Is it possible to find a decent bottle of wine for $10 or less to drink this summer?

(Photo by Chance Yeh/Getty Images for NYCWFF)
(Photo by Chance Yeh/Getty Images for NYCWFF) /

Cheap wine. Is there ever really a good enough excuse to drink it? Before we answer that question let’s define “cheap wine”. According to Merriam-Webster one definition of “cheap” simply means “obtainable at a low price.” So when we are talking about cheap wine, we may be simply saying that it is inexpensive, not automatically assuming that it tastes bad.  However we often think of wine that is $10 or less a bottle as not at all quaffable, something for mere peasants to sip on or as the British and Australian’s call it “plonk”.  Let’s take a moment and reconsider this because there are some inexpensive wines that are very enjoyable especially in the summer.

Why would we want to consider an inexpensive wine to sip in the summer sunshine? The first thing to think about is where we often drink wine when the sun is high in the sky and the thermometer tops the 90 degree mark. We are drinking outside. Now some of us may grab an ice cold beer or a chilled canned cocktail while we enjoy our day at the lake, beach or backyard deck, but where does that leave us wine lovers?

It’s probably a good idea to leave our Riedel glasses in the cabinet and reach for unbreakable glasses to take outside. Most likely we won’t want to pour a $50 wine into a plastic glass. Plus, if you are entertaining guests you may want to buy multiple bottles. These less expensive wines are at such a good price you can easily purchase a case. So let’s think creatively and concentrate on quenching our thirst.

(Photo by Johnny Louis/Getty Images)
(Photo by Johnny Louis/Getty Images) /

Vinho Verde is a white wine from Portugal that is bright, crisp and fruity with a bit of effervescence. You’ll find a wide selection of Vinho Verde for $10 or less a bottle. Vinho Verde is available in white or rosé and pairs perfectly with seafood.  Many of the Vinho Verde bottles have colorful fun labels that are easy to recognize. Santola Vinho Verde has a bright red crab on the front. Gatão Vinho Verde has a cat on the label (gato is the Spanish word for cat). Medium sweet with apple, citrus and a touch of honey. Broadbent Vinho Verde’s label is decorated with a big pink and red flower. Fresh and spritzy, with fresh strawberry, pomegranate and orange zest flavors.

Bricco Del Tati is an Italian Rosé that is an excellent value at $9.99 a bottle. It is a refreshing sip with flavors of strawberries, cherries and rose petals. Pair this lovely pink wine with summer foods – shellfish, salads and chicken.

Wimmer Grüner Veltliner 2020 is a bright and light white wine made in Austria. It has fresh notes of pear and lemon. This wine pairs well with fresh asparagus and take it in your picnic basket with fried chicken.

Tempted to try a light red wine even though it’s hot hot hot outside? Borsao Selección 2019 Granacha is very sippable in the summer. describes this brilliant magenta wine as “Smoke-tinged dark berries, cracked pepper and a hint of gaminess on the pungent nose. Chewy and tightly focused on the palate, offering bitter cherry and boysenberry flavors that unfurl and become sweeter on the back half. Lingers with very good persistence on the finish, which features silky tannins and a strong echo of sweet blue fruit. This wine is ridiculously easy to drink and delivers really great value.” This is the inexpensive red wine to drink with grilled meats this summer.

Sangria is a popular libation during the summer months too. Granacha is a very good choice to make sangria. An ice cold pitcher of sangria is a fabulous way to serve your guests without breaking your budget.

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for Ralph Lauren)
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for Ralph Lauren) /

Don’t forget to sparkle this summer! Segura Viudas offers a cava for $10. If Prosecco is your favorite, try Montelliana Prosecco in that same price range. Making mimosas for a crowd this weekend? Freixenet Gran Seleccion Cava is a good value for $8.99 per bottle.

Cider is a fun choice in the summer too. Potter’s Craft Cidery Grapefruit Hibiscus from their Sapling Series is delightfully pink in color made with Virginia apples. The crisp apple flavor is complemented by grapefruit peel and hibiscus that gives it a subtle floral aroma. $8.99 a bottle.

Do you love to drink wine anytime of the year? Do these crisp, fruity, refreshing wines tempt you to revisit “cheap wine” to refresh your palate this summer?