Favorite Best-Buy Wines of 2021

The Vintage Wine Tasters sampled more wines in 2021 than any other year of our 11-year history. We met in person the last half of the year, no more Zoom. Thank you, Moderna and Pfizer. In addition to our tastings, I tasted several other wines over the year. After all this tasting, I compiled my Favorite Best-Buy Wines of 2021. Several wines that we highly enjoyed were left off the list because they are no longer available. I believe you can find most of the wines on the list. Use Wine-Searcher or 1000 Corks to help find these wines where you shop. If you drink bargain wines, don’t drink them just because of the price. Drink these wines because they are good, delicious, or excellent. Don’t settle for less!

Best Buy Wines of 2021

The Vintage Wine Tasters – These guys know how to find a wine bargain!

Favorite White Wines of 2021

  • 2018 Cedarville ViognierWeimax Wines – $21.99 – you will not find a better domestic Viognier wine than this one. The Cedarville comes from the Fair Play AVA in El Dorado County. The vineyard is organic. It is a rich Viognier with honey and layers of flavors that fill the palate. Only 174 cases of this wine were made.
  • 2019 Blue Quail Chardonnay – $14.99 Mollie Stone’s – this is a refreshing, no-oak, no-butter Chardonnay from Mendocino County.
  • 2018 Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc Costco $11.99 – a lovely Sauvignon Blanc Wine that reminds us of a White Bordeaux. See Review.
  • Daou 2019 Sauvignon Blanc – Safeway $13.85 (6-pack price) – Better than the 2018 vintage. It is crisp, stony and delicious, with a terrific mouthfeel. What a great wine! This wine has many high marks.
  • Dry Creek Vineyard Chenin Blanc – always delicious and crisp. The perfect outdoor wine, even in winter. $13 at BevMo.
  • Gruet Brut or Brut Rose – best bargain sparkler to ring in 2022 – Weimax $14, Safeway $15.

Favorite Red Wines

  • 2018 Charles Krug Napa Valley Merlot – Costco $16.99 – A Napa Valley Merlot for $17 this good? Yes, it is a terrific Best-Buy Wine.
  • 2017 J Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon – A $12 Cabernet that tastes like a $25 Cab. It is from Paso Robles. Trader Joe’s and other supermarkets carry this wine. We also see it at Costco.
  • 2019 Kirkland Malbec $6.99 at Costco – always a great red at a crazy low price.
  • 2017 Cune Crianza Tempranillo – a delicious Tempranillo wine from Rioja. The Cune is food-friendly and can be matched with a variety of hefty meals. Costco has the best price, but also at KL Wines and Total Wine.
  • 2018 Carol Shelton Wild Thing 2018 – so good! Watch for my review next post. $13.99 is the Six-Pack price at Safeway.
  • Lava Cap Barbera and Lava Cap Cabernet Sauvignon – Lava Cap is in El Dorado County and delivers amazing quality wines at reasonable prices. These two are delicious and we buy them at Total Wine in San Mateo.
  • Foppiano Petite Sirah – this great old family-owned winery churns out a terrific Petite Sirah – Costco has the latest vintage for $15, $28 at the Winery.
  • 2018 Juan Gil – a delightful Monastrell wine from the Jumilla area of Spain – Get it at Total Wine or KL Wines for $13 to $14.

We would love to hear from our readers. What are your favorite Best-Buy Wines of 2021?


  1. Beltran Mike says

    Stellar wine for very reasonable price points. In my opinion the Viognier is in a class by itself for domestic production.

  2. I don’t think I ever had the 2018 Daou SB, but did have the 2020 over the holidays. Underwhelming (dare I say it has gone Dauonhill?) – tasted like a sub $10 California appellation SB from the fighting varietal space at Safeway. They have grown their distribution quite a bit over the past several years, and seem to be living proof that good is the enemy of great.

  3. Bill Kochuk says

    We enjoy the 2020 Mâcon-Verzé from Trader Joe’s at $9.99. It has become our “house white.”

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