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Great Wines for $20-$40

Oct 21, 2014 | 1 comment

If you like great wine, you know the difference between a mediocre wine and a great wine. And unfortunately that means mediocre wines are no longer an option. Once you’ve spoiled your palate with awesome wines, it’s near impossible to go back. But of course, you usually pay for greatness. And drinking expensive wines every time you open a bottle can be a hard hit to your bank account.

At our house, we usually have wine about 5 nights a week, and we were drinking a great bottle every time. We tend to drink more Pinot Noir and Chardonnay than anything else, and the cost for a great bottle of either usually ranges between $50-$80. That adds up. Fast.

So I decided to run an experiment and see if we could find wines that scored highly, tasted great, and had enough complexity for us to want to drink them as everyday wines. I primarily used as my resource site, since it’s very easy to search for wines that are rated over 90 points by wine reviewers like Wine Spectator or Wine Enthusiast and are in a particular price range. I found a few via a few local wine shops as well. We drank the wines over the course of a few weeks and rated each on a scale of 1 (never order), 2 (maybe order) and 3 (definitely order).

We found 3 Pinots and 3 Chardonnays that we really liked and felt met our requirements. Here are our recommendations:

frank family chard


Frank Family Carneros Chardonnay 2012 ($32)

Pine Ridge Dijon Clone


Pine Ridge Dijon Clone Carneros Chardonnay 2012 ($27)

Macrostie chard


MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012 ($20)

Trisaetum Pinot

Trisaetum Williamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012 ($36)

Failla pinot


Failla Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012 ($33)

Capiaux Pinot


Capiaux Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012 ($32)

I hope these recommendations are as delicious for you as they are for us…we’ve stocked our cellar with a healthy amount of each of these to satisfy both our palates and our budget.

Bon appetit!




1 Comment

  1. Dave

    awesome post as always.
    You may not remember this, but I went to an awards dinner that recognized you and other Silicon Valley women leaders, and sat next to Capiaux’s parents.
    Small world, great wine.

    See you soon.


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