You don't have to sacrifice taste for price if you know where to look. Sommelier Erin Horton of Bishop's Cellar pulls five affordable and tasty wines for every budget. The good news is cheaper wines usually mean easy drinking and no "pencil-shaving aromas." The bad news is you have every excuse to double fist bottles with sophistication (this is wine, after all).
Barone Montalto Cataratto 2014, $14.49
This is an organic, light, crisp white wine made from a blend of grapes with notes of white peach, melon and apple blossom—perfect for easy drinking on a patio while we still have the time. It's a good one to pair with seafood and questionable choices.
Caliterra Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, $13.49
"It has a nice structure to it," says Horton, who also recommends pairing the notes of berries, violets, tobacco and coffee with a good steak. This bolder, dry red will help you wax poetic about things you know very little about.
Il Padrino Pinot Grigio 1L 2014, $14
Nugan ESTATE Third Generation Shiraz 2014, $14.49
"When you think of Australia, you think of shiraz," says Horton, and with Nugan Estate's second label you can't beat the quality for price. A full red balancing fruity sweetness with a little spice, it goes down smooth— especially when paired with tasty BBQ or pork.
Alambrado Malbec 2013, $15
If you're going to get a malbec, you can't beat Argentina. This popular bottle holds dark plum, figs and blackberries for a bold and full finish. Pair it with something gamey—like that moose meat you've been side-eyeing in your freezer.