The Best Wine From California Under $20

California is the number one wine producer in the United States. While the state is best known for Cabernet and Chardonnay, one of my very favorite varieties found here is Syrah. Wine producers throughout California do an excellent job with this grape which expresses itself differently in cool climates than it does hot climates. Tasting a sample from a cool, northern region and then trying one from a hot and dry southern climate, and comparing how the same grape ends up in a glass is both fascinating and insightful.

We also include lots of reviews of one of our favorite value varieties, Petite Sirah. If you're a Cabernet lover looking to save money or want a great wine to pair with your steak, Petite Sirah is a great option.

Some of the best value in California comes from blends, a combination of different grape varieties such as Cabernet and Merlot. When done well, these blends allow the winemakers to essentially take the best of each variety and combine them for what is often much greater than the sum of its parts. Many red and white blends in California are terrific. And if you're skeptical of blended wines, just realize this: many of the wines you currently drink from California may be labeled as a single variety but in actuality they are a blend! Labeling laws in the state allow a wine to be labeled as a single variety if it contains at least 75% of that variety. This means that premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that you love (and paid extra for) could have up to 25% Merlot in it!

Read on for the best wine from California under $20!