10 Best Red Wines Under $50 (2021)

Best Red Wines Under $50 Featured

A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition.”
– Rudyard Kipling

You simply cannot go wrong with a good bottle of red wine. Whether you like full-bodied red wines like Zinfandel or something lighter like Pinot Noir, there is so much to choose from that you can easily suffer from so called “paralysis of analysis”. I know I often do. To help you navigate through the “waters of wine”, I created this little top 10 list.

Here you can find my personal favorites. I admit, that this particular list includes a bit pricier wines, but it is always good to live a little and experience the finer things life has to offer. With that said, you might be surprised that indeed, with so many brands and labels on the market today you can enjoy a glass (or bottle) of a fantastic red wine under $50. Here is a list of top red wines under $50, go on your own tasting fest and you’ll surely agree with us. Enjoy!


Best Red Wines Under $50

Best Overall Best Value Best From Portugal Best From France Best From Australia Best From Chile Best From Italy Best From South Africa Best From Spain Best Red Blend
Bottle
Name Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon Meiomi Pinot Noir Cartuxa Évora Colheita Tinto Château d’Arsac Margaux Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz Viña Vik Winery Milla Cala San Marzano 60 Sessantanni Old Vines Primitivo di Manduria Meerlust Rubicon Abadía Retuerta Selección Especial The Prisoner Red Blend
Color Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red
Country United States United States Portugal France Australia Chile Italy South Africa Spain United States
Grapes Cabernet Sauvignon Pinot Noir 40% Tempranillo, 40% Alicante Bouschet and 20% Trincadeira Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carménère, Merlot, Syrah Primitivo Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Charbono, Petite Sirah, Grenache
Taste Blackcurrant, Blackberry, Plum, Black Cherry, Oak Strawberry, Cherry, Oak, Tobacco, Plum Black Plum, Cherry, Strawberry, Raspberry Puree, Blackberry, Violet Blossom Black Fruits, Vanilla, Plum, Oak, Candy Blackberries, Cherries, Licorice, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Strawberry, Sweet Spice, Cherry, Milk Chocolate, Oak Vanilla, Raspberry, Raisins, Prunes, Cinnamon, Tobacco, And Chocolate Dark Cherries, Plum, Oaky With Mineral And Earthy Undertones Black Plum, Licorice, Strawberry, Blueberry, Dark Chocolate Blackberry, Raspberry, Black Currant, Pomegranate, Vanilla
Food Pairing Roasted Lamb, Indian Food, Beef Burger, Grilled Ribs Chinese Food, Rib Eye, Langoustines, Roasted Duck Portuguese Steak, Roasted Duck, Mushroom Pâté, Smoked Meatloaf Chuck Roast, BBQ, Red Sauce Pasta, Roasted Turkey Lamb Shoulder, Nutty Cheeses, Italian Tomato Based Dishes Asian Style Flank Steak, Meatballs, Smoked Poultry, Sticky Duck Leg Shish Kebab, BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Lasagna, Roasted Lamb Filet Mignon, Braised Lamb Shoulder, Caramel Chicken, Asian Style Pork Chops Spicy Food, Beef Kebab, Sashimi, Grilled Steaks Crab Cake, Beef Burger, Filet Mignon, Lobster Ravioli
Alcohol Content 15% 13.8% 13.5% 13.5% 14.5% 14% 14.5% 14.4% 15% 15.2%
Sugar Content Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry
Our Rating 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5) 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5) 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5) 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5) 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5) 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5) 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5) 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5) 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
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Best Overall

  • Name — Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Winery — Austin Hope
  • Country/Region — United States, California, Central Coast, San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles
  • Type — Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Aroma — Blackberry, Blackcurrant, Coffee, Cocoa, Vanilla
  • Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Taste — Blackcurrant, Blackberry, Plum, Black Cherry, Oak
  • Alcohol Content — 15%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Roasted Lamb, Indian Food, Beef Burger, Grilled Ribs
Overall Rating: 4.9

Positives
  • Fresh
  • Fruity
  • Bold Almost Like A Dessert
Negatives
  • Very Fruit-Forward

Paso Robles’ Cabernet Sauvignon has a proud winemaking tradition where after the grapes are harvested from select vineyards, they are individually fermented in stainless steel tanks for 10 to 14 days. Overall, this Cabernet Sauvignon blend is aged for three more months in a 25% used once and 75% new French Oak. The wine is only racked twice during its cellar life, the second one happening prior to its final bottling.

With its deep and intense ruby color, Austin Hope’s Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon tickles the nose with its cherry-full and black currant aroma. Inhaling deeply, you can smell the dried spices and their subtle smoky notes. On the palate, the fruits are having a wild party as the juiciness of the blackberries and the ripeness of cherries interact beautifully. There are old hints of brown butter and even vanilla bean. It is a rich and balanced red wine with a touch of perky acidity and strong sophisticated tannins.


Best Value

  • Name — Meiomi Pinot Noir
  • Winery — Meiomi
  • Country/Region — United States, California
  • Type — Californian Pinot Noir
  • Aroma — Oak, Cherry, Blackberry, Fig
  • Grapes — Pinot Noir
  • Taste — Strawberry, Cherry, Oak, Tobacco, Plum
  • Alcohol Content — 13.8%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Chinese Food, Rib Eye, Langoustines, Roasted Duck
Overall Rating: 4.6

Positives
  • Smooth Tannins
  • Long Finish
  • Bright And Clean
Negatives
  • Finish Is Slightly Bitter

Pinot Noir has a reputation of being one of the most difficult and finicky grape to cultivate, adding to the appeal of the wine. With its rich garnet color and perfect ruby edge, Meiomi’s Pinot Noir is a gateway to fruity aromas of mocha, jammy fruits, and strawberries. It has a gentle vanilla smell combined with toasty oak notes.

As your mouth plays with this red liquid, you can enjoy the different combinations of flavors on your palate. It is a complex dance of strawberries, cherries, and blackberries with toasty mocha essences and dry, firm tannins. It teases your senses making you want to have more of this top-rated red wine under $50.


Best From Portugal

  • Name — Cartuxa Évora Colheita Tinto
  • Winery — Cartuxa
  • Country/Region — Portugal, Alentejano, Alentejo, Evora
  • Type — Portuguese Alentejo Red
  • Aroma — Plum, Dark Fruits, Cocoa, Chocolate, Oak
  • Grapes — 40% Tempranillo, 40% Alicante Bouschet and 20% Trincadeira
  • Taste — Black Plum, Cherry, Strawberry, Raspberry Puree, Blackberry, Violet Blossom
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Portuguese Steak, Roasted Duck, Mushroom Pâté, Smoked Meatloaf
Overall Rating: 4.8

Positives
  • Easy To Drink
  • Tasteful
  • Rich With A Light Edge
Negatives
  • Slightly Short Finish

As the flagship wine of Alentejano, this wine doesn’t disappoint. The Évora Colheita Tinto is a Portuguese red wine known for its alluring combination of red and black fruits. It has an intense ruby – almost violet color. It has a sweet-smelling, medium-intensity aroma of berries and violets. Today, Évora Colheita has transitioned into an elegant wine matured in oak barrels to achieve that structure of fruity aromas of the different grapes and come up with a complex yet lasting taste.

Dry on the palate, this wine produces that beautiful balance of spice, earth aromas, and fruits. You can’t miss the burst of berries in your mouth. You can taste the flavors of blackberries, wild cherries, eucalyptus, black pepper, and even Earl Grey tea and cured meat flavors. Its acidity also adds a hint of vibrancy giving a tannic mouthfeel with every sip. With its silky texture, you can surely say that this is the best red wine under $50 and it is excellent value for its price.


Best From France

  • Name — Château d’Arsac Margaux
  • Winery — Château d’Arsac
  • Country/Region — France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
  • Type — Bordeaux Margaux
  • Aroma — Blueberry, Raspberry, Plum, Coffee, Oak
  • Grapes — Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Taste — Black Fruits, Vanilla, Plum, Oak, Candy
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Chuck Roast, BBQ, Red Sauce Pasta, Roasted Turkey
Overall Rating: 4.5

Positives
  • Perfectly Balanced
  • Full-Bodied
  • Easy To Drink
Negatives
  • Could Be A Bit Acidic

Château d’Arsac is one of the most modern wineries that produce world-class grapes. The soils of this estate are focused on cultivating three varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Merlot. With a blend of 28% Merlot and 72%, Cabernet Sauvignon planted on sandy and gravel earth. Château d’Arsac produces a wine that is heaven on the palate. Indeed, this is one of the great red wines under $50.

It boasts a medium-high intensity nose with dried cherries, cassis, and red currant. Combine this with earthy and savory whiffs of new wood and subtle rose hints. As you inhale its beautiful aroma and have a taste of this wine, you’ll be impressed with the flavors. The red berries and cherries, with wood and earthy spice playing with a juicy acidity and textured tannins, are analogous to euphoria. It gives you that nice and easy finish until the next bursts of flavors come to life again.


Best From Australia

  • Name — Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz
  • Winery — Penfolds
  • Country/Region — Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley      
  • Type — Australian Shiraz
  • Aroma — Cherry, Raspberry, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Earthy Notes
  • Grapes — Shiraz
  • Taste — Blackberries, Cherries, Licorice, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Vanilla
  • Alcohol Content — 14.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Lamb Shoulder, Nutty Cheeses, Italian Tomato Based Dishes
Overall Rating: 4.6

Positives
  • Strong Flavors
  • Awesome Acidity
  • No Need To Decant
Negatives
  • Might Be A Tad Too Sweet For Some

Earning its spot as a best recommended red wine under $50, Bin 28 is a product of generations of innovators and visionaries. Penfolds winery has become one of Australia’s respected and well-established winemakers because of the art, commitment, innovation, and science that they put into their grapes and winemaking. Bin 28 Shiraz is one of the feathers of success for this winery and you can either drink or hold it for the next 15-plus years.

The Australian earth and sun largely impact how the Shiraz grapes are turned into a wine that you will never forget. This is something that you can drink over the next decade or two. Bin 28 will give a rich aroma of a spectrum of eclectic fruits. You will experience the lighter red fruit aromas transitioning to red plums and from blue fruits to the darker and more intense blackberries. Tasting Bin 28 is a unique experience. Enjoy hints of blueberries, cherries, dates, dark chocolate, licorice, tobacco, and vanilla. If you let your palate savor the flavors, you might even catch that subtle candied ginger flavor.


Best From Chile

  • Name — Viña Vik Winery Milla Cala
  • Winery — Viña Vik
  • Country/Region — Chile, Central Valley, Rapel Valley, Cachapoal Valley
  • Type — Chilean Bordeaux Blend
  • Aroma — Blackberry, Ripe Cherry, Chocolate, Vanilla, Oak
  • Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carménère, Merlot, Syrah
  • Taste — Strawberry, Sweet Spice, Cherry, Milk Chocolate, Oak
  • Alcohol Content — 14%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Asian Style Flank Steak, Meatballs, Smoked Poultry, Sticky Duck Leg
Overall Rating: 4.7

Positives
  • Smooth Tannins
  • Well-Balanced
  • Very Approachable
Negatives
  • Slightly Too Bold

Milla Calla came from a place South of Santiago which Vina Vik secured after years of powerful scientific research just to get the best terroir in the entire of Chile. Now, that search is over and the final blend is achieved with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon as content with perfected mixes of Carmeñere, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. Milla Cala has a maturation period of 20 months with a peak drinking time from when newly bought until 10 years later.

Even if you are not a wine expert, you will be pleased with the medium-deep crimson color of Milla Cala that becomes almost brick red. It will tickle your nose with its red fruits and fresh spices aroma with amiable floral notes of violets and lavender. Your mouth and taste buds will enjoy Mila Cala’s firm and velvety structure. Enjoy the fruity flavors combined with hints of chocolate, a touch of mocha, and the caress of nuts. Milla Cala is best served between 60.8°F-64.4°F [16°C-18°C].


Best From Italy

  • Name — San Marzano 60 Sessantanni Old Vines Primitivo di Manduria
  • Winery — San Marzano
  • Country/Region — Italy, Puglia, Manduria
  • Type — Italian Primitivo
  • Aroma — Raspberry, Cherry, Pomegranate, Plum, Vanilla
  • Grapes — Primitivo
  • Taste — Vanilla, Raspberry, Raisins, Prunes, Cinnamon, Tobacco, And Chocolate
  • Alcohol Content — 14.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Shish Kebab, BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Lasagna, Roasted Lamb
Overall Rating: 4.8

Positives
  • Powerful
  • Great Body
  • Well Balanced
Negatives
  • Could Be Too Heavy For Some

The grape is named Primitivo because it ripens prematurely or always early in the season. It is not by any means a primitive grape though! This variety of grapes has natural dark skin that helps produce those tannic and inky wines with an intense color and flavor. There is a certain bitterness from these grapes so a few years in a barrel or in a bottle is needed before it becomes more approachable.

60 Sessantanni Old Vines Primitivo di Manduria has a deep and elegant ruby color. It is accented by a generous and complex fruity aroma of cherries and plums. A deep inhale will let you enjoy its slightly spicy scent which is intriguing enough to let you have your first taste. This is a full-bloodied wine with a perfect balance of rich and soft tannins. You will enjoy the flavors of vanilla, coffee, cocoa, and cinnamon as it duels with the fruity flavors of raspberries, plum, and raisins.


Best From South Africa

  • Name — Meerlust Rubicon
  • Winery — Meerlust
  • Country/Region — South Africa, Western Cape, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
  • Type — South African Bordeaux Blend
  • Aroma — Blackcurrant, Black Plum, Raspberry, Vanilla, Oak
  • Grapes — Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc
  • Taste — Dark Cherries, Plum, Oaky With Mineral And Earthy Undertones
  • Alcohol Content — 14.4%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Filet Mignon, Braised Lamb Shoulder, Caramel Chicken, Asian Style Pork Chops
Overall Rating: 4.7

Positives
  • Smooth
  • Rounded Finish
  • Powerful
Negatives
  • A Tad Too Bold

Located in South Africa, the Meerlust winery is proud of its flagship wine, the Rubicon, which is a beautiful and balanced blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. Meerlust Rubicon is another milestone in the developing winemaking history of South Africa. It has established a name outside the continent and it deserves to be included in the list of the best bottle of red wine under $50.

It is a beautiful wine and surely one of the top red favorites, Rubicon has that deep and almost-purple vibrant red color. Wine enthusiasts and experts won’t miss its ripe plum, violets, cedarwood, pepper, and spicy aroma. Its wonderful nose intrigues the palate especially with the evidence of licorice. At first taste, you’ll get lost in all the dark fruits teasing your taste buds. You can taste hints of cherries, plum, and all other dark fruits with rounded and linear tannins. It is an intense finish making you crave for another glass.


Best From Spain

  • Name — Abadía Retuerta Selección Especial
  • Winery — Abadía Retuerta
  • Country/Region — Spain, Castilla y León, Sardón de Duero
  • Type — Spanish Blend
  • Aroma — Black Cherry, Red Cherry, Plum, Cola, Oak
  • Grapes — Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah
  • Taste — Black Plum, Licorice, Strawberry, Blueberry, Dark Chocolate
  • Alcohol Content — 15%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Spicy Food, Beef Kebab, Sashimi, Grilled Steaks
Overall Rating: 4.7

Positives
  • Elegant
  • Long-Lasting
  • Silky Texture
Negatives
  • Slightly Strong Tobacco Overtones

This is a red wine produced in the designation VT Castilla-León of Abadía Retuerta wineries. It is produced from the different grape varieties of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah and is planted at an altitude of 850-meters above sea level.

Selección Especial Sardón de Duero is aged in American and French oak barrels with the wood infusing notes of cedar and dark roasting for 13 months. This Spanish red wine is a plethora of fruits exploding in the mouth. There are mulberries, blackberries, and licorice playing with fruity hints. It is a full-bodied wine with muscular tannins and generous dark fruits. It gives a chewy and satisfyingly long finish.


Best Red Blend

  • Name — The Prisoner Red Blend
  • Winery — The Prisoner
  • Country/Region —  United States, California, North Coast, Napa County, Napa Valley
  • Type — Californian Red Blend
  • Aroma — Red Cherry, Roasted Figs, Plum, Dark Chocolate
  • Grapes — Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Charbono, Petite Sirah, Grenache
  • Taste — Blackberry, Raspberry, Black Currant, Pomegranate, Vanilla
  • Alcohol Content — 15.2%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Crab Cake, Beef Burger, Filet Mignon, Lobster Ravioli
Overall Rating: 4.8

Positives
  • Balanced Acidity
  • Smooth Tannins
  • Full-Bodied
Negatives
  • High Alcohol Content

Prisoner’s Red Blend will be your great bottle of red wine under $50 if you want to have a generous stock in your cellar. It is a multifaceted and food-friendly red wine with flavorful combinations that are simply delicious. It has a high alcohol content so it can be rather hot and harsh if consumed straight from the bottle so it’s best to decant it first.

Prisoner’s Red Blend is not just red. It is almost a purplish ruby color and on the nose, there is a gathering of fruit and spices. Take in hints of blueberries, cinnamon, dark cherries, sage, forest, cedar, and peat in every whiff. In terms of taste, there is a berry invasion happening on your palate. There are blackberries, blueberries, raspberries fighting with nutmeg, cinnamon, and chocolate. This wine has medium tannins and high acidity for that satisfying finish.

Conclusion

Let your taste buds tingle with excitement and satisfaction with these affordable but delicious red wines. These under $50 choices are a drinkable testament that you don’t need to compromise the quality and taste just because the budget is tight. Are these best red wines under $50 worth it? In my opinion, they are worth far more!

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