Holiday wine bargains

More than 20 CR Best Buys, most for $10 or less

Last reviewed: December 2010

No matter your budget for holiday gifts this year, when it comes to wine, you won't have to work hard to find an affordable (in the $10 range) and tasty wine that will complement your festive meals.

This year our experts undertook blind tastings of four reds (cabernet sauvignon, chianti, merlot, pinot noir) and two whites (chardonnay, pinot grigio). They found more than 20 CR Best Buys that are ideal for your holiday table or as a gift. (Tasting notes for each varietal are available to subscribers.)

Don't hesitate to buy any of these wines if you can find it only in a newer vintage from what we tested. In our periodic tests of different vintages, a new year's wine is often very similar to its predecessor. Even when wines change from vintage to vintage, they often do so only subtly. Also, read Aging gracefully? We put cellared merlots to the test (available to subscribers) for details on how some wines age.

About our picks

All wines listed are rated very good overall, except two that are excellent as noted, and are CR Best Buys. Wines are generally shown in order of quality within varietal, from top (best) to bottom. Prices are average retail; some stores may offer better deals. If you can't find the vintage we tested, choose another recent one; most wines in this price range are fairly consistent from year to year.