Lazy Man has a really good post on how to save on wine  and I felt I should chime in on the tips I have (some of which overlap with Lazy’s take) since some of us will be partaking in the vino this upcoming holiday season (just don’t drive!).
- Try different types of wine: One of my favorite types of wine is a Riesling and the beauty of Riesling is that not many people are aware of it so demand is low. What happens when demand is low? Prices are low! You can get a good bottle of Riesling for under ten bucks and I remember a Smart Money piece on best wines under $10 featuring Rieslings.
- Go to wine festivals: Wine festivals are a great way to try out local wines and learn what you enjoy without the pressure of buying a whole bottle. For a few bucks you can see all the local wineries, check out their stuff, and usually get pretty good deals on case purchases. For us we discovered we were a fan of many of the wines from Boordy Wineries, a local winery, and so we picked up a case of wines on the cheap.
- Brand names don’t matter: Perhaps decades ago the technology was such that brand name wineries could buy the technology that smaller wineries didn’t have access to. With the latest and greatest, perhaps the big names were able to put out a superior product worth the premium. Now? With the advances in technology, I would argue that local wineries compete on the same level as brand names but add a personal touch you can’t get from a larger name. Nothing beats going to a winery and talking to the owner, it becomes an experience and not just a beverage.
- Pair decent wines with chocolate: It’s amazing what a nice piece of chocolate can do to accentuate a decent bottle of red. The richness of the chocolate really does offset the bite of a red yet still allow the flavor to come through. This idea is really about pairing, with chocolate as an example, because having a nice pairing really adds to the experience of wine.
- Invite over some friends! While it sounds like I’m going to talk about splitting the cost, this is really about enjoy the time spent drinking wine. You can get away with lower priced wines if the company is good since you’ll focus on the conversation and less on the wine.
There you go, enjoy those wines this holiday season and have a blast!