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The best affordable white wine money can buy

Impressive but inexpensive white wine? Read on

Three glasses of white wine together
Matthieu Joannon / Unsplash

More expensive wine tends to offer more in terms of complexity, flavor, and age-ability. But that does not mean there aren’t some spectacular, inexpensive options out there. In fact, if the boxed wine movement has taught us anything, it’s that some great fermented fruit can enter the market at very enticing price points.

Sometimes, dinner calls for a wine pairing that’s more than mediocre. Sometimes, you need to bring something to a gathering that doesn’t just get thoughtlessly passed around. Well, we’ve got wines that will wow palates and barely put a dent in your bank account.

Here’s a list of the best affordable white wine, just in time for summer. For less than what it costs to buy a few gallons of gas, you can outfit yourself with some great-tasting stuff, ideal for deck sipping or picnics.

American wines

White wine close-up
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Talley Chardonnay

This bottle runs around $30 but tastes like a $75 option. At a time when good Chardonnay is beginning to fetch triple-digit prices, the Talley bottle is all the more appealing. You get citrus, flint, and orchard fruit, without any obstruction of oak and a great texture to boot. Try it with halibut, shellfish, creamy cheeses, or chicken pot pie.

Acrobat Pinot Gris

Long an overachieving wine from Oregon, Acrobat Pinot Gris delivers in every department. Balanced, crisp, and flavorful, this wine is as reliable as they come. And for the money, it’s easily one of the best white wines out there. Enjoy the Pinot Gris with any number of warm weather dishes, from chicken salad to grilled vegetables or fish tacos.

K Vintners Viognier

This bottle from Washington State wine country is everything a quality Viognier should be — aromatic, full, and offering a hint of spice. Pair with buttery cheeses, grilled veggies, or even a melt-in-your-mouth protein like lobster. We like the wine’s chances in a blind taste test versus some of its more expensive Rhone Valley counterparts.

European wines

Vinho Verde wine glass
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Berger Kremstal Gruner Veltliner

This oversized one-liter bottle from Austria has backyard soiree written all over it. The wine is plain fun, a beach ball and sun umbrella in a bottle. Enjoy with light picnic fare, canteloupe with prosciutto, or as a means of washing down some salty snacks.

Inama Soave

Running around $15, this Italian wine is so approachable and great with just about any light pasta dish you can come up with. Light and smooth, Soave reminds a but of Pinot Grigio but tends to offer a bit more on the palate (and for less money). Grab a hunk of parmesan and sip this wine in tandem and you’ll see.

Broadbent Vinho Verde

A Portugal product, this refreshing wine is far from complicated. We like the simple nature on display, a wine that knows its role without being boring. And at around 9%ABV and under $10, you can get extra and sip it for most of the day. Fruit and cheese do well with this sprightly number.

Zaccagnini Pinot Grigio

Pleasant is the best way to describe this lovely Pinot Grigio from Abruzzo. There’s a deceptively elegant structure, and the fact that the label is gorgeous and comes with a vine cutting wrapped around like a necklace adds serious presentation points. Oh, and it comes in at well under $20 a bottle.

Elsewhere wines

White wine
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Rongopai Sauvignon Blanc

New Zealand is home to some of the best and least expensive Sauvignon Blanc options on the planet. Here’s a triumphant example, crafted in a sustainable fashion and the work of one of the country’s oldest wineries. Have it with some pesto or seafood pasta or a summer-fresh salad.

MAN Chenin Blanc

A wine from South Africa, this Chenin Blanc features pear and tropical notes along with a nice bit of minerality. Enjoy with goat cheese or pork chops. Consider stocking up for summer, as the wine tends to run for about $10 a bottle.

Los Vascos Casablanca Valley Sauvignon Blanc

A Chilean white, this wine has garnered some impressive scores. We suggest having this wine with Tabbouleh. You get a lot of character for the price and the zesty, lemon-lime notes come by way of organic wine grapes.

Reserve some space in your summer cooler for at least a few of the above. You’ll appreciate how much depth you get for the price and how they can enhance a good appetizer or meal. And if you have extra, just throw the cap or cork back on a return to the cooler or fridge, as they’ll keep for a while in cool conditions.

Keep your wine game sharp with a few other sibling features. Read about the best summer wines, selected by sommeliers and the best barbecue wines to accompany all of those hot dogs and steak. Here’s to a wonderful summer ahead.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
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