5 Red Wines Under $15

couple drinking red wine
Photo: Getty
The Fearless Critics prove that more expensive doesn't always mean superlative taste when it comes to reds.
  1. The Wine Trials

    Challenge the wine snobs in your life! The Wine Trials tasters drank 6,000 glasses of wine to prove that some of the best are under $15.
  2. Avalon Cabarnet Sauvignon

    Type: Red
    Country: United States, Napa Valley
    Vintage tasted: 2005
    Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon
    Drink with: Broiled or grilled ribeye steak, chicken mole
    Price: $14

    Aesthetically and taste-wise, this could pass for a $100 bottle. The attack is a bit sweet, but it’s tempered by bitter chocolate, acidity, and tannins; several blind taste testers noticed licorice too.
  3. LAN Rioja Crianza

    Type: Red
    Country: Spain
    Vintage tasted: 2004
    Grapes: Tempranillo
    Drink with: Lamb or vegetable tagine, grilled sausage
    Price: $12

    Riojas are soft and modest at first, then earthy and evocative. There are earthy, almost musty aromas, and the wine has a slight scent of cherry and a hint of vanilla taste.
  4. Mark West Pinot Noir

    Type: Red
    Country: United States
    Vintage tasted: 2005
    Grapes: Pinot Noir
    Drink with: Roast chicken, spaghetti alla carbonara
    Price: $11

    Mark West has a small operation and a simple slogan: “Pinot for the People.” This red wine has strong cherry aromas and blind tasters like the flavor hints of spice and strawberries.
  5. Osborne Solaz Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon

    Type: Red
    Country: Spain
    Vintage tasted: 2004
    Grapes: Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon
    Drink with: Braised meats, heavy stews
    Price: $9

    This is a rich, full-bodied, long-lasting blockbuster of a red wine from a Spanish company founded in 1772. It has an upfront flavor that includes Christmas-like spices and tannins that work well with the aromas of black fruit, candied cherries, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  6. Cono Sur Pinot Noir

    Type: Red
    Country: Chile
    Vintage tasted: 2006
    Grapes: Pinot Noir
    Drink with: Coq au vin, roast duck, hard cheeses
    Price: $10

    High acidity balances out deeply harmonious strawberryish fruit, with perhaps a slight thinness to the liquid in this Chilean classic-tasting Pinot.