For those who love wine but don’t have deep pockets, Reuters asked experts (published authors, a Master of Wine, and a Master Sommelier) for advice on how to select budget-friendly vino. Their feedback is useful, giving us a few basic rules of thumb to keep in mind:

  • Check out second-label wines. Producer of the most expensive Bordeaux in the world at $1,000 per bottle, Christian Moueiux also sells an eponymous Merlot for less than $20 a bottle.
  • Look to less popular regions. In wine, this means swapping “the most well-known appellations or regions such as Bordeaux or Burgundy” for a bottle from southwest France, like Languedoc or the Loire.
  • For worthwhile bargains, you can hardly go wrong with the varietals from the southern hemisphere, like Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and Chile. Argentina, in particular, stands out in offering wines reliable in taste and reasonable pricing ($30 or below).
  • Certain varietals conjure specific regional ties and this can be reflected in the price. Try looking into varietals from offbeat regions, like “a Pinot Grigio, a grape synonymous with Italy, from Slovenia [or wines] from Puglia, Abruzzo or Sicily, Italian regions often overlooked.”