The holiday season is officially in full swing and families will be coming together soon.  I’ve had countless customers in and out of the store stocking up for their holiday get-togethers.  Historically, this is the busiest week of the year in the liquor industry, and many of you will have last minute holiday needs.

I have compiled below a list of wines $20 and under that will knock it out of the park.  Wines that will please the novice drinker, the connoisseur, and everyone in between, without breaking the bank.  

White wines can be very polarizing, with everything from ultra-dry and high acidity to full-bodied, buttery and lathered with oak.  Regardless of your preference, there is bound to be a smorgasbord of holiday food that will pair with both, so it doesn’t hurt to grab a bottle of each.


For the light bodied, dry white drinker, I suggest the 2016 Klee ‘Dampier Vineyard’ Pinot Gris from Columbia Gorge ($12.99).  This wine has the acidity to cut through any dish without any of the grassy/bell pepper notes that can potentially turn off some wine drinkers.  

For the full-bodied drinker, Mike’s has Butter Chardonnay from Jam Cellars ($15.99).  This California wine wrote the textbook on big, buttery and oaky!  

With red wines, the mistake many make (myself included) is pulling out too many high-tannin wines that cover up too much of the meal.  While Cabernet and Christmas practically go hand in hand, it’s important to have something lighter on the table, especially if red meat isn’t being served.

For a lighter option, the Klee Pinot Noir ($16.99) from the Willamette Valley is a perfect balance between a French style and a California style.  It’s also a rarety to find an organic, small production pinot from Oregon under $25! 

If you’re looking for something fuller that will still pair harmoniously with everything at the table, the Envinate Albahra ($16.99) is the perfect choice, and offers up a grape you maybe haven’t tried.  This Spanish red from the Alicante Bouchet grape is full bodied, medium in alcohol and medium in tannin.  It offers ripe blue and black fruit without the overpowering structure of a Cabernet-dominant wine. 

Finally, and you knew I had to throw a Cab in here, my pick for this holiday season is the Requiem Cabernet Sauvignon ($15.99 on Web Special) from Columbia Valley.  This will be my third Christmas dinner in a row I will be going with Washington Cab over Napa.  While I absolutely adore a good Napa Cab, Washington wines tend to have silkier tannins and are more approachable in their youth.  This particular bottle is my find of the year, as you would never guess it was under $35 retail.

Regardless of what’s on your table, I hope you all enjoy your time spent with family and friends over a great bottle of wine.  Have a happy holiday!


Ross Jackson

The Kansas City Wino