Archive for category Value wines

Value Wines

These days, we’re all looking for a good value. If you love wine but your budget is pinched, there are some great wines out there at reasonable prices.

The definition of “value wine” varies but generally we’re talking about wines retailing for $15 or less per bottle. Many stores give discounts for volume purchases (for example, 10% off for 6 bottles or more) and may provide other coupons or discounts that may sometimes be combined. Always ask up front if there are discounts or other offers so that you get the best deal.

You can find value wines from anywhere in the world if you look carefully. From the Old World (that is, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Portugal) look for wines designated as “table wines” or “country wines.” Some of these wines taste great and they are usually very reasonably priced. Visit a wine store you trust and taste them first if at all possible so you’ll know exactly what you’re buying. You’ll easily find value wines from Spain and Portugal. Shop around for French, Italian and German value wines. Look for wines with these designations on the label:

• France: Vin de pays [vah(n) duh pah-yee]
• Germany: Qualitätswein [kvah-lee-tayts-viyn]
• Italy: Vino da Tavola [vee-no dah tah-vo-lah]

Just like home prices, it’s all about location, location, location. You should expect to pay more (maybe a lot more) for wines from prime Burgundy vineyards than for wines from lesser known areas. If you’re adventurous, lesser known areas often make lesser known wines (meaning with lesser known grapes) that are really great. You might not have heard of Puglia (Italy) or Toro (Spain) but you can find some wonderful value-priced wines from there.

In the New World, wines from South America are worth trying. Land and labor cost much less there and so do many of their wines. The two major wine producing countries that you can find in Norte America are Argentina and Chile. (Other South American countries produce wine but mostly for domestic consumption.)

Chilean wines follow the traditional grapes of France: Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Chile is also famous for a historical French grape called Carmenère; similar to Merlot and no longer grown in France. Another white wine grape in Chile is Torrontel (known as Torrontes in Argentina) which makes a light and crisp, refreshing wine. Look for value wines from Casablanca Valley and Central Valley wineries.

Argentina is the 5th largest wine producer in the world! They are famous for Malbec for red wines and Torrontes for whites and you’ll find Old World varietals too. Torrontes is always light and crisp in style but Malbec can be smooth and fruity or powerful and robust, depending on the wine maker’s techniques. You can even find easy and subtle Malbec Rosés that taste especially yummy on warm days. Many Argentine wines are from Mendoza but look for wines from La Rioja, Cordoba and Rio Negro as well.

You can still enjoy wine with your meals while saving money. A little knowledge and some smart shopping can give you liquid enjoyment for less dough.

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