The Best Value French Wines That I Drank in 2020

When I created this blog in 2017, I set out to help people drink the best wine for their money. That mission is truer today than ever before due to Covid-induced economic uncertainty. The pandemic has forced us all to take a critical look at many elements of our lives, including our finances. While you opened more bottles of wine at home and kept a closer eye on your accounts and holdings, I felt compelled to re-focus on this blog's original pursuit to unearth and share affordable gems.

I also dedicated much of my year to studying for the French Wine Scholar exam, which I'll take in the beginning of 2021. With my studies guiding the way, I doubled down on a specific space: French wines under $20. Not an easy task, but a fun one! Throughout the year I tasted and took notes, and now it's time to share my favorites.

Below you'll find unique value wines from across France. They aren't fancy, but they are full of French character. In 2020 we learned that what you sip on your couch or patio matters just as much as a lavish, multi-course dinner pairing. These beautifully simple French wines will be there to please your palate, wallet, and soul, helping the most casual evening feel like an occasion. 

Reds


Domaine des Billards 2019 Saint-Amour, $20
Elegant Gamay from Beaujolais.

Domaine du Ruettes 2016 Saumur-Champigny, $17
Fresh and herbaceous Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley.

Château du Petit Thouars 2017 L'Epée Chinon, $20
Earthy Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley.

Domaine de Fontsainte 2017 Réserve la Demoiselle Corbières, $19
Rich and fruity blend of Carignan, Grenache, and Mourvèdre from Languedoc in southern France.

Kermit Lynch Selections 2018 Côtes du Rhône, $13
Bold blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, and Marselan from the Southern Rhône.

Whites

Domaine de Trois Versants 2019 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, $13
Light, minerally Melon de Bourgogne from the Loire Valley.

Gérard Bertrand 2019 Picpoul de Pinet, $13
Crisp Picpoul from Languedoc.

Domaine du Salvard 2019 Cheverny Blanc, $17
Bright blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay from the Loire Valley.

Famille Paquet 2019 Bourgogne Blanc, $20
Aromatic Chardonnay from Bourgogne.

Pascal Janvier 2017 Coteaux du Loir Blanc, $17
Dry, nutty Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley.

Hugel & Fils 2018 Gentil Alsace, $15
Floral, spicy blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner, and Muscat from Alsace.

Château Graville-Lacoste 2018 Blanc Graves, $20
Lucious blend of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle from Bordeaux.

Domaine Laballe 2019 Les Terres Basses Blanc Côtes de Gascogne, $13
Tropical blend of Ugni Blanc, Colombard, and Gros Manseng from South West France.

Rosés

Bastide du Claux 2019 Poudière Rosé Luberon, $16
Vibrant rosé of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault from the Southern Rhône.

Domaine la Colombe 2019 Rosé Coteaux Varois en Provence, $15
Fragrant rosé of Syrah, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon from Provence.

Next: My Favorite Champagnes Under $50