BUT - I don't like drinking crap. In fact, I won't drink crap. If I buy a wine, and it's crap - it goes down the sink. This doesn't feel too bad because it wasn't a huge investment. So that's cheap wine buying tip #1 - No regrets. Obviously, you want to go by word of mouth & friendly recommendations as well. When flying blind, try familiar names, in particular - winemakers that make some good higher-priced wines typically also make some tasty cheap ones.
A couple examples -
- R collection by Raymond Vineyards
- Earlier this summer, my Publix had these BOGO (buy-one-get-one-free). Regular retail for $13. Thus, perfection. A wine toward the upper-end of my cheap wine definition, but I get it for below my lower-end usual purchase price. I got the Chardonnay & the Red Field Blend. Both were great. I'd have been happy to get them for $13. I was ecstatic when they were back on BOGO last week!
- Penfolds Koonunga Hills Shiraz Cabernet
- This, along with Monkey's Bay Sauvignon Blanc, were our table wines at our wedding. For whatever reason, we seem to have more occasions to drink the Shiraz Cab - so much so, it's been dubbed our "house wine." The price has gone up the past few years, but this wine still retails for under $15. When it goes on sale, it's worth stocking up! (The Sauv-ey is also a tasty treat btw!)
And here's a wine-drinking tip ... Get thee a vaccum wine saver!
If you live alone or live with someone who can't always partake with you (and you don't want to drink a whole bottle!), this little gadget allows you to have a glass without wasting the rest. So simple, yet totally amazing - cost: $5 ... value: priceless. The longest I've ever stretched a bottle was about 5 days / 3 opens.
And now ... for the possibly bad news.
I also frequently talk about "moderation" - again, this is a subjective term that could stand for a little definition. This is not really subjective. Remember that "glass" I just mentioned? One (5 oz) glass of wine daily is considered moderate alcohol intake for women. Men get 2. Equivalents are 12 oz beer or 1.5 oz spirits. And, no - it doesn't work to average it out & have 7 drinks all on Friday night.
Full disclosure: I probably had 7-8 oz of wine tonight.
Here's to cheap wine, moderation & happy hunting! ... TGIF! :)