#1 Be flexible about how much you spend on a bottle of wine. I had a friend tell me recently that she does not spend over $17 on a bottle of wine. I explained to her that some varietals work well at a lower price point, some do not. You will probably use your wine budget more efficiently (and drink better wine) if you don’t have a rigid idea of how much per bottle you will spend, but instead take a longer view and say you will spend X on wine over a period of time. This way, you can allow for lower and higher priced bottles into the mix. A great example is pinot noir. It’s a tricky grape and most good ones are not cheap. If I had $40 and I wanted to get two bottles of wine, I’d spend $30 on the pinot noir and $10 on a bottle of sauvignon blanc. This takes some practice and “research” (darn!) so experiment a bit.
#2 Be open to different varietals
Another way to get value out of wine is to look for off-beat varietals. Two to look for – Torrentes and Barbera. Torrentes is a white wine from Argentina that is cool, crisp and refreshing. Zolo makes one that is typically less than $10 per bottle. Barbera is a red wine from Italy - check out my post on why Barbera is a great pizza wine. Ask for some recommendations the next time you are in a wine store and be open to varietals that are new to you.
#3 Take good care of your wine investment by doing these two things:
Store your wine correctly – Make sure your wine is at its best by storing it in a place that’s not too hot and not cold. Check out my post with more info on creative (and cheap!) wine storage ideas.
Serve wine at the right temperature – You can dramatically improve even a cheap bottle of wine by serving it at the correct temperature. It makes a difference and it’s worth the effort. Check out my post with more info on how to get your wine to the right temperature. Hint – all you need is a fridge and your kitchen counter.