Lifestyle20 Wines to Try in Your 20s

20 Wines to Try in Your 20s

Stepping into my twenties felt like setting sail on a crazy adventure filled with self-discovery, exploration, and, of course, soaking up all the good life has to offer. As a college graduate in my early 20s, I couldn’t find a job, so I started working at a random wine bar. At this wine bar, I learned that there is so much more to a bottle of wine than I ever thought. There is a story in every bottle of wine you open – whether that be the amazing terroir in the region, the flavor profiles, the winemakers, or its history. It fascinated me that there was so much to learn about wine, so I started taking the WSET sommelier courses. 

As someone who has had incredible opportunities to try wine from all over the world, I wanted to make a list of wines that are inexpensive (around $20), absolutely delicious, and accessible to the majority of people. In this lineup, I’ve snagged 20 wines that don’t just taste good—they practically throw a party in your mouth. If your experience with wine is the classic college experience of double-bottle Barefoot Pink Moscato, or ‘slapping the bag’ this article is for you. Elevate your wine knowledge by trying out these 20 wines from different regions all over the world. 

1. Earthquake Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi, California

A powerhouse of a wine, the Earthquake Cabernet Sauvignon is an intense expression of Lodi’s sun-soaked vineyards. This wine is bold with deep, dark fruit flavors, such as black plums or blackberries. It has velvety tannins and notes of mocha, espresso, and toasted marshmallows. This wine is perfect for someone wanting to get into robust reds.

Fun Fact: The original vineyards for Earthquake were zinfandel vines planted around the same time as San Francisco’s great Earthquake of 1906!

2. Mont Marcal Cava Reserva, Spain

For a taste of the sparkling wine world without splurging, Mont Marcal Cava Reserva is an excellent choice. This Spanish gem offers a delightful mix of citrus, apple, and toasty notes, making it a versatile, bubbly drink for any occasion! Also, I highly recommend pairing a wine like this with fried chicken! 

Fun Fact: Mont Marcal has been producing wines since 1975 and is committed to traditional methods of winemaking and sustainability. They love to stay anchored in the past in winemaking but are also constantly adapting to meet the expectations of the modern world. 

3. Muros Antigos Alvarinho, Portugal

Escape to Portugal with Muros Antigos Alvarinho, a vibrant white wine that encapsulates the essence of whites in this country! This wine has fresh acidity, floral aromas, and hints of peach and apricot. It’s an ideal introduction to the world of Portuguese wines.

Fun Fact: Alvarinho is from Portugal and Albarino is from Spain. They are the same grape but have different spellings. These wines are often referred to as “green wines” due to their bright acidity and slightly green tint in the glass.  

4. El Enemigo Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina

Malbec is Argentina’s gift to the wine world, and El Enemigo does not disappoint. This wine offers a rich, velvety texture, dark berry fruit, and a touch of smoke and spice. It’s perfect for savoring over dinner with friends.

Fun Fact: This wine has received many high-level ratings from prestigious wine sites and is said to be one of the wines that showed the rest of the world what Malbecs from Argentina taste like! It’s received 93 pts from Wine Advocate, 93 pts from Vinous, and 92 pts from James Suckling (all very good ratings!) 

5. Elmstone Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand

The Elmstone Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand is a refreshing and zesty white wine. Bursting with tropical fruit and citrus flavors, it’s a great choice for sunny afternoons and seafood dishes.

Fun Fact: Britain jump-started the wine industry in New Zealand, planting vines there in 1819. 

6. La Tunella Pinot Nero, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

Experience the elegance of Pinot Nero with La Tunella. This Italian wine offers notes of red berries, violets, and a silky texture, making it a wonderful choice for discovering the subtleties of Pinot Noir.

Fun Fact: This winery is family-run and has been for three generations. Minimalism as a way of life transcends to quality wine, “do little to do better” is their motto, and tradition inspires their dedication to producing great wines year after year.

7. Cotes de Femme Rose, Provence, France

Rosé wines are a staple for summertime enjoyment, and Cotes de Femme from Provence is a classic choice. With its pale pink hue and flavors of fresh strawberries and rose petals, it’s the perfect sip for picnics and warm evenings.

Fun Fact: This winery overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, and lives near a 1,000-year-old cork oak tree, a hillside vineyard called Château des Bormettes. It has a unique terroir of schist and quartz (or as their winemakers say ‘sunlight and passion’) It produces a soft taste of wine that cannot be replicated.

8. Corte Dei Rovi Prosecco, Veneto, Italy

Raise a glass of Italian Prosecco with Corte Dei Rovi. This bubbly wine is brimming with green apple and floral notes, making it an affordable alternative to Champagne for your celebratory moments.

Fun Fact: Ancient Romans drank Prosecco to preserve youth, and lengthen life.

9. Chateau Suduiraut, Sauternes, France

Indulge in the sweet side of wine with Chateau Suduiraut. This Sauternes wine from France showcases honey, apricot, and marmalade flavors. It pairs beautifully with desserts and blue cheese.

Fun Fact: Château Suduiraut, Premier Cru Classé in 1855, is one of the great historic vineyards of Sauternes.

10. Solena Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon

From the picturesque Willamette Valley in Oregon comes the Solena Pinot Noir. This wine boasts red fruit flavors, subtle oak, and a silky finish, making it an approachable and delightful introduction to Oregon’s Pinot Noir scene.

Fun Fact: Solena is owned and operated by a 22-year-old woman, Solena, whom the vineyard is named after!

11. Morphos Pétillant Naturel 2022 Seyval Blanc, Maine 

This wine is very tasty! I recently just tried wine from Maine and was pleasantly surprised. There is great acidity, and a slight effervescence (light bubbles– kind of in-between a sparkling wine and a still). This wine has bready, almost yeasty notes on the nose along with honey and Granny Smith apple. It is so funky and hazy! It also pairs amazingly with cheesy popcorn. 

Fun Fact: This vineyard is a certified organic vineyard with white clay and limestone soils. They produce their wines off of 50-year-old vines and everything is hand-harvested. 

12. Cabernet Franc, Monticello, Virginia 

This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc. It’s expressive with red and black berry fruits, white pepper tones, and accents of smoke, black tea, and grilled meats. This wine is complex and bold. While younger vintages are drinkable, it’s best to drink this wine 3-5 years after it’s bottled. 

Fun Fact: Charlottesville, VA was named Wine Region of the Year for 2023!

13.  Eight at the Gate Shiraz, Wrattonbully, Australia 

This wine has tons of menthol with black fruit flavors. It’s approachable and fun, a real crowd-pleaser. It finishes with a touch of pepper and leather. It’s super delicious and great for pairing with barbeque!

Fun Fact: Sisters, Jane and Claire, named their wine label after the morning ritual of assembling their eight children “at the gate” in time for the school bus

14. Honeybunch Reserve Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa

This Chenin Blanc is from an old single vineyard on the estate. It has notes of honey and flowers on the nose with caramel and nutmeg. On the palate, there is wonderful fruit; pear, pineapple, and oranges. 

Fun Fact: South Africa currently ranks 8th in world wine production.

15. Dr. Loosen Riesling, Mosel, Germany

Experience the elegance of German Riesling with Dr. Loosen. This widely known, off-dry wine from the Mosel region is a masterpiece of balance. It features vibrant acidity, floral aromas, and luscious peach and apricot notes. It’s perfect for those who appreciate a touch of sweetness in their whites.

Fun Fact: The winemaker, Weingut Dr. Loosen was once described by journalist Dorthy Gaiter as the “German Mick Jagger” for his debonair hair. 

16. Viña Vik Winery Omega, Central Valley, Chile

This wine has balanced acidity and smooth tannins, it’s a lovely combination of strawberries, blueberry jam, chocolate, and a hint of spice leading to a wonderful finish. This wine was produced in the Millahue Valley, which means “Place of Gold”.  It offers a variety of terroirs and small microclimates cooled by coastal breezes.  

Fun Fact: Chile and Argentina have some of the highest-altitude vineyards in the world, reaching up to 9,000 feet above sea level. 

17.Tokaji 1412 Edes Szamorodni, Hungary

Tokaji from Hungary is amazing. It is a sweet dessert wine that you can find at any total wine and I truly have never had a bad tokaji. It’s made from late-harvest grapes that contain a lot of sugar, which gives this wine notes of honey, dried apricots, candied fruit, and almonds. Read more about Tokaji in our article, here

Fun Fact: Tokaji used to be one of the most important wines in the world. It’s a wine coveted by royal customers including Hungarian noblemen, Ferenc Rákóczi II, Peter the Great, King Louis XIV, Catherine the Great, and even Austrian composer Joseph Haydn (who received some payments in the form of wine) 

18. Maison L’Envoyé Pinot Noir, Bourgogne, France

Head to the heart of Burgundy with Maison L’Envoyé Pinot Noir. This French beauty showcases the finesse of Pinot Noir, offering red berry flavors, earthy undertones, and a silky texture. It’s an affordable introduction to the classic wines of Burgundy.

Fun Fact: Burgundy is known as “The Home of Pinot Noir”.

19. ​​Gebling Grüner Veltliner, Austria 

Grüner Veltliner tends to have strong citrus flavors of lime, lemon, and grapefruit. This one in particular also has distinct nectarine notes and a hint of bitterness presenting itself as white pepper and radish. 

Fun Fact: Austria is home to some of the oldest wine grapes dating as far back as 2000 BC.

20. Arte de Viña Torrontés, Tarija, Bolivia

Experience the unique flavors of Bolivia with Arte de Viña Torrontés, a delightful organic wine from the Tarija region. Made from the Torrontés grape, this white wine boasts floral aromas, vibrant citrus notes, and crisp acidity. It’s a refreshing and eco-friendly addition to your wine journey, showcasing the beauty of Bolivian terroir. and this organic gem from Bolivia adds a touch of sustainability and distinctive terroir to your 20s wine adventure. 

Fun Fact: During colonial times grapevines were spread throughout the continent the first grapevines were planted in Bolivia in the 1560s by the Spanish missionaries.

I tried to make this list full of different wines from around the world, and I hope you get to enjoy some of them! This weekend, uncork, pour, and savor the diverse and exciting experiences that each bottle brings. Cheers to the wonderful world of wine!

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