As good red wine becomes more affordable, there are some great bottles at very reasonable prices. If you know what and where to look.

We tasted some reds you can get for under $30, and we’re sharing our verdict on what we think you should try.

Our best red wines under $30 Reviews and comparisons

1. Red Jelly Mix in jar 2015

Main product characteristics

The Jelly Jar Red Blend is a nod to the early days of winemaking in California. Italian immigrants made table wines by bottling them in jam jars. This rich red continues that tradition, handcrafted from a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and other red grape varieties.

The following vintages won numerous gold and silver medals at prestigious international wine competitions.

Jelly Jar Red Blend goes well with the same traditional Italian dishes whose recipes may have been passed down by early immigrants. Drink with lasagna, spaghetti bolognese, chicken parmigiana and antipasto.

Characteristics

  • Variety: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and various red wines.
  • Title : Lake County, Napa Valley, California…
  • The wine: Jelly jar
  • Alcohol: 14.6%
  • Bottle: 750 ml

What we like in the 2015 red jam jar mix

With its aromas of orchard lilac and violets, this California Bordeaux surprises with its jammy red fruits and dark burgundy on the palate. Raspberries, blackberries, plums, cherries punched forward.

This is not surprising, as the name of the company is somewhat revealing.  And Jelly Jar Red Blend 2015 is a sweet blend of black and red fruits with soft tannins for a light, rich and round drink. A long, dry finish with figs, chocolate, cinnamon and tobacco will reward you for keeping it in your mouth for a long time.

What we don’t like about the 2015 gelatin mix of red bears

It’s probably best to hold it a little longer, but not in the mouth! The next day it became even more complete and complicated, as if it needed to be opened. Maybe that’s why we felt like he didn’t have the body we were waiting for.

Also, the edges can be a little rough, with a lot of alcohol and too much tobacco, and could have been smoother.

PROS

  • Fruity and delicious
  • The perfect table wine for spicy Italian cuisine
  • A soft red mixture that is easy to drink.

SUMMARY

  • The berries are on the nose, sweet but not too much.
  • Unexpected and unpleasant conclusions

2. Alta Vista Atemporal 2017

Main product characteristics

This is a delicious Argentine blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot with a medium to full body. The three grape varieties bring complexity and concentration, but are well balanced.

With delicious aromas and notes of ripe fruit, the firm tannins give energy and freshness. As you’d expect from a great Argentine red wine, it’s perfect with charcoal grilled meats, but just as good with pizza.

Characteristics

  • Variety: 53% Malbec, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot
  • Title : Mendoza, Argentina
  • The wine: Alta Vista
  • Alcohol: 14.5 %
  • Bottle: 750 ml

What we like about the Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico 2015

The combination of 3 different grape varieties creates a pleasantly complex bouquet with notes of floral violet, spicy pepper, aromatic cinnamon and spicy licorice.

On the palate we find blackberries, blueberries and a hint of rose bush.

The Malbec provides the silk, the structure of the cab and the intensity of the Petit Verdot. A nice balance enhanced by 12 months of aging in French oak.

What we don’t like about the Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico 2015

We couldn’t help thinking that we had drunk it too early and that he needed time to relax. We’d say we should keep it for a few more years.

PROS

  • Delicious and easy to drink, glass after glass.
  • Bold and intense
  • Great mix.

SUMMARY

  • Sweet on the nose, but dry on the palate.
  • There’s too much going on.

3. Bread and Butter Pinot Noir 2018

Main product characteristics

If you like your Pinot young, you can’t go far wrong with this baked and buttered 2018 wine. He won gold in tasting competitions at the California State Fair and the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America. It was also highly rated by users of the Vivino site, who gave more than 6,600 reviews.

This is due to different vineyards in two cooler areas of the California coast, Carneros and Arroyo Seco.

The fog created by its location at the end of San Pablo Bay, combined with a long growing season, allows Carneros to produce grapes with vibrant, fresh, crisp flavors and lively acids. While Arroyo Seco, located in Monterey County in the center of the state, has a rich pedigree as one of the first recognized wine regions in California. Here the coastal breezes from the Pacific Ocean provide plenty of warm days, so the grapes are rich in sugar and finely balanced acids.

The blend of grapes from these two regions produces a beautiful and graceful wine like the 2018 Pinot Noir Bread & Butter.

Characteristics

  • Variety: 100% Pinot Noir
  • Title : Carneros and Arroyo Seco, California.
  • The wine: Bread and butter
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Bottle: 750 ml

What we want in Pinot Noir Bread and Butter 2018

The name Bread and Butter comes from the natural aromas and flavors that develop during the winemaking process, and this winner is a perfect example of that.

Notes of blackcurrant, cherry, strawberry, raspberry and vanilla give way to earthy, smoky aromas of bacon and other dried meats. Oak aging brings subtle notes of cedar and leather for balance and complexity.

This delicious medium-hot red is a perfect match for the rich, robust flavors of grilling and wood oven foods..

What we don’t like in Pinot Noir with bread and butter 2018

With an initial impression on the palate that lacks some tannins.

This makes pinot less delicate, but with more oak than we would like.

PROS

  • A perfect balance between fruit and earth. Bittersweet
  • Beautiful and light
  • Smooth and velvety

SUMMARY

  • Average and not suitable for repurchase
  • Too easy.

4. Cabernet Sauvignon 2018Buttercup

Main product characteristics

2018 was also a good year for Cabernet Sauvignon at Bread & Butter Winery, as grapes from two vineyards are blended together to create this complex and aromatic wine. The wine obtains ripe red fruit and aromatic floral notes from Mission Ranch Vineyard in Monterey County, layered with bold fruit and Carneros structure.

The blend of grapes from two vineyards in two different regions of California results in a lush, layered Cab. With multiple silver medals, this wine has a better track record than any other vintage at Vivino.

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Butter Bread is a bold red wine that we love. You can probably pair it with grilled steak, smoked bacon, cheeseburgers and mold pizza.

Characteristics

  • Variety: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Title : Carneros and Arroyo Seco, California.
  • The wine: Bread and butter
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Bottle: 750 ml

What we like in Cabernet Sauvignon bread and butter 2018

Deliciously rich aromas of dark cassis, mocha and violets lead to subtler layers of black pepper, oak and vanilla.

It has a taste of blackberries, red cherries and milk chocolate, with a very round and tasty flavor. Sweet tannins and a touch of spice provide a lingering finish.

What we don’t like about Cabernet Sauvignon with bread and butter 2018

Of course it’s sweet, but it also has a slightly spicy flavor. The nose and back were dominated by caramel.

It probably needs residual sugar to sustain 13.5% alcohol, but not that much.

PROS

  • Extremely sweet, the beginning is jammy, with notes of vanilla, oak and mocha.
  • The tannins are big and round, so a good partner for steak.
  • It’s a great offer. Go buy a bottle!

SUMMARY

  • Extremely soft
  • Supercharged vanilla

5. Clos de Los Siete 2015

Main product characteristics

The Clos de Los Siete by Bordeaux winemaker Michel Rolland for the Argentine winery Clos de Los Siete. Another fine example of his know-how is the best wines of the Old and New World.

Malbec pairs perfectly with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot and is just as delicious as it sounds. And it’s not just the blackcurrants. Silky tannins, refined oak and a touch of earth provide balance.

Wine Spectator called it a smart buy. It should be good until 2024, but if you want to drink it now (or anytime in between), accompany it with a rustic pate as an appetizer, or chorizo, followed by a noodle stew, or perhaps spicy Asian ribs.

Characteristics

  • Variety: 54% Malbec, 18% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc.
  • Title : Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina…
  • The wine: The website of Clos de Los
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • Bottle: 750 ml

What we like about Clos de Los Siete 2017

Deep and full-bodied, medium to full-bodied, has dark fruity flavors of blackberry, blueberry and plum. Notes include dark chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut and dried spicy herbs.

The mid-palate offers the smoky, earthy character of oak, tobacco, leather and graphite until the long finish.

All of this is supported by firm acidity and a lovely softness of fine tannins, it is as refined as one would expect from a master winemaker like Rolland.

What we don’t like about Clos de Los Siete 2017

Try not to drink it too much now. Wait until more comes out. If you can’t do this, it’s best to leave it open for one to two days to warm it up and let it breathe.

PROS

  • Complete and complex
  • A very good drinker with character.
  • One of the best Argentines for price and performance.

SUMMARY

  • A little spicy.
  • excessive drinking

6. Chronic Luxury Cellar Small Red Mixture 2018

Main product characteristics

With its quirky labels and distinctive names, Chronic Cellars produces great wines that capture the terroir of Paso Robles, the rising star of the California wine constellation. This is not surprising, as the region regularly produces excellent wines that do more than their Wild West roots suggest.

With an innovative spirit, a relaxed attitude, and (more than a little) outward qualities, Chronic Cellars is the epitome of the Paso Robles wine scene.

This 2018 Lux Little Red Blend won silver in the San Francisco Chronicle wine competition. Because this city is on the edge of California’s wine country, they know what they’re talking about.

Characteristics

  • Variety: 86% Little Sirah, 14% Sirah.
  • Title : Paso Robles, California.
  • The wine: The chronic cellars
  • Alcohol: 14.8%
  • Bottle: 750 ml

What we like about Chronic Cellars Lux Little Red Blend 2018

This red blend is 86% Petite Syrah and the rest is Syrah. Both varieties grow well on the limestone soils and in the warm climate of the region. The result is a black and white, dark color, with aromas of rich blackberries and brambles, blueberries, plums and other dark fruits.

The vanilla and chocolate notes are rich and hedonistic. With the same tobaccos as his rock’n’roll label. At the same time, thanks to the tannins, it maintains a good balance and a soft finish.

This medium-bodied red wine is easy to drink alone at night. But it’s even better when accompanied by a rack of ribs or a grilled pork tenderloin or pasta with mushrooms.

What we don’t like about Chronic Basements Lux Little Red Mix 2018

It lacks structure, which will hopefully improve over time. So try to keep up for a while.

Despite all the fruit, it remains dry at first with a nice mixture of plum and blackberry. But you can’t help but think they missed a great opportunity with the pepper finish, which just isn’t bold enough.

PROS

  • An amazing mix
  • Excellent fruity balance without being too sweet
  • It’s too easy to drink.

SUMMARY

  • Too dry.
  • You have to decant first.

7. Chronic Cellars Tote Nuts Red Mix 2015

Main product characteristics

Another great red mix of punchy red from Chronic Cellars. This 2015 vintage is among the top 4 wines in the world according to Vivino. It is also popular among users with over 200 comments.

The vintage won gold and scored 92 points at the International Wine and Spirits Critics Challenge.

Characteristics

  • Variety: 81% Zinfandel, 13% Tempranillo, 6% Little Sirah
  • Title : Paso Robles, California.
  • The wine: The chronic cellars
  • Alcohol: 14.6%
  • Bottle: 750 ml

What we like in chronic cellars Dead nuts Red mix 2015

This time it’s a blend of Zinfandel, Tempranillo and Little Sirah for a medium crowd.

The notes on the nose are strawberry, cherry and honey. The taste is similar, but with a hint of blackberry.

Oak, pepper and other peppery spices provide balance, with a base of sweet tannins.

What we don’t like about Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts Red Blend 2015

It’s too sour and too thin. It lacks depth and could be softer.

It would probably be better if it was chilled like a summer aperitif.

PROS

  • Silky texture
  • Cold labelling and branding
  • Have fun!

SUMMARY

  • Impressive
  • Too much style and too little content

8. Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico 2015

Main product characteristics

This Chianti Classico Riserva is luxurious. A beautiful deep ruby red. For a fragrance that sings of refinement. For the harmony of the whole body in the mouth. And ends with a long and graceful finale.

Even before then, 15 months of aging in traditional Chianti barrels (with another 6 months in stainless steel barrels) signals the class to come.

Yes, now you can finally drink. It’s just that… But the longer we can wait until 2035, the better it will be for the couple with all the Italian classics. Remember to decant two hours before drinking.

Characteristics

  • Variety: 100% Sangiovese
  • Title : Tuscany, Italy
  • The wine: Capraia
  • Alcohol: 14 %
  • Bottle: 750 ml

What we like about the Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico 2015

As big and powerful as one would expect from a Chianti Classico, especially a Riserva, but with a refined elegance. Full-bodied, but with silky tannins. Juicy black fruits, floral spices and wild herbs give a creamy body and texture.

Black cherry, plum, citrus, watermelon, mocha, leather, licorice, chocolate, spice and menthol are just a few of the infusions and notes.

The 2015 Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico is a complex wine with many contradictions, but it’s still the best for it.

What we don’t like about the Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico 2015

If there is one criticism, it is that the balance is too one-sided.

PROS

  • Long, velvety and distinctive
  • Ideal for drinking in the winter
  • Lively, elegant, full of grace.

SUMMARY

  • Expected increase in volume, depth and body size
  • Air requirements

FINAL CLOSURE

We had the opportunity to taste and discover these excellent reds. With a good selection of classic one-liners and interesting mixes, there is something for everyone.

Our favorite is the 2015 Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico. Yours may be different. Try one, some or even all (why not?!). And when you do, don’t forget to share your tip with others.

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