When you hear “California wine,” do mass-produced, over-oaked vinos instantly come to mind? Same. That’s why we turned to a few of our favorite sommeliers for their expert recommendations—boy, did they deliver. Here, our five favorite affordable sippers that prove California’s just as hip and delicious as Oregon.

RELATED: 5 Wines That Were Practically Made for Drinking Outside This Summer (and One Costs Only $16)   

piedrasassi ps syrah santa barbara 2014
Wine Searcher/Nottomanv1/Getty Images

Piedrasassi, PS Syrah, Santa Barbara 2014

Winemaker Sashi Moorman makes some of the very best Syrah outside the Rhone Valley. In fact, we’d venture to say that in a blind taste test, most people would mistake this for a much pricier bottle. Save it for your next cookout: Dark cherry, blueberry and spice notes pair well with slow-roasted meat and grilled steak. - Michael Engelmann, Wine Director at The Modern

Buy it ($24)

2016 qtr chenin blanc napa valley usa
Wine Connection/Nottomanv1/Getty Images

2016 QTR Chenin Blanc, Napa Valley, USA

Imagine a gorgeous midsummer evening, in vino form. Soft quince, honeysuckle and almond aromas linger long after you’re finished sipping. Try this bottle with crackers and soft, mild cheese—or better yet, ricotta gnocchi. - Daniel Pilkey, Head Sommelier at Maple & Ash

Buy it ($28)

liquid farm vogelzang vineyard happy canyon santa barbara
Klwines/Nottomanv1/Getty Images

Liquid Farm 'Vogelzang Vineyard,' Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, CA 2016

When you have a bunch of friends over and need a bottle everyone will love, look no further than this pick. Hints of under-ripe strawberry, tart raspberry and lemon sorbet will delight even the biggest wine snob. And it’s so bright and refreshing, you can drink it all day. - Amy Racine, Wine Director at John Fraser Restaurant Associates 

Buy it ($18)

2015 sandhi pinot noir
Sandhi/Nottomanv1/Getty Images

2015 Sandhi Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County

Generally, elegant Pinot Noir will break the bank, but this sipper is an exception to the rule. Full of nuance (think: fresh raspberry, cola and tobacco), it has a lovely, bright acidity and a long finish. Enjoy it with your go-to chicken dinner any night of the week. - Katie Owen, Wine Director, Winc Wines

Buy it ($28)

2015 onward malvasia bianca suison valley california1
Wine Access/Nottomanv1/Getty Images

2015 Onward Malvasia Bianca, Suisun Valley, CA

This Malvasia Bianca is intensely fruity and floral, while the palate is surprisingly clean and bone dry. And the best part? It was created by a badass female winemaker. Sip it with grilled veggies (like baby asparagus). - Kathryn Coker, Owner of Esters Wine Shop & Bar 

Buy it ($27)

RELATED: 25 Wines to Gift a Wine Snob (Starting at $20)

From Around The Web

Explore More Wine
  • All
  • Somm School
  • Wine Pairings
  • Under $15
  • Trends
  • Red Wine
  • White Wine
  • Recipes
the Whiskey Exchange
The Pinot Noir That Won't Overpower Roast Chicken
Recaredo
The Organic Cava That Pairs With Clean Eating (Really)
NightAndDayImages/Getty Images
Here's Why You Should Ditch That Light Pink Rosé Once and for All
Style Me Pretty
You Need Wine Slushies in Your Life Right Now
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Here’s Where to Buy Meghan Markle’s Favorite Wine
Twenty20
Excellent News: Wine and Coffee Are as Good for Your Gut as Yogurt
Rebel Coast Winery
Cannabis-Infused Wine Is Now a Thing
Laura Wing-Kamoosi
The Absolute Fastest Way to Chill Wine
Right this way for all the fun,
Without the hangover
Chin Chin