Streams

Tips: A Cheapskate’s Wine Rules

Friday, July 27, 2007

1. Don’t drink Champagne, or for that matter, anything sparkling. It’s the most overpriced category on any already-inflated list, sometimes marked up as much as five times its wholesale cost.

2. Order half-bottles, not wines by the glass, the second most overpriced category. (The price of a glass is often equal to the wholesale cost of the bottle.)

3. If you’re drinking white wine, check out bottles from regions where you can still find excellent undervalued, or at least better-priced, whites: the Loire and Gascogne (France); Sardinia and Le Marche (Italy); and Rueda and Galicia (Spain). In the United States, Pinot Gris from Oregon is a good bet.

4. If you’re drinking red wine, look at bottles from the following still (somewhat) overlooked or underpriced regions: Vacqueyras, Gigondas and Crozes-Hermitage (all in the Rhône valley) and Madiran (France); Campania and Sicily (Italy); Anderson Valley (California); Mendoza (Argentina).

5. Bring your own wine and pay a corkage fee. Depending on the restaurant, this can range from $15 to $45, although some places, especially in New York, won’t allow you to do so. Call first.

Credit: Food & Wine

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