Our 10 Favorite Grocery Store Wines (Under $20) for Any Holiday Party

updated Dec 10, 2019
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Credit: Logos Left to Right: Trader Joe's, Aldi, Costco

The folks who work at my local Trader Joe’s, Aldi, and Costco must think I’m truly weird, given the number of times I wander around the stores looking at every bottle of wine while snapping photos and then leave with a cart full of wine and not much else, save the occasional discount face mask. But these are the sacrifices I make to help you make the most of your wine shopping.

Here are some of the best wines I’ve found at Aldi, Trader Joe’s, and Costco. They’re all just $20 or less and totally great picks for any holiday party you may be headed to.

Aldi

Giretto Pinot Grigio, $6: This inexpensive stalwart is crisp, lemony, and easy to drink. If light, refreshing, unoaked whites are a style you like, this would be a great choice. It’s also a useful bottle to keep hanging around in the fridge for sauces that need a splash of white wine.

Credit: Diane McMartin

La Cornada Crianza Tempranillo, $5: This tangy Tempranillo is light to medium in body, with flavors of tart cherries and a hint of cedar. If you’re like me and love serving chili as an easy house party entrée, this would be a nice accompaniment.

Credit: Diane McMartin

Tailslide California Pinot Noir, $7: Here’s a light, fruity, quaffable Pinot Noir with flavors of ripe cherries and raspberry jam. Throw this in the fridge for 30 minutes before opening.

Credit: Trong Nguyen

Costco

Credit: Diane McMartin

Catena Malbec, $15: Catena is one of those brands that wine nerds don’t get all that excited about, but it’s an extremely popular wine for a reason. With ripe fruit flavors of blackberries and ripe blueberries and a hint of dark chocolate, it will satisfy any lover of full-bodied reds.

Credit: Diane McMartin

Kirkland Signature NV Brut Champagne, $20: Here’s a classic option with that little hint of yeasty aroma that makes Champagne feel so sophisticated, and flavors of crisp apple and lemon zest. It’s a private label made by a real Champagne house just for Costco. You’ll have a very difficult time finding real Champagne that’s worth drinking for less than this. 

Credit: Diane McMartin

Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, $11: With flavors of ripe berries and aromas of cinnamon and cedar, this is a full-bodied Cabernet that’s pretty darn classy for just above $10! 

Trader Joe’s

Credit: Diane McMartin

Trader Joe’s Brut Reserve, $10: I’ve tried a lot of sparkling wine from big-box stores, and most of it ends up going down my sink after I’ve tasted it and grimaced, but if I tried this blind, I’d guess that it cost twice as much. This is very crisp and refreshing, with flavors of lemon curd and a bit of lemon zest on the finish. It also stayed bubbly and surprisingly fresh-tasting for almost an entire week in my refrigerator.

Credit: Diane McMartin

Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, $8: I was shocked at how good this is for just eight dollars. With flavors of ripe raspberries and strawberries, mouthwatering acidity, and soft tannins, this would be a great accompaniment to holiday meals that center around turkey or ham.

Credit: Diane McMartin

Maison Barboulot Cabernet/Syrah, $6: Blends of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah have become popular in many parts of the south of France. This one from Maison Barboulot is pretty robust, with a lot of nice grip from tannins and flavors of ripe blackberries and dried cherries. It would be great with prime rib, or burgers if you’re taking a break from wintry holiday food!

Trader Joe’s Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, $10: For 10 bucks this is a pretty gosh-darn-good Cabernet. It’s medium- to full-bodied, with flavors of dark plums and blackberries and a little hint of something herbaceous, like dill.

Do you have any favorites that aren’t listed here? Add them in the comments below!