Whether you’re buying a bottle for a friend’s dinner party or want to unwind after a busy day at work, saving money when buying wine makes it just a little bit better. You can indulge in a delicious bottle without spending the big bucks. Many cheap wines have a flavorful profile even when they haven’t gone through a lengthy aging or storing process.
If you think you have to spend a lot of money for a good bottle of wine, that’s not the case. Here are some tips to help you save when you’re out shopping for wine. Whether you’re looking to try something new or want to discover how you can save on your current favorites, our tips can help you decide when to splurge and when to save.
Is It Bad to Buy Cheap Wine?
Cheap wine is safe to drink, but the flavor profiles may differ from those expensive bottles you see on the top shelf. However, this does not mean you can’t find a good cheap wine. Ultimately, you want to find flavor profiles you enjoy. As long as you like the drink in your glass, you don’t have to spend a paycheck to indulge. Unless you’re a collector, there’s rarely any need to reach for the most expensive bottle.
Many new wine drinkers may prefer the taste of cheaper wines because they tend to be sweeter. When winemakers cut the fermentation process short, the residual sugar from the grapes makes for a sweeter, less expensive bottle.
When it comes to sharing your bottle with family and friends, the presentation of the wine matters more than the wine itself. One study found people enjoyed their wine more when they were told it was more expensive, even if this was false.
Is It Worth Buying Expensive Wine?
There are quite a few reasons why some bottles of wine are expensive. If you’re looking for a distinct flavor or only drink wine from certain regions of the world, you can expect to spend more for the perfect bottle. However, if you are looking for a delicious flavor and don’t have a preference over the label or grapes, you can choose bottles in an affordable range while still enjoying every sip.
Factors that make wine more expensive include:
- Age: Many people believe all wine is better with age. However, this is typically the case for red wines. Most white wines have the best flavor when you drink them young.
- Storage: Oak barrels give many wines the flavor you know and love. Cheap wines may spend less time in a barrel or have skipped this process. Although you may still enjoy the flavor, these wines could be infused with wood or flavor chips, giving them a lower price tag and a different taste than the authentic oak aging process.
- Labor: As with all services, you pay for the labor when you purchase a bottle of wine. Sometimes machines pick the grapes for your bottle, working up and down the rows to get every grape they can. Other times, a person will handpick the best grapes for each bottle. The more effort goes into making a bottle, the more you can expect to pay.
- Location: Vineyards capable of producing thousands of bottles can sell wine everywhere because they have the supply. Vineyards that have a smaller output can charge more for their wine because there’s a limited number of bottles available for purchase.
- Marketing: Intricate labels stand out on shelves compared to plain-label counterparts. Although they may be more eye-catching, the brands will not affect the wine inside the bottle, so think twice before reaching for the fancy design when you’re on a budget. After all, it all looks the same in your wine glass.
How to Find Good Wine on a Budget
Finding a good cheap wine may come down to exploration. You shouldn’t be afraid to try something new. Of course, you should always enjoy the glass you indulge with because you’ll waste money on a bottle you don’t like, even if you only spent $5 on it. If you’re unsure where to start, ask your friends and family for wine profiles you should try and consider splitting a bottle before buying your own. Additionally, consider going to a wine tasting where you can try new samples and experiment with your favorite flavors or find a new one.
1. Try Something New
Ask your friends and family for their favorite flavor profiles, or ask for recommendations from those working in the shop. Describe what you enjoy about wine, and consider trying a new bottle with a lower price tag. Shopping online can help you find more options that fit your palette without limiting you to local bottles.
Additionally, consider where your wine is from. Popular wines from renowned regions are usually in popular demand, and the cost can be higher. If you love the taste of pinot noir, consider finding a bottle from Oregon rather than California. On the other hand, if you love wine from a specific country, try a different type from the same region.
2. Give Whites a Chance
Because reds have a lengthier process for aging and storing, they tend to be more expensive than white wines. You can find dry whites to sweet ones with various flavors, from fruity or citrus to floral or spicy. You can swap a red for a white in many cases and save money simultaneously.
3. Ignore the Label
Whether you get the fancy design and intricate label or the plain Jane cover on the bottom shelf, the paper on the bottle won’t affect how your wine tastes. Labels are a marketing tactic that winemakers use to draw your attention. However, a thoughtful design does not indicate the taste or quality of the grapes or the aging and storing process.
Present your wine to yourself and your friends as if it is the most expensive bottle you could find. Make pouring the glass a treat rather than a chore. Remind yourself that your refreshing glass is a reward. Once it’s in your glass, the rest is up to you, and the label has nothing to do with how much you can enjoy your drink.
How Do You Buy Good Wine on a Budget?
Sometimes you just want your favorite type of wine without the high price tag. When you’re craving that special bottle and rich flavor, you can save money in several ways. Watch out for the good deals and consider buying more than one bottle to save in the long run. Check out more than your local store and ask your friends for recommendations.
1. Keep an Eye on Sales
Whenever you’re browsing through aisles of wine at your state store or grocery store, you’ve probably noticed select wines are often put out at discounted prices. This is a great way to save money, but you should also be a little wary.
If the retailer has some odds and ends they’re trying to move, you can get a great deal on a nice bottle. Stores will usually place these wines in bins at the ends of aisles. Whenever you’re out shopping, check these first to see if you can get a good deal.
However, not all “sale” wines are a real bargain. Wherever your store purchased its wine has its set price, and the store is at liberty to sell what they buy for whatever amount they choose. They may put one type of wine out at a lower price than usual, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best wine for your money.
2. Buy More Than One Bottle
You can save anywhere from 10% to 25% on wines if you’re willing to buy a case. Many retailers will give you a discount if you buy wine in bulk, which is the cheapest option over the long-term.
With some stores, you don’t even have to order the exact same wine for the entire case. Many online stores will let you mix and match, which is a great way to save money while also stocking up on a variety of your favorite types of wines.
Get your chardonnay for those lighter summer meals and some bottles of red, like pinot noir or merlot, to celebrate heavier holiday meals. Or, order your favorite wine to enjoy in front of the TV after a long day at work. You can get all your favorites and save money at the same time — it’s a win-win!
3. Check Around
Your routine may be to grab a bottle of wine while you’re grocery shopping or stopping by the state store that’s closest to your home. Even though these places may be the most convenient, they may not have the best prices. Ask around to see if you can find better deals on the wines you love. Friends, family and coworkers may have some useful tips.
Searching online can also help you compare prices to find the best wine for the money. There’s no need to drive all over town to find the best deal on a good bottle of wine. Check out our lists of the best wines under $20 and the best wines under $30!
Shop the Best Wine on a Budget
Buying the cheapest bottle you can find isn’t the best way to find a good wine, but there are plenty of ways to save while you’re wine shopping. At Marketview Liquor, we have a broad selection of wines and other spirits you can browse. Check out our premium selection of wines today! We offer free shipping on select bottles of 12 or more and a 10% mix-and-match case discount on select bottles of wine. You can also check out our owner Mike Palmeri’s top picks for wines that represent a great value for the price!
Browse our red selections or indulge in a white collection. You can shop by the bottle or select your favorite wine regions. Explore wine from a different state or find a new favorite from a renowned country. Whatever you’re looking for, Marketview Liquor has everything you need to find your new favorite wine at an affordable price.