Life

Drizly’s Best-Selling Red Wines, Ranked On Flavor Alone

There’s no way the internet gods could have known that its creation would begin an era in which humans value convenience over literally everything else. But nevertheless, here we are. Need new clothes? Looking for a job? A babysitter? A vintage record player? Oysters from Massachusetts when you live in Indiana? You can do it all with a click.

Don’t want to interrupt your Rick and Morty marathon to run to the store when you’re all out of booze? One click brings you to online stores like Caskers, Reserve Bar, and Drizly. And over the past year, people have been clicking like crazy.

Wine is no different. In the first few weeks of the pandemic, online wine sales in the U.S. literally soared. Over the course of the year, they increased a total of three percent — which doesn’t sound insane but is three times as much as 2019’s increase. Obviously, those aforementioned delivery platforms have reaped the benefits.

We checked in with Drizly this week to find the app’s top 12 best-selling red wines over the past 12 months. Then we drank them, ranked them all, and dished out tasting notes for each bottle. Price wasn’t a factor here — the ranking order of this list was purely based on taste and character. If you end up wanting a bottle yourself, the prices are linked for direct purchase.

12. Bota Box Cabernet Sauvignon

Drizly

ABV: 13.5%
Average Price: $25
Drizly Sales Rank: 7

The Wine:

I know what you’re thinking: “Boxed wine?!” But hear me out (and the thousands of Drizly shoppers who are shelling out coins for this stuff): This is not the yucky purple Welch’s concord grapes-and-cardboard-tasting cheap stuff like the boxed wines of yore. This is really good boxed wine. It’s even better than some stuff that comes in actual bottles.

I’m saying it now: Drizly shoppers are on to something with this one.

Tasting Notes:

This nearly-purple wine smells of black cherries and violets. The sip is big and bold thanks to jammy notes of blackberry preserves, black currants, and chewy tannins—the naturally occurring polyphenol found in plants, leaves, and fruit skins that influence a wine’s pucker power. The finish is long and dry and sprinkled with hints of fresh ground peppercorns.

Bottom Line:

The beauty of boxed wine is that there’s so much of it. Going to picnic in the park? Hosting a cute little gathering with friends? This is the wine to keep everyone’s glasses full.

11. Apothic Red

Drizly

ABV: 13.5%
Average Price: $12
Drizly Sales Rank: 6

The Wine:

You’ve likely seen a bottle of this ruby-red blend a thousand times. The wine — comprised of zinfandel, syrah, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon — is available at grocery chains alllllllllll over the country. It’s no surprise why it’s so popular. It’s as easy to drink as it is to find and with a price you can’t beat for decent red wine.

Tasting Notes:

Is that you’re grandmother’s rhubarb pie you’re smelling? Nope, that’s just the fruit and baking spice aromas of Apothic Red permeating from the bottle! This red wine is rich with blackberry, black cherry, blueberry, and purple plum notes on the palate. About mid-sip you’ll get a pleasant hit of mocha and vanilla that extends well into the medium-length finish.

Bottom Line:

This is a great starter wine if you’re just now beginning your journey into reds. It has depth and character that you’ll feel in the sip but it’s not overbearingly dry like some of the bigger bottles featured on this list.

10. Meiomi Pinot Noir

Drizly

ABV: 13.7%
Average Price: $20
Drizly Sales Rank: 2

The Wine:

The grapes for this pinot noir hail from areas of Monterey, Santa Barbara, and Sonoma, California. Garnet colored with a shining bit of ruby, this wine is a straight-up easy sipper full of fruity character.

Tasting Notes:

The aroma of this wine is bursting with juicy cherries, strawberries, and a dash of vanilla. On the palate, the wine is silky and sweet with more notes of strawberry while flavors of raspberry and blueberry play in the background. A hint of oak appears in the smooth finish to wrap up the sip with a bit of complexity.

Bottom Line:

Looking for something light and fruit-forward? This is your new go-to.

9. Alamos Malbec

Drizly

ABV: 13.5%
Average Price: $12
Drizly Sales Rank: 9

The Wine:

With such stunning views of the Andes Mountains surrounding the Argentinian vineyards in Mendoza, it’s no wonder this wine is just downright beautiful. High altitudes, lots of sunlight, and weather patterns that switch from hot to cold from day to night result in a grand red wine that is not only enjoyable but easy to drink.

Tasting Notes:

This wine has an intense fragrance of washed leather drying in the sun. Its deep reddish-purplish hue is indicative of the dark fruits coating the palate — think black cherry, blueberry, and raisin. As its silky texture glides down the throat you’ll notice a slight vegetal note that gets a lift from velvety tannins. The overall mouthfeel is pillowy soft and the finish is long and lingering.

Bottom Line:

Sop up all your meats and hearty vegetables with this medium-bodied red wine.

8. 19 Crimes Cabernet Sauvignon

Drizly

ABV: 13.5%
Average Price: $13
Drizly Sales Rank: 10

The Wine:

When people talk about big wine, this is what they mean. Produced by one of Australia’s most notable wineries, this cab is not for the faint of heart. It’s bold, firm, and full of body.

Tasting Notes:

Richly scented with red berries, vanilla, and mulberry, this full-bodied crimson red wine is oozing with flavors of brandied cherries, currants, and bittersweet dark chocolate. There are some black fruits noticeable on the palate too that blend with soft tannins on the long finish.

Bottom Line:

This wine is structured and heavy, and it’s meant to be paired with some food. Throw some lamb chops on the barbie (or steak or burgers) and wash it all down with a bottle of this cab.

7. La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Drizly

ABV: 13.5%
Average Price: $26
Drizly Sales Rank: 4

The Wine:

Grown on the Sonoma Coast, this pinot noir only sits in the barrels for nine months before it’s bottled and shipped out for consumers to enjoy. That short stretch of time results in a wine that’s youthful in taste. But don’t get it twisted, this pinot’s got the complex profile to stand up to any one of your older vintage favorites.

Tasting Notes:

You may feel as though you’ve been running in tobacco fields upon opening a bottle of this wine, but I assure you that you have not (or probably not, I don’t know your life). That’s merely the sweet aroma of this juice and a sure sign that you’re in store for a fine pinot noir that has some character and complexity.

On the sip, this wine loaded with berry flavors — Red berries! Blueberries! Blackberries! All the berries! — but there’s some plum mixed in there as well, as subtle hints of toasted oak and smooth tannins that really give the wine a fleshy structure. The wine finishes quickly and cleanly, with an unexpected yet delightful splash of bright acidity.

Bottom Line:

Buy this wine when you feel like drinking something that is light but isn’t just straight-up fruit juice. It’s a picture-perfect fruit-forward-yet-slightly-earthy example of what pinot noir can be.

6. Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

Drizly

ABV: 13.9%
Average Price: $17
Drizly Sales Rank: 1

The Wine:

Not shocking at all that Josh Cellars’ Cabernet Sauvignon is Drizly shoppers’ most-purchased cab. It’s a damn good California cab for the price, and it’s particularly easy to drink alongside a good meal.

Tasting Notes:

You won’t miss the fragrances of black fruit and baking spices jumping out of this bottle. This cab is ripe with blackberry, black currant, and black plums that get a spicy, nutty boost from notes of cinnamon and toasted hazelnut. There’s a faint hint of vanilla and a little toasted oak in the finish, but that gets muddled by some pretty big tannins in the incredibly long finish.

Bottom Line:

Listen, this is good cab sauv. Seriously, it is. The only reason why it doesn’t have a higher ranking is that there are some bottles shoppers are buying on this list that are simply more dynamic, albeit pricier.

But for what this costs, this is a steal and worth every penny.

5. JUSTIN Cabernet Sauvignon

Justin Vineyards

ABV: 14.5%
Average Price: $30
Drizly Sales Rank: 8

The Wine:

The first JUSTIN Vineyard grapes were planted back in 1981. The winery’s owners had one thought in mind — to make delectable red wine from their fossilized limestone-rich property in the Paso Robles wine country region of California that would prove comparable to the world-class, structured, and full-bodied wines of Bordeaux, France.

Simply put, they succeeded.

Tasting Notes:

This cabernet sauvignon is as dynamic in smell as it is in taste. Key aromas include black currant, fig, red and black cherry, tobacco, black licorice, oak, and baking spices. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and dry with notes of black cherry, cassis, a forest full of trees, and cocoa. The finish is memorable and long-lasting with speckles of oak, nutmeg, and clove.

Bottom Line:

Making a fancy dinner? What about roast beef or roasted chicken? Duck? Ooh! I know, beef bourguignon! This wine will go nicely with almost any hearty meat dish, and it’s a nice one to use as an ingredient while cooking, too.

4. 19 Crimes Snoop Dogg Cali Red Blend

Drizly

ABV: 14.1%
Average Price: $12
Drizly Sales Rank: 12

The Wine:

The folks are buying up Snoop Dogg and 19 Crimes’ blend of petite Sirah and zinfandel, and who could blame them? Clearly not me.

Made from grapes grown in Lodi, California, this wine is banging with flavor. And it’s a bang for your buck.

Tasting Notes:

This wine is loud with dark fruit aromas but on the palate, candied cherries and sun-dried raisins stand out the most. This is a medium-bodied wine that has a wee bit of dryness to it, but it’s as smooth and silky on the palate as the headwraps Snoop Dogg uses to cover his locs.

The finish is long with a hint of smoke.

Bottom Line:

This is the wine to drink when you don’t want to put too much thought into what you’re drinking. Whether you’re enjoying it as a stand-alone or over a meal, it’s always going to be worth pouring.

3. Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Drizly

ABV: 14.5
Average Price: $100
Drizly Sales Rank: 5

The Wine:

The family-owned winery has produced top-tier vino since their first cabernet vintage in 1972. And they continue to make the wine just as they did back then — with a technique that requires grapes to hang from the vines longer than usual, which increases colors, impacts suppleness, and develops velvety soft tannins.

Tasting Notes:

The wine is deep dark red in color and possesses ripe red fruit aromas. Take a sip and you’ll taste a melody of dark fruits like black currant, blackberry, and huckleberry that harmonize with notes of cassis, cocoa, vanilla. The finish is looonnngggg and jumping with supple tannins.

Bottom Line:

This is the special occasion bottle you need in the center of the table at your next party, birthday gathering, holiday event, fiesta, whatever.

If it’s a cause for celebration, it’s a cause for Caymus.

2.Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon

Drizly

ABV: 13.9%
Average Price: $25
Drizly Sales Rank: 3

The Wine:

Produced by Duckhorn Vineyards in Sonoma, California, this wine is predominately crafted with cabernet sauvignon. However, it features tiny splashes of merlot, zinfandel, petite Sirah, syrah, and Petit Verdot that give the medium-bodied wine a rich depth and smoothness on the palate.

Tasting Notes:

This wine features enticing aromas of black cherry, blackberry, and blueberry, but on the palate all that fruit is layered with notes of dark chocolate, barrel spice, and a twinge of spearmint — adding some much-appreciated freshness. You’ll feel the tannins in the back end of the sip and throughout the long and smooth finish.

Bottom Line:

This wine taste like it should be a lot more expensive than it is. Like, a lot.

1. The Prisoner Red Blend

Drizly

ABV: 15.2%
Average Price: $50
Drizly Sales Rank: 11

The Wine:

Let me get this out of the way: I. CANNOT. GET. ENOUGH. OF. THIS. FRIGGIN. WINE! Seriously. Inject it into my veins, drown me in it — this wine is that good!!

Okay, now on to the important deets:

Produced by Oakville, California’s The Prisoner Wine Company, the winery’s signature red is zinfandel-based. It’s blended with juice from cabernet sauvignon, petite Sirah, syrah, and charbono grapes, which makes for a wine that is completely luscious and smooth.

Tasting Notes:

This wine is swirling with fragrances of Bing cherry, roasted fig, and spices like clove and star anise. But on the palate, man oh man, is it a fruit punch to the face. Notes of ripe raspberry, pomegranate, and boysenberry are front and center while a whirl of vanilla and a bit of oak lingers in the background. The wine is soft and supple with a lush and completely mouthwatering finish.

Trust us, you’re going to want another glass.

Bottom Line:

Drink this wine at room temperature or give it a chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy it with grilled meats or pastas topped with umami-forward tomato sauces (pour a splash in the tomato sauce!) or completely on its own.

Just don’t be shocked when you drink the whole bottle in one sitting. Pricey? A little. But very worth it.


As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

×