Choosing a Cheaper Wine

The W(h)ine-o is back with a few more tips — this time on choosing a cheaper wine:

• Choose wine with labels that are less specific in origin. If the label says “Napa Valley,” it will cost more than one that says “California.”

• If you want a white wine, choose one that does not sit in (expensive) oak barrels, such as Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Pinot Grigio.

• Choose an unfamiliar or lesser-known grape. If less people know about it, they won’t ask for it, and the price will go down. (Of course it might be harder to find too). Ever heard of Torrontés, the Argentinean white grape? Me neither, so you won’t spend much for it.

• Choose wines from areas where labor costs are lower, such as Argentina or Chile. If it costs less to make, it will cost less to buy.

Speaking of cheap wines, I had the pleasure of trying the Red Bicyclette Syrah 2004 a while back.

Loved it. The palate is complex, yet well balanced, with lots of berry flavors and just the right amount of spice. It has a peppery aroma and medium weight, and the finish was especially long and pleasant. Plus, it has a very cute label.

$8.99 at Park East Wine & Spirits, 1657 York Ave at 87th St, 212-534-2093.

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4 Responses to “Choosing a Cheaper Wine”

  1. kayoko Says:

    great tips! love the label.

  2. kayoko Says:

    great tips! love the label.

  3. lakshman Says:

    The thing I like about cheap wines is that you can drink them today, instead of having to wait 10 years for them to mature. I have found many sub $10 wines that go down very smoothly.

    Chile and Argentina do offer some particularly good bargains.

    At the risk of exhausting my supply of what I now call my house wine, let me recommend — Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa — this year it comes in a screw top bottle. I have consumed several cases of the stuff, starting with the 2002 vintage – haven’t run into a false note yet.

    Have to try the Red Bicyclette.

  4. lakshman Says:

    The thing I like about cheap wines is that you can drink them today, instead of having to wait 10 years for them to mature. I have found many sub $10 wines that go down very smoothly.

    Chile and Argentina do offer some particularly good bargains.

    At the risk of exhausting my supply of what I now call my house wine, let me recommend — Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa — this year it comes in a screw top bottle. I have consumed several cases of the stuff, starting with the 2002 vintage – haven’t run into a false note yet.

    Have to try the Red Bicyclette.

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