Top six wines under $20

Wine is a classy choice for a dinner, a date, or even a relaxing evening by yourself.
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Instead of grimacing at the bitterness of beer or cringing at the thought of vodka, students looking to take the edge off are turning to wine as their drink of choice.

Not only is wine associated with the idea of sophistication, but there may also be health benefits that come from drinking red wine in moderation, including protection from heart disease. 

Browsing the aisles of LCBO or Wine Rack is always a treat and a challenge. There are so many choices to consider: white or red? Canadian or French? Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon? 

Of course, on a student budget, price is the most pressing issue at hand. To help you on your next wine excursion, below is a list of six wines that won’t break the bank and are still an excellent complement to your wine and cheese night or casual dinner. 

Megalomaniac Homegrown Red VQA: Cabernet Sauvignon

$15.95/750 mL     

This aromatic wine is full of dark fruit flavours like cherry and berries, but without being too acidic. It’s medium-bodied and smooth so it doesn’t come off too rich and leave you bloated like other red wines might. This wine is perfect for a wine and cheese night with friends to pair with brie cheese, candied pecans and dried fruit. 

Passion of Portugal Red: Alentejo

$8.45/750 mL

This wine is a clear example of how price isn’t indicative of quality. At $8.45 for a 750 mL bottle, the Passion of Portugal Red wine brings the essence of Portuguese wine straight to your home. 

The wine is well-balanced: not too dry and not too acidic. It has strong cherry and plum flavours with a touch of spice notes, which pair wonderfully with desserts like chocolate cake or gingerbread. 

Jackson-Triggs Pinot Grigio

$17.95/1500 mL

This Ontario white wine is light and crisp, which makes it a student favourite. It can be served alongside chicken and pasta for date night or be a go-to alternative to beer for a casual drink at the next party. The subtle aromas of apple and soft lemon also make the wine a good ingredient for homemade sangria, which is a guaranteed crowd favourite. To top it off, for under $20 you can get the 1500 mL bottle so you can make sangria one weekend and treat your date the next weekend.

Yellow Tail Chardonnay

$10.95/750 mL

Our friends Down Under have much more to offer than kangaroos and the Hemsworth brothers, they also happen to produce great wine. 

When you want a change from trusty Canadian wine, try this full-bodied Chardonnay from Australia that contains apple and pear flavours mixed with aromas of butterscotch and vanilla. Basically, your favourite apple pie in a wine. You can’t go wrong with that.  

Girls’ Night Out Rosé VQA

$12.95/750 mL

This salmon colour rosé reminds me of strawberry jam in flavour with a dry, sweet finish. As someone who isn’t a usual rosé drinker, this easy-going fruity wine pairs well with cupcakes and fruit pies, making it a great choice for a casual get together, especially as a dessert wine. 

Strut Risqué Rosé

$12.00/750 mL

Admittedly, Strut initially caught my eye with its provocative label and name. Risqué Rosé sounds exactly like the kind of wine for me. A change from the usual berry and citrus combination, this wine combines berry with melon notes for a fresh flavour. Pour a glass of this when you’re serving a cheese or charcuterie platter and enjoy!

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