Yes, you can buy good wine for cheap. Here's What to Look For

Yes, you can buy good wine for cheap. Here's What to Look For ...

This story is part of CNET's collection of practical tips for maximizing the value of your house, both inside and out.

There are cheap wines, and there are value wines. Cheap wines are those that may only cost you a few bucks, but who are still in good condition. Value wines, on the other hand, can have a wide range of pricing, from genuinely inexpensive to kind of expensive, but that historically outperform themselves at whatever price.

Even for experienced wine consumers, identifying wines that are excellent value can be difficult, which is why people like Patricia enjoy working in this field. (Pro tip: corks over screw caps don't necessarily mean a better wine.) Wine is a huge category that individuals, such as sommeliers and other wine professionals dedicate their lives to.

Although we were not expected to know everything or even anything, sometimes we still feel intimidated to ask for help. Somewhere in the last couple of decades, it feels like the dominant mindset became that wine knowledge was a requirement for urbane adults, and when it comes to selecting wine, the only feasible choice is to purchase the second-cheapest option.

DECANTsf is known for its relaxed approach to tying people to wines they'll love, without even a soupcon of pretension. Here are seven strategies on how to save money by shopping at Whole Foods.

Read more: 2022's Best Alcohol Delivery Services

Shop local.

Patricia cautioned that you wont be able to get a wine expert at a big box store. Instead, shop at boutique stores where the experts are, and youll have access to a wealth of knowledge acquired over many years of studying, evaluating, and, most importantly, drinking wine. Wine pros are often on a budget too. Ask for the staff's favorite wines at home, since that is what they drink the most often at home.

Patricia said that the most difficult section to blind taste for are our least expensive wines. We wanted these wines to be excellent on value and flavor. We stock our own homes with those wines, so they must be excellent!

A good local wine shop will be able to provide expert advice. Many also provide weekly or monthly curated tastings to enable you to try before you purchase.

Local isnt always an option. If your area does not have a reputable wine store, you may check out our list ofbest online wine clubs andbest alcohol delivery services for 2022.

Know your price

Wine professionals deal with people with budgets over tens of millions of dollars, as well as those with tens of thousands of dollars. Either way, they are prepared to play matchmaker and take great pride in tying people to the appropriate bottles, regardless of budget constraints.

If you join a membership program, several local wine shops like DecantSF provide discounts and special offers on wines.

Patricia said if you can cut to the chase and be upfront with what you're looking for, it's very useful. For example, she suggests starting with something like: Im looking for a red wine under $30. I've previously enjoyed wines like X, Y, and Z, and I'd like something similar. Do you have any recommendations?

Wine apps and websites are a great way to price compare and ensure you are not overpaying. Try one of these three free wine apps to make sure you are not getting price gouged.

Avoid trendy wines.

Patricia advised you to be wary of fads, Instagram-darlings, and egregious marketing. Just a fraction of the world's wines are sold. They're made by their own tasting rooms, as well as sommeliers and wine store employees, who handle the marketing themselves, rather than expensive advertising and sponsorships with influencers.

However, orange or amber wines are wine trends that should be looked into for some excellent value selections.

If you prefer new wine, it might cost you more, especially if it's still on the rise. However, you shouldn't have to avoid them altogether.

Get out the map!

Another reason to learn to appreciate local wines is because of their proximity. However, you can also help yourself by getting to know a few key regions for the wines you most like and their neighbors.

Patricia suggests looking for places that aren't far from famous areas. Maybe Sancerre is becoming a bit too expensive, but there are plenty of wonderful sauvignon blancs from Touraine to try. Napa Valley prices are ridiculous, so let's try something from the El Dorado foothills instead.

Madrona is just one of the many exceptional wine producers located in the El Dorado foothills.

It's also helpful to see what other emerging economies are producing similar cabernet sauvignons to some of the big names, as these are often places that over-deliver for their price points. Look for big reds from Chile or Washington state to save money without sacrificing quality.

Look out for entry-level wines.

The world's most famous wine producers became famous for delivering some of the world's most famous wines, many of which are well-known. However, these are not the only wines they produce, as most of their bottles are made from broader, less expensive wine regions.

Do you want to pay more for a Dry Grosses Gewachs riesling but can't afford to pay $100? Patricia suggests trying a dry Trocken riesling from the same estate at a quarter of the price. Bourgogne Blanc is a popular wine variety that can often be made from declassified grapes.

Trocken riesling is similar to dry Grosses Gewachs riesling, but at a fraction of the cost.

Patricia said it is possible to try lesser-known grape varieties from well-known producers and get the same exceptional winemaking with a different grape that costs less to produce.

Consider joining the family.

Patricia said some wine stores offer membership discounts that are worth checking out. Members often get 10% off any reorders of wines featured in clubs, waived corkage fees for drinking bottles in the store, complimentary wine flights, and other benefits as part of their membership.

Patricia advises against using excessive skepticism when it comes to online wine memberships or subscriptions. Avoid buying from Walmart's bottom shelf, for instance, or use an algorithm quiz instead of a sommelier to match your preferences.

Nothing beats a great local wine store, but if your region is lacking, a sophisticated online wine club will suffice.

If your region does not have a reputable wine store, weve vetted several online wine clubs for you with CNET's best wine club for 2022. Some online wine shops, such as Wine.com, also offer introductory discounts for first-time buyers, and Last Bottle periodically offers marathon buying weekends, all of which can be beneficial.

Buy in bulk

Patricia said that purchasing bulk is a time-honoured, money-saving strategy. For example, DECANTsf offers a 5% discount on six bottles, or a 10% discount on 12+ bottles every month. Larger format bottles, such as magnums, or even boxed wines, can save you some money.

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