Turkey Steals: The 10 Best People-Pleasing, No-Hassle, Thanksgiving Wines Under $15

Stressed about what to serve your guests for Thanksgiving?  No need: here is my list of delicious wines that are versatile enough to match the day’s spectrum of flavors – plus they are inexpensive enough to serve in ample supply.

They are all priced under $15, some are even under $10.

thanksgiving wine under $15Top 10 Under $15 Holiday Wines


Sparkling wine:

Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava (Spain)


White wine:

Antinori “Villa Antinori” Tuscana White (Italy)

Chateau Ste. Michelle Pinot Gris Columbia Valley (Washington State)

Marqués de Cáceres Verdejo Rueda (Spain)


Red wine:

Bogle Zinfandel Old Vine (California)

Castle Rock Pinot Noir Central Coast (California)

Jean-Luc Colombo Côtes du Rhône Les Abeilles (France)

Planeta Sicilia La Segreta Red (Italy)

Viu Manent Carménère Gran Reserva (Chile)

Yalumba Cabernet Sauvignon South Australia The Y Series (Australia)


For more carefully curated lists on affordable alternatives to Billionaire-caliber wines, check out my latest book, How to Drink Like a Billionaire (Regan Arts).

Take a Walk on the Wild Side with Obscure Wine

The best habit a wine lover can pick up is experimentation. I won’t tell you that venturing into the obscure always procures a winner, but you’ll be surprised how quickly your palate develops and the nuances you start to notice when you take a few walks on the wild side. And who doesn’t want to show up to the party with a brand new bottle no one’s ever heard of?

The appeal of esoteric wines is not always in their taste; sometimes they generate desire by the mere fact they play hard to get, while their taste is middling or even disorienting.


Disclaimer aside, novel grapes and regions that actually make delicious wine can be dazzlingly revelatory and economical. If you agree with Ernest Hemingway’s recommendation of “life intoxicated by the romance of the unusual,” then the following wine types will send you off buzzed with the thrill of discovery (in alphabetical order):


Dark Greek red redolent of spicy blackberry and plum, sometimes with a smoky dimension; medium-bodied, but occasionally plumper; you’ll earn a vinous black belt by pronouncing it correctly.


Vaguely militaristic sounding white primarily from Italy’s Alto-Adige region; fresh and floral, like a grapefruit-y Riesling; possible notes of peach or orange peel; mineral-laced finish; high quality, complex, and priced like it.


A rediscovered district of northwestern Spain making svelte, intriguing, juicy reds; from the Mencía grape, which also appears in the better-known wines of Bierzo; so far in short supply but could expand on its presence.

See if you can find these unusual delights from a specialist merchant or online. For more obscure wine types, check out my book, How to Drink Like a Billionaire, and check out the video to watch me try a bizarre white wine from Scholium Project, located just east of Napa.

Prosecco and Champagne’s Other Bubbly Stunt Double

Cava is Champagne's Alter-EgoJust as Hollywood stars have doubles, so does Champagne. And one of the best bubbly stunt doubles is Spanish Cava.

The less expensive Spanish sparkler is a delicious alternative to France’s hero. Look for the coal-black bottle at your liquor store or supermarket, with labels expounding names like the ubiquitous Freixenet (Fresh-shun-NETT) Cordon Negro Cava, Cristalino Brut, Paul Cheneau, Brut Blanc de Blancs, Sumarocca Brut Reserva, Segura Viudas Aria Brut.

Cava, the Spanish name for sparkling wine, delivers bubbles at less than half the price of French Champagne. Though it’s made in the traditional bottle-fermentation method like Champagne (and finer American sparklers), it spends less time aging on its lees (i.e., dead yeast cells) than Champagne, which gives it less of a yeasty, baked-bread bouquet and more minerals, earth, and mushrooms. The use of lesser-known Spanish grapes helps keep prices down, but not quality.

Cava is a truly unique experience, just as stylish and celebratory as Champagne and Prosecco. Think of it as the mysterious cousin from out of town–the femme fatale of sparklers.  Many are under $10. For an affordable gift with serious bling-bling, track down Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad ($20), a hand-blown bottle tricked out with a silvery metal crest and coaster. Salud!

For a full list of alternatives to Champagne, check out my latest book,How to Drink Like a Billionaire (Regan Arts), and remember to drink bravely, drink richly, and #DrinkLikeABillionaire.