But as any wine drinker will tell you, it’s easy to overspend on a bottle of white zinfandel or cabernet sauvignon. These six tips will help you avoid making that mistake.
BOX IT UP – Boxed wine has come a long way in the past few years, which means you’ll not only get good wine, you’ll get good wine at a good price. Actually, you’ll get good wine at a great price. Many boxes of wine contain the equivalent of four bottles for anywhere from $10 to $20 per box. That’s $2.50 to $5 per bottle!
BUY IN BULK – Buying wine by the case will usually net you a savings of about 10 percent. Just make sure it’s a wine you really like before stocking up.
TRY CHEAP WINE – Wine doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. Most casual wine drinkers will be just as happy with a $10 bottle of pinot noir as they would with a $30 bottle, so don’t be afraid to sample a few cheap options. You might be surprised by how good it really is!
DON’T ORDER THE SECOND CHEAPEST BOTTLE – If you’re ordering wine at a restaurant, resist the temptation to order the second cheapest bottle on the wine list. Many restaurants place the highest mark-up on this bottle because they know people will avoid the cheapest bottle and opt instead for the second cheapest option.
TAKE NOTES – An $8 bottle of merlot might be a great deal, but if you don’t like the wine, it not money well spent. To avoid buying wine you don’t like, take notes about the specific types and brands you try. Before long, you’ll be able to make more educated decisions about which wines are the best investment to suit your personal preferences.
ASK QUESTIONS – If you have a general idea of what you like in a wine (“sweeter red wines” or “dry whites”) don’t be afraid to ask your local wine store clerk for his or her suggestions about which varieties suit your needs at a good price. The clerks are surprisingly knowledgeable and usually more than happy to share that knowledge with customers.