wines gaining high accolades. 

Here are 11 of our Value Brands of the Year, matched with a day-trip idea that we’ve been dreaming about, from our June 2021 Edition.

Experience the Taste of Garrigue and more Value Brands here.

Woodinville, Washington

There are tasting rooms galore in Woodinville, from major players like Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia and DeLille, to small artisan producers like Betz Family, Two and W.T. Vintners. Any way you break it down, you’ll need at least a day to make a dent. Leave time for a bike ride on the Sammamish River Trail, or pack a picnic for Woodin Creek Park. If you’re feeling spendy, there’s always The Herbfarm, or the Barking Frog for a multi-course meal. — Patrick J. Comiskey

Alexander Valley Vineyards

US | California | Sonoma County

Under a redwood, late afternoon, in Armstrong Redwoods State Park.

Alexander Valley Vyds., Healdsburg, CA

  • 2018 Alexander Valley Zinfandel $20
  • 2020 Sonoma County Rosé of Sangiovese $20
  • 2017 Alexander Valley Zinfandel $20

Browne Family

US | Washington | Columbia Valley

In Ballard, tending the smoker, with a local red.

  • 2018 Columbia Valley Heritage Cabernet Sauvignon $20
  • 2018 Columbia Valley Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon $20
  • 2020 Columbia Valley Grenache Rosé $20

Precept Wine, Seattle, WA

Chateau Ste. Michelle

US | Washington | Columbia Valley

A summer barbecue, in town in Seattle, with cabernet sauvignon.

  • 2017 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $15
  • 2017 Columbia Valley Mimi Cabernet Sauvignon $19
  • 2019 Columbia Valley Rosé $11

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Woodinville, WA

Del Rio Vineyards

US | Oregon | Rogue Valley

Chilled rosé, in Ashland, at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Del Rio Vineyards, Gold Hill, OR

  • 2020 Oregon Rock Point Pinot Noir Rosé $15
  • 2020 Rogue Valley Grenache Rosé $17


US | Oregon | Willamette Valley

Pinot noir, on Tillamook Bay, with a shellfish feast.

  • 2019 Oregon Rosé of Pinot Noir $14
  • 2018 Oregon Pinot Noir $19

Erath, Dundee, OR


US | Washington | Columbia Valley

On the Columbia River bluffs, post-mountain biking, with your windbreaker.

  • 2018 Horse Heaven Hills Bordeaux Style Red $15
  • 2019 Horse Heaven Hills Rosé $15
  • 2018 Horse Heaven Hills Red Blend (Rhône) $15

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Woodinville, WA

Hosmer Winery

US | New York | Finger Lakes

FLX pink, post Taughannock Falls, to toast your hike.

  • 2020 Finger Lakes Dry Rosé of Lemberger $20
  • 2020 Finger Lakes Dry Rosé of Cabernet Franc $16

Hosmer Winery, Ovid, NY

Kirkland Signature

US | California | Sonoma County & Napa Valley

Casual reds, at a picnic, in Calistoga’s Palisades.

  • 2018 Sonoma County Zinfandel $10
  • 2017 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $10
  • 2018 Napa Valley Red Blend $11

DC Flynt MW Domaines & Estates, Lake Charles, LA


US | Washington | Columbia Valley

In the Cascades, on a canoe trip, with a campfire cabernet.

Precept Wine, Seattle, WA

  • 2018 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $13
  • 2017 Columbia Valley Vintner’s Select Red $16
  • 2018 Columbia Valley Vintner’s Select Cabernet Sauvignon $16

The wines in this newsletter were chosen by our editors, from the 2021 Value Brands of the Year in our June 2021 edition. After our editors made their selections, we offered wineries the opportunity to promote their recognition with a bottle image and brand links.

This story appears in the print issue of June 2021.
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