Irresistible Washington Wines Under $26

While celebrating Washington Wine Month throughout March, I opened a number of bottles that reminded me of the remarkable values crafted by our state’s wineries. Here they are, irresistible Washington wines under $26 in order of price point along with food pairings. If these wineries aren’t already on your radar they should be!

Powers Winery 2016 Merlot

Retail price $12.99 at Esquin

On a recent visit to VinoSocial client Esquin I asked for a Washington Merlot under $30 that isn’t heavily oaked. With over 5,400 wines in stock, I was surprised the recommended wine came in at less than half the budget! For the price, I was willing to take a chance.

What’s in the Bottle

100% Merlot fermented in stainless steel, aged in a combination of second use, third fill, and neutral French oak.

With fruit coming from the ethereal Champoux Vineyard (Quilceda Creek, Andrew Will, and Woodward Canyon source from here), plus vineyards in the Wahluke Slope it’s hard to believe what a great value this is.

Blackberry, Tootsie Roll, and dark chocolate comingle in this weeknight winner with lifted acidity.

Food Pairing

Hubby and I tried this out with whole grain spaghetti topped with marinara sauce and I’d do it again!


Kevin White Winery 2020 Blue Label

Retails for $20

Year after year this value bottle sells out at the winery in the blink of an eye. Luckily, some of it gets sold to retail outlets where it resides just a little bit longer before being snatched up. So, if you see it, don’t wait to buy it (spotted recently at Esquin and PCC)!

What’s in the Bottle

The 2020 vintage is a blend of 50% Syrah, 32% Mourvedre, and 18% Grenache from Yakima Valley.

Scents of juicy red fruit waft up from the glass and reveal themselves on the palate transforming into blackberry, blueberry, and a mix of brambly fruit. Hello smoky cured meats!  Spiciness reveals itself after opening up a bit. Next comes a back note of chocolate. This is a wine that drinks way over its price point.

Food Pairing

Don’t judge me. I served this wine alongside turkey meatloaves slathered in a barbecue sauce that isn’t overly sweet. I find the spice and smoke in the barbecue sauce plays off those same characteristics in the wine.


Damsel Cellars 2019 Red Blend

Retails for $24 at the winery.

VinoSocial client and winemaker Mari Womack is having a moment if I may say so. She was truly a poster child for Washington Wine Month. For real! The Washington Wine Commission had a larger-than-life pictue of her emblazoned on a poster at an event hosted last month for trade and media. The image of her extracting wine from a barrel with a tool called a wine thief was captured by talented photographer Richard Duval.

The thing that makes Mari a great role model is not that she rose above struggles and challenges in the wine industry due to her gender. She admits she didn’t. Rather, Mari focused on doing the hard work it takes to hone her craft and produce a quality product that people enjoy. ⁠Consequently, the experience that comes from years of dedication and industriousness is evident in each bottle of Damsel Cellars wine.

I purchased several bottles of Damsel’s quaffable red blend in March when it was on sale for $18 a bottle. However, even at its usual $24 price tag this wine is a deal! The fruit comes from Stillwater Creek Vineyard and Boushey Vineyard, the same acclaimed sources that Mari puts into her $30-45 bottles.

What’s in the Bottle

50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Syrah, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc from the Columbia Valley.

I’m not even going to apologize for the fact that I didn’t take tasting notes the Friday night the hubby and I poured this wine to accompany our dinner. Most nights we have a little bit of wine left for the following day. That we had none remaining at the end of the night speaks volumes about how tasty this wine is.

Food Pairing

This wine accompanied my usual quick and easy Friday night spaghetti dinner.


Lill Sister 2019 Chardonnay

Retail Price: $25 available exclusively at Chateau Lill

Greg Lill, one of the original founders of legendary DeLille Cellars, recently invited me to visit his property, Chateau Lill. I was surprised to discover that this oasis set among towering evergreens is one of the best kept secrets in Woodinville for a relaxing, high end tasting experience in a stunning setting. Greg partners with celebrated local winemakers such as Chris Gorman and Matt Loso to produce the wines on offer.

What’s in the Bottle

2019 Columbia Valley Chardonnay from the Royal Slope vineyard aged 50% in new French Oak. This cuvee was produced by the Lill’s good friend Chris Sparkman of Sparkman Cellars.

One sniff of the gorgeous nose and there’s no doubt this is Chardonnay. This ripe and racy white hits the palate with brightness that leads to butterscotch then reveals slight beeswax and leaves the lips tingling.

The hubby and I so enjoyed the first bottle I bought that we returned to purchase two more! I have to confess, we found this wine far more enchanting than a more expensive bottle of California Chardonnay we opened last night.

Food Pairing

One night we enjoyed this Chardonnay with salmon. Another night it paired well with first of the season halibut. It would be amazing served with crab, too.


Two Vintners Make Haste Cinsault

Retails at the winery for $25

During a virtual Syrah tasting last year, winemaker Morgan Lee of Two Vintners described himself as someone making wines that aren’t the most popular. In other words, fun varieties beyond Cabernet Sauvignon. Well, thank goodness for that because it sure keeps things interesting! Enter this hardly seen in Washington State variety.

What’s in the Bottle

100% Cinsault sourced from Olsen Vineyards in the Yakima Valley.⁠

⁠It’s a delectable easy drinker!⁠ With its light body, red fruit notes, spicy character, and food friendly acidity it’s like Pinot Noir and Mourvedre had a baby. ⁠

⁠Food Pairing

We enjoyed it with turkey meatloaf one night, and my lentil salad recipe the next.⁠

There you have it, some irresistible Washington wines under $26. Are any of these tempting you? Share your thoughts on Instagram or Twitter and #LetsTalkAboutWine!

If value wines are what you’re after, check out the great discoveries unearthed by my friend Kat over at her blog The Corkscrew Concierge. She’s got a list of Tasty Wine Under $15 That You Can Find Just About Anywhere.