Searching through wine lists can be a daunting task. Thumbing through dozens of pages filled with esoteric varietals and unrecognizable regions is tiresome, all while knowing you just want a fantastic sip that won’t break the bank. We get it!

Our experts are here to help. Enter: Wine Directors Kevin Bratt of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab and Richard Hanauer of the RPM Restaurants are here with their favorite bottles under $50 to keep your glass full and your wallet happy.

wine on the bar at il porcellino


Looking For: Rosé

Château Virgile, Costieres de Nimes, 2017

Tasting notes: a light and refreshing rosé that goes really well with seafood dishes.
Where: Shaw’s Crab House Chicago, Shaw’s Crab House Schaumburg
Price: $43


Looking For: Bubbles

Giuliana, Prosecco, NV

Tasting notes: RPM Restaurants spent years trying to find the perfect Prosecco recipe: a balance of fruit sweetness and raciness.
Where: RPM Steak, RPM Italian ChicagoRPM Italian Washington D.C.
Price: $48

Kevin Bratt tasting wines

Fun & Fresh Whites

Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin, Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine, 2015

Tasting notes: perfect for oysters and raw seafood, this Muscadet is light, bright and packed with fresh minerality.
Where: Joe’s Seafood Chicago, Joe’s Seafood Las Vegas
Price: $38-45

Elk Cove, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, 2016

Tasting notes: great alongside grilled fish and white meats. Often times Pinot Gris has a hint of sweetness, however, this one is bone dry and perfect for summer!
Where: Summer House Santa Monica Chicago
Price: $49

Genio Y Figura, Rias Baixas, 2015

Tasting notes: this vibrant and clean wine is from vineyards close to the Atlantic ocean and pairs great with crustaceans.
Where:  Shaw’s Crab House Chicago, Shaw’s Crab House Schaumburg
Price: $47


Full & Flavorful Whites

Kilikanoon, Riesling, Clare Valley, 2013

Tasting notes: a dry iteration of Riesling – unlike Riesling’s reputation of being sweet – the Kilikanoon is extremely food friendly with explosive flavors.
Where: Sushi-san
Price: $50

Domaine du Salvard, Cheverny, 2016

Tasting notes: a perfect price-conscious alternative to Sancerre, this Sauvignon Blanc-heavy wine is crisp and delicious, with the touch of Chardonnay lending a lift to the palate.
Where: Joe’s Seafood Chicago, Joe’s Seafood Washington D.C.
Price: $36-40

Two glasses of red wine being cheersed

Light & Bright Reds

Centonze, Frappato, Sicilia, 2016

Tasting notes: put on a slight chill to counter the hot and humid summers, the Centonze has bright raspberry and cherry notes.
Where: il Porcellino
Price: $44

Envinate, “Albahra”, Canary Islands, 2016

Tasting notes: a perfect summer red, this wine is aged in concrete barrels instead of wood, preserving a fresh quality of the grapes.
Where: Aba
Price: $48

Colle Ticchio, Cesanese del Piglio, 2016

Tasting notes: fantastic medium-body wine reminiscent of an earthy Pinot Noir, with strong pepper notes. Perfect alongside Cacio e Pepe and Carbonara.
Where: RPM Italian in Washington D.C.
Price: $48


Ripe & Ready Reds

Ravines, Cabernet Franc, Finger Lakes, 2015

Tasting notes: light and fruity red wine perfect for afternoon sips, packed with notes of red raspberry.
Where: Joe’s Seafood Washington D.C.
Price: $50

Conde Valdemar, Rioja Reserva, 2009

Tasting notes: a great alternative to Pinot Noir with a mouthwatering and seamless texture with some age on it.
Where:  Shaw’s Crab House Chicago, Shaw’s Crab House Schaumburg
Price: $47

Einaudi, Dogliani, 2014

Tasting notes: often overlooked for Barbera, Dolcetto is a super versatile red wine from Piedmont in northwest Italy.
Where: Stella Barra Chicago
Price: $46