Wallet-friendly winners: The top wines under $25 revealed

11 October 2023


Co-Chair of Judges Sam Kim


No more wandering the wine aisle, trying to decipher each bottle’s back label or searching up reviews…

The New World Wine Awards judges have done the hard work for you – swirling, sniffing, sipping and scoring their way through hundreds of wines to find the Top 50 wines under $25.

The winning wines have been announced today and are in New World stores and online now, making it easy to find and choose a top drop. Even better, the list’s $25 price cap means all the wines in the Top 50 are relatively easy on the wallet, and there are plenty of winning wines in the under $20 and under $15 price brackets too.

Only the best-of-the-best from the 1,200-plus entries made the cut, says Co-Chair of Judges Sam Kim.

“Our independent panel of wine experts tasted and scored the entries over three full days, first awarding the Gold medal winners, then tasting through these wines again and again to determine the 50 best for this list.

“All the judging was blind – meaning we didn’t know the brand or price point of any entry, so consumers can trust that every winning wine really measures up.”

The Top 50 under $25 list is attached and more information is available here.


New World Wine Awards judging shot 2

New World Wine Awards Judging


Toasting Aotearoa’s top wines

While the Top 50 includes familiar favourites from around New Zealand and the world, there are also new brands to explore as the winning wines make their way to shelves in more than 140 New World stores nationwide.

“A standout this year is the Caythorpe Family Estate Chardonnay 2021, which earned Caythorpe their first New World Wine Awards Gold medal and Top 50 spot, as well as the Champion Chardonnay trophy and the prestigious ‘White Wine of the Show’ title,” says Kim.

“The family has been farming in Marlborough for generations but has only been operating their own wine brand for the past eight years. With a very small team running the wine business, one of whom also looks after the family’s cherry orchards when he’s not among the vines, this is truly toast-worthy win.”

The win also means this is the first time their Chardonnay will be so widely available in New Zealand supermarkets.

“It’s a great opportunity for the brand to reach new customers, as well as a wonderful example to show how Marlborough’s breadth and depth extends well beyond its much-loved Sauvignon Blanc.

“Fifty years on from the first commercial Sauvignon Blanc plantings in Marlborough, the region has landed five of the six winning Sauvignons as well as a dozen other wines across the Top 50’s Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, and Rosé classes.”

Other Marlborough-made winners include wines from Black Cottage, Esk Valley, Geisen and Ara, The Coterie’s Massey Dacta, Misty Cove, Mount Riley, SOHO Family Vineyards, Stoneleigh, te Pā and Montford Estate, Triplebank and Vavasour.

It was the neighboring Nelson region which took the Champion Sauvignon Blanc title this year with the repeat-performing Anchorage Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2023. Local Gewürtz-experts Seifried also landed two wines in the Top 50, including a Rosé under their Old Coad Road label. 

Elsewhere in the South, the sunny hills of Waipara produced three winners including the show’s Champion Aromatic for the Mud House Single Vineyard Riesling 2022, and Central Otago’s own Madam Sass sauntered back into the Top 50 for their 2022 Pinot Noir.

From the North Island, Hawke’s Bay stole the show with six wines in the Top 50, including three trophies, alongside sole Wairarapa-winner Luna Estate with their 2021 Pinot Noir.

“The Hawke’s Bay’s prowess for growing amazing reds really shone through this year,” says Kim, pointing to the region’s three Champion titles for the Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2021, Squawking Magpie The Chatterer Syrah 2021 and Thornbury Hawkes Bay Rosé 2023 – made from a rarer mix of Syrah and Merlot.

Gisborne-grown Verde Brut took the Champion Bubbles prize, alongside New Zealand’s most awarded bubbles, Lindauer, which features two sparkling wines in the Top 50. 

From further afield, the Top 50 also boasts international flavours from Argentina, Australia, France and Italy including delicious, great value wines like the Trapiche Pure Black Malbec 2021, Chaffey Bros La Resistance GSM 2021, Freixenet Prosecco DOC, and Les Jamelles Clair de Rosé 2022.


Winners on show instore now

In addition to their shiny medal, all the Top 50 winning wines earn a spot on New World shelves nationwide for five weeks, while stocks last.

Kim says it's a delight to see who makes the list each year, and watch their success with consumers.

“Seeking out a New World Wine Awards Gold medal makes choosing a top wine easy, but it’s also a great way to discover new brands and find new favourites.”

The judges also tasted a wide range of non-alcoholic entries and have recommended a selection of tasty alternatives that are available in select stores – just look for the Zero Zone in store or online.