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How To Buy Good Wines Cheaply

By Zaithyn Galter Published 11/21/2007 | Food & Drink

No matter what you may have heard elsewhere, buying good wines cheaply is easy. Simply follow these useful tips and youll be well on the way to finding great value wines without compromising quality.

Firstly, always back the little guy. By this, we mean hunting down small, boutique wineries, which dont have large advertising budgets to convince you to buy their wines, or cash to buy space on supermarket shelves. Instead, the only way that they can get their wines noticed is to ensure that the quality is of a very high standard. Wines of this type can be bought from retailers who support small producers.

When looking for a decent, cheap wine, a good tip is to seek out less fashionable regions. The wine trade is obsessed with fashion and the result of this can be a compromise in quality. Wine estates in Bordeaux and California for example, are often more known for their investments by millionaires, rather than the wine itself. So to enjoy good wines without the fashion tag, you should search out the retailers who source their wines from places that make similar wines. Chilean Cabernet Merlot is a good alternative to Bordeaux, while Grenache/Syrah blends are a perfect substitute to Chateauneuf du Pape and Chilean Chardonnay is to Chablis. And dont forget New World fizz if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to Champagne.

Another useful hint is to avoid wine brands and heavily advertised wines. Why? Well, large brand wines are produced in significant volumes, using mass production techniques, and as winemakers look to achieve consistency, they compromise quality by using artificial processes such as adding sugars and adding citric acid to their wines. In addition, they heavily promote and market their wines, meaning that significant mark ups are likely.

Similarly, big name bargains are a definite no no. Although, through their buying power, supermarkets and large wine retailers can force producers to sell wines at incredibly low prices, they can only do this at the expense of the quality of the wine. To make ends meet, producers will be forced to plant on land that isnt good enough to bear the regions name or worse, they will increase yields and dilute the wines. So while a bottle of Chablis for a fiver may sound great, we guarantee that it will leave you feeling disappointed!

Finally, make sure that you buy your wine from an online wine retailer. Online wine retailers will offer you far better value for money compared to supermarkets and ordinary merchants, as they dont incur many of the building costs, which are then passed on to you, the customer. Also, as online retailers arent restricted by shelf space, they can offer an unlimited range of wines that ordinary merchants dont necessarily have space for.

Louise Truswell has been working in and writing about the wine business for years. Buying good wines cheaply is that simple.