It’s not easy, but it is possible to find inexpensive American wine that “will fascinate and intrigue,” Eric Asimov writes in the New York Times. Whereas European vintners grow a diverse range of regional grapes, Americans generally stick to classics like cabernet sauvignon, resulting in “a small amount of top-flight wine along with an ocean of generic.” Still, there are notable exceptions.
Asimov recommends wines like A to Z’s 2007 pinot noir, Lieb Family Cellars’ 2007 pinot blanc, and Roederer Estate’s sparkling wine—all under $20. Most of the wine he found was drinkable but dull, “assembled according to formula to achieve a predetermined flavor,” he writes. “But by spending a few more dollars, and picking very carefully, the pleasure increases exponentially.”