Inexpensive wine does not have to taste bad! I personally LOVE wine and rarely purchase a bottle of wine over $20! I think it is perfectly acceptable to buy wines that are inexpensive and believe it or not some of these “cheap” finds will even impress the most discerning taste buds!
Here are a couple of ways I save on wine without skimping on quality and flavor:
1. Become a wine club member. Typically if you are a wine member you will not only receive regular shipments of wines to sample but you will also get huge discounts to other wines in the catalog. For example I am a wine member to EOS Estate Winery. For about $158 I will receive one red and one white wine once a quarter for a year. Thats 8 bottles for about $19.75 per bottle! This includes the shipping and handling and I am able to have access to deep discounts on all their other wines, including reserve wine! Shop around because some wine clubs are more expensive then others, but when you find one you like you will be impressed with how many new types of wines you will get to try!
2. Check out discount wine sites: Have you heard of Groupon? Basically you sign up to get deep discounted coupon deals once a day and you choose if you want to take advantage or not. Well you can do something similar for wine too! Check out Cinderella Wine where you can get big deals on wine that trumps the price anywhere else on the web. You can also read reviews and when you order 2 or more packs you will receive free shipping!
3.Know your grape equivalents: Wine snobs will tell you that Chianti is better then Sangiovese or that champagne is better then sparkling wine because these grapes are the OGs of that varietals. Let me let you in on a little secret, Sangiovese taste like Chianti because it is the same style grape, its just not made in the Chianti region of Italy, and champagne taste just as nice when its made in California and called sparkling wine. The kicker is that the grape equivalents of these grapes are cheaper because they are not the “Brand name” of that grape variety.
4. Don’t be a purist: Generally speaking mixed grape wines are typically less expensive then pure varietals. For example a cabernet sauvignon and shiraz blend not only taste better but can be far less expensive then a pure cabernet sauvignon. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Some of my personal favorite wines are blends!
5. Try something new: The only way you will find out if you will like a wine is to try it. There are a couple ways to do this. #1: Check out some wine tastings to see what types of wine you prefer and once you get an understanding for what works for you move to #2: buy a bunch of $2-$20 wines and see what you like. Keep a wine journal and make note of the brands and types of wine you enjoy best. Remember different types of food or no food at all will change the flavor of the wine so you might try it a couple of times before giving up on a wine, unless you REALLY do not like it.
Now here are some of my suggestions for wines under $20:
Lost Angel Mischief: The perfect example of a wine blend gone right. This wine is fantastic with flavors of dark berries. With a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Petite Sirah, and 18% Sangiovese this wine is bound to impress all types of palettes for only $14!!
Tisdale Wines: This brand makes a variety of wines all under $5! A great choice on a tight budget. The wine comes out of California and I have heard it is the off label of a more popular brand that didn’t want to release too many bottles to keep prices up. This may or may not be true but the secret is out and this stuff is great. Even my very picky step dad loved it!
Barefoot Sparkling Wine: Although I am not a HUGE fan of the still likable Barefoot wines, the sparkling wines (AKA champagne from California) is remarkable. Barefoot boast five different types of sparkling wine all for close or under $10. My personal favorite is the Moscato Spumante as it is slightly sweet but still dry enough not to overwhelm you. Perfect for any occasion!
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You can learn more about my favorite wines at The Wonderful World of Wine or in the blogs that I maintain.