best red wine under 30

With good red wine becoming more accessible, there are some great bottles at very reasonable prices to be had. If you know which, and where to look. 

Comparison Table

PRODUCT FEATURES LATEST PRICE
1. Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico 2015

Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico 2015
  • Variety: 100% Sangiovese
  • Appellation: Tuscany, Italy
  • Winery: Capraia
  • Alcohol: 14 %
  • Bottle: 750 ml
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2. Alta Vista Atemporal 2017

Alta Vista Atemporal 2017
  • Variety: 53% Malbec, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot
  • Appellation: Mendoza, Argentina
  • Winery: Alta Vista
  • Alcohol: 14.5 %
  • Bottle: 750 ml
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3. Bread & Butter Pinot Noir 2018

Bread & Butter Pinot Noir 2018
  • Variety: 100% Pinot Noir
  • Appellation: Carneros and Arroyo Seco, California
  • Winery: Bread & Butter
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Bottle: 750 ml
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4. Bread & Butter Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Bread & Butter Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
  • Variety: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Appellation: Carneros and Arroyo Seco, California
  • Winery: Bread & Butter
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Bottle: 750 ml
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5. Clos de Los Siete 2017

Clos de Los Siete 2015
  • Variety: 54% Malbec, 18% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc
  • Appellation: Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentine
  • Winery: Clos de Los Site
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • Bottle: 750 ml
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6. Chronic Cellars Suite Petite Red Blend 2018

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  • Variety: 86% Petite Sirah, 14% Syrah
  • Appellation: Paso Robles, California
  • Winery: Chronic Cellars
  • Alcohol: 14.8%
  • Bottle: 750 ml
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7. Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts Red Blend 2015

Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts Red Blend 2015
  • Variety: 81% Zinfandel, 13% Tempranillo, 6% Petite Sirah
  • Appellation: Paso Robles, California
  • Winery: Chronic Cellars
  • Alcohol: 14.6%
  • Bottle: 750 ml
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8. Jelly Jar Red Blend 2015

Jelly Jar Red Blend 2015
  • Variety: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon & Assorted Reds
  • Appellation: Lake County, Napa Valley, California
  • Winery: Jelly Jar
  • Alcohol: 14.6%
  • Bottle: 750 ml
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We did some taste-testing of some red wines that are budget-friendly under $30, and we share our verdict on the one that we think that you should check out. 

Our Best Red Wines Under $30 Reviews and Comparisons

1. Alta Vista Atemporal 2017

Alta Vista Atemporal 2017

Product Highlights

This is a delicious Argentinian blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot with a medium to full body. The 3 vines bring complexity and concentration, but a well-balanced one.

With delightful aromatics and notes of ripe fruit, firm tannins provide energy and freshness. As you’d expect from a big Argentinian red it’s perfectly paired with charcoal-grilled meats from the barbecue, but equally good with pizza. 

Features 

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

What We Like About Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico 2015

The blend of 3 different grapes makes for a nice complex nose with notes of floral violet, spicy pepper, aromatic cinnamon, and herby licorice

On the palate the Blackberries, blueberries, and hints of rose stem undertones

The Malbec provides the silk, the Cab the structure, and the Petit Verdot the intensity. A lovely balance that’s enhanced by 12 months of aging in French oak. 

What We Don’t Like About Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico 2015

We couldn’t help but feel that we’d drunk it too soon and that it needs some time to soften. We’d say hold it for another couple of years.

PROS

  • Delicious and easy to drink glass after glass
  • Bold and full-bodied
  • Great blend

CONS

  • Sweet nose but dry in the mouth
  • A little too much going on

2. Bread & Butter Pinot Noir 2018

Bread & Butter Pinot Noir 2018

Product Highlights

If you fancy a young Pinot, you can’t go much wrong with this 2018 from Bread & Butter winery. It won gold at both the California State Fair, and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America wine tasting competitions. It’s also proved very popular among website Vivino’s users, who’ve provided more than 6600 ratings.

That might be to do with the multiple vineyard sourcing from two cooler growing regions on the California coast, Carneros and Arroyo Seco. 

The fog from its location at the tip of San Pablo Bay, along with a long growing season, means that Carneros produces grapes of bright fresh, crisp flavors, and bright acids. While Arroyo Seco, located in Monterey County in the center of the state, is rich in wine-growing pedigree as one of the earliest recognized viticultural areas in California. Here, Pacific coastal breezes are tempered by enough warm days, for grapes rich in sugars and finely-balanced with acids. 

Blend grapes from these two regions and the result is beautiful and graceful wines like Bread & Butter Pinot Noir 2018.

Features 

  • Variety: 100% Pinot Noir
  • Appellation: Carneros and Arroyo Seco, California
  • Winery: Bread & Butter
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Bottle: 750 ml 

What We Like About Bread & Butter Pinot Noir 2018

The Bread & Butter name comes from the natural aromas and flavors that develop during winemaking, with this prize-winner being a fine example.  

The nose notes of cassis, cherry, strawberry, raspberry, and vanilla, give way to the earthier and smokier flavors of bacon and other cured meats. The oak aging provides subtle hints of cedar and leather to add balance and complexity.

This delicious medium-bodied red pairs perfectly with rich and strong-flavored foods from the barbecue or wood oven.

What We Don’t Like About Bread & Butter Pinot Noir 2018

With an initial mouthfeel that’s underwhelming, it lacks a little in tannins.

This makes for a less delicate Pinot, but with more oak than we prefer.

PROS

  • A perfect balance between fruit and earth. The sweet and the sour
  • Nice and light
  • Smooth and velvety

CONS

  • Average and not worth buying again
  • A bit too simple

3. Bread & Butter Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Bread & Butter Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Product Highlights

2018 was also a good year for Cabernet Sauvignon at Bread & Butter winery, as grapes from two vineyards are blended to make this layered and luscious wine. The wine gets ripe, red fruits and fragrant floral notes from Mission Ranch Vineyard in Monterey County, layered with bold fruit and structure from Carneros.

The blend of grapes from two vineyards in two different Californian regions makes for a luscious and layered Cab. With several silver awards, this vintage rates better than any other year for this wine on Vivino.

Bread & Butter Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is a bold red that we like, and you might, to pair with grilled steak, smoky bacon cheeseburger, and pizza Funghi. 

Features 

  • Variety: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Appellation: Carneros and Arroyo Seco, California
  • Winery: Bread & Butter
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Bottle: 750 ml 

What We Like About Bread & Butter Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Wonderfully rich aromas of dark blackcurrant, mocha, and violets, lead into more subtle layers of black pepper, oak, and vanilla.  

On the palate, there are tastes of ripe blackberry, red cherry, and milk chocolate, with a well-rounded and luscious mouthfeel. Soft tannins and hints of spice make for a lingering end.

What We Don’t Like About Bread & Butter Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Granted, it is smooth but it also has a bit of a tangy taste. The nose and the back end were dominated by butterscotch. 

For sure it needs residual sugar to back up the 13.5% alcohol, but not quite this much. 

PROS

  • Extremely smooth, jammy start, with hints of vanilla, oak, and mocha
  • Big round tannins so partners with steak well
  • Great bargain. Go buy a bottle!

CONS

  • Extremely sweet
  • Vanilla super-charged

4. Clos de Los Siete 2017

Clos de Los Siete 2015

Product Highlights

Clos de Los Siete is from the Bordeaux winemaker Michel Rolland for Argentinian winery Clos de Los Siete. Another fine example of his craft, it’s the best of Old and New World wines.  

Malbec is perfectly blended with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Petit Verdot, it’s as full of flavor as that sounds. And it’s not all about the dark berry fruit. Silky tannins, refined oak, and just a wink of earthiness provide balance.

Wine Spectator named it a “Smart Buy”. It should be good through to 2024, but if you want to drink it now (or any time in between) pair it with a starter of rustic pate, or chorizo, followed by a ragu with pasta, or perhaps spicy Asian ribs. 

See Related Topic: Best White Wines Under $30

Features 

  • Variety: 54% Malbec, 18% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc
  • Appellation: Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentine
  • Winery: Clos de Los Site
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • Bottle: 750 ml 

What We Like About Clos de Los Siete 2017

Deep and rich, the medium to full body hosts the dark fruit flavors of blackberries, blueberries, and plum. The notes are off with dark chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, and dried savory herbs. 

The middle palate delivers the required smokiness and earthiness of oak, tobacco, leather, and graphite right through to the long finish. 

All supported by firm acidity and the beautiful creamy sheen of the fine tannins, this is as refined as you’d expect from such a master winemaker as Rolland.

What We Don’t Like About Clos de Los Siete 2017

Try not to be too impatient to drink it now. Wait for more elements to come out. If you can’t, even then you’re better to leave it open for 1-2 days for it to warm and breathe.

PROS

  • Complete and complex
  • A really nice drinker with character
  • One of the best Argentinians on value and price

CONS

  • A bit sharp
  • Overwhelming alcohol

5. Chronic Cellars Suite Petite Red Blend 2018


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Product Highlights

With their quirky labels and characterful names, Chronic Cellars makes great wines that capture their Paso Robles terroir; the rising star in California’s wine constellation. That’s not surprising, as the region continues to put out superb wines which more than hint at its Wild West roots. 

With an innovative spirit, laid-back attitude, and (more than slightly) maverick ways, Chronic Cellars are the epitome of the Paso Robles wine scene.

This 2018 Suite Petite Red Blend collected silver at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. With that city’s location on the very periphery of California’s wine country, they know what they’re talking about. 

Features 

  • Variety: 86% Petite Sirah, 14% Syrah
  • Appellation: Paso Robles, California
  • Winery: Chronic Cellars
  • Alcohol: 14.8%
  • Bottle: 750 ml 

What We Like About Chronic Cellars Suite Petite Red Blend 2018

This red blend is made with 86% Petite Sirah, with Syrah making up the remaining. Both are varietals that do well in the chalky soils and warm climate of the region. The resultant harvest is one of the inky dark colors with the tastes of ripe and rich blackberry, blueberry, plum, and other dark fruits. 

The notes of vanilla and chocolate are rich and hedonistic. With those of tobacco befitting of its rock n roll label. Yet it also maintains a nice balance and smooth finish, thanks to the tannins.

This medium-bodied red is easy to drink all night on its own. However, it’s even better when paired with a rack of ribs or pork loin from the barbeque or grill, or an earthy mushroom pasta.

What We Don’t Like About Chronic Cellars Suite Petite Red Blend 2018

It lacks a bit of structure, which would hopefully benefit from time. So, try to hang onto it for a bit. 

Despite all of the fruit, it still manages to be dry at first with a pleasant mix of plum and blackberry. But we can’t help but think that they made a big miss on the pepper finish, which just isn’t bold enough.

PROS

  • Amazing blend
  • Great fruit balance without being too sweet 
  • Way too easy to drink

CONS

  • A bit too dry
  • Needs decanting first

6. Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico 2015

Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico 2015

Product Highlights

Pretty much everything about this Chianti Classico Riserva is luxurious. From the gorgeous deep ruby red color. On to the aroma that sings sophistication. Through to the harmony of its full body on the palate. And ending in a long and graceful finish. 

Even before that, the 15 months aging in traditional Chianti barrels (with another 6 months in stainless steel tanks), signals the class that lies ahead.   

Yes, it’s finally good to drink now. Just. But the longer that you can wait through to 2035, the better it will become for pairing with all the Italian classics. Just be sure to decant two hours before drinking.

Features 

  • Variety: 100% Sangiovese
  • Appellation: Tuscany, Italy
  • Winery: Capraia
  • Alcohol: 14 %
  • Bottle: 750 ml 

What We Like About Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico 2015

As big and bold as you’d expect from a Chianti Classico, especially a Riserva, but with refined elegance. Full of body, but with silky smooth tannins. Juicy dark fruits, with floral spices and earthy wild herb notes, provide creamy breadth and texture.  

Dark cherry, plum, citrus, watermelon, mocha, leather, licorice, chocolate, spice, and menthol are just some of the infusions and notes.

Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico 2015 is a complex wine of many contradictions, but one that’s all the better for it.

What We Don’t Like About Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico 2015

If there’s one criticism, it’s that it’s a little too astringent in the balance. 

PROS

  • Long, velvet, and outstanding
  • Great for winter drinking
  • Vibrant, classy, elegant, full of finesse.

CONS

  • Expected more volume, depth, and body
  • Needs to air

7. Jelly Jar Red Blend 2015

Jelly Jar Red Blend 2015

Product Highlights

Jelly Jar Red Blend is a nod to early California winemaking. Italian immigrants would produce table wines, ‘bottling’ them in jelly jars. This full-bodied red carries on this tradition, hand-crafted with a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon & other assorted red grapes.

Subsequent vintages have won numerous gold and silver awards at prestigious international wine competitions.  

Jelly Jar Red Blend goes well with the same traditional Italian dishes, whose recipes may have been passed down from those original immigrants. Drink with lasagna, spaghetti Bolognese, chicken Parmigiana, and antipasto.

Features 

  • Variety: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon & Assorted Reds
  • Appellation: Lake County, Napa Valley, California
  • Winery: Jelly Jar
  • Alcohol: 14.6%
  • Bottle: 750 ml 

What We Like About Jelly Jar Red Blend 2015

With the smells of the garden of lilac and violet, this Californian Bordeaux blend is then a little unexpectedly all about the jammy red fruit and dark burgundy on the palate. Raspberry, blackberry, plum, cherry pack a punch upfront.

Although that’s not a surprise, as the name kind of gives it away.  And Jelly Jar Red Blend 2015 is a smooth blend of dark and red fruits with mild tannins for a full-bodied and well-rounded easy drinker. With a long dry finish of fig, chocolate, cinnamon, and tobacco, you’re rewarded for holding a long time in the mouth.

What We Don’t Like About Jelly Jar Red Blend 2015

It’s probably better still if you hold it a little longer, but not in the mouth! The next day after it was even fuller and more complex as if it needed to open up. Maybe this is why we felt that it didn’t have quite the full body that we were expecting.

Also, perhaps the edges are a little rough, with high alcohol and too much tobacco, and could be smoother.

PROS

  • Fruity and delicious
  • Great table wine for spicy Italian food
  • A smooth, easy-drinking red blend

CONS

  • Ripe berries on the nose, smooth, but not much too it
  • An unexpectedly unpleasant finish

8. Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts Red Blend 2015

Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts Red Blend 2015

Product Highlights

Another lovely red blend from the punchy and punky Chronic Cellars. This 2015 is rated among the top 4% of all wines in the world by Vivino. It’s also popular among its users with more than 200 ratings.

A later vintage gained gold with 92 points at the Critics Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition.

Features 

  • Variety: 81% Zinfandel, 13% Tempranillo, 6% Petite Sirah
  • Appellation: Paso Robles, California
  • Winery: Chronic Cellars
  • Alcohol: 14.6%
  • Bottle: 750 ml 

What We Like About Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts Red Blend 2015

This time it’s a blend of Zinfandel, Tempranillo, and Petite Sirah for a medium-bodied crowd-pleaser. 

The notes on the nose are of strawberry, cherry, and honey. Similar drives the palate too, but with a hit of darker blackberries. 

Oak, pepper, and other pepper spices add the balance, with the foundations of soft tannins.

What We Don’t Like About Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts Red Blend 2015

A little too acidic and thin of body. It lacks depth and could do with being sweeter.

It would probably be better chilled as a summer aperitif. 

PROS

  • Silky texture 
  • Cool label and branding
  • Good fun!

CONS

  • Underwhelming
  • Too much style and not enough substance 

FINAL VERDICT 

We were lucky enough to taste and discover these excellent reds. Providing a good selection of classic single varietal and interesting blends, there’s something for everyone. 

Our favorite is Capraia Riserva Chianti Classico 2015. Yours might be different. Give one, some, or even all (why not?!) a try. And if you like, don’t forget to pass your tips onto others.

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Best Red Wines Under $30 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]

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