Drink Spanish wines
There are plenty of delicious and wonderful Spanish wines well under $20 and many excellent ones closer to the $10 mark. Look for Tempranillo (red wine) from Rioja, Ribera Del Duero and Toro. Look for Verdeho and Albariño, white wine varietals with tons of character and flavors. Drink Cava! This is Spanish sparkling wine that is hard to beat. You should find many good ones like Segura Viudas under the $10 mark.
Seek out wines from the Rhone Valley and Languedoc
It is amazing how many great red wine bargains you can find from these two areas in the south of France. The best way to find these wines is at a good local wine shop. K&L Wines in Redwood City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles always has a good supply. My local wine shop, Weimax in Burlingame, always has a gem of a Cotes du Rhone wine.
Open more than one bottle of wine
This is a great way to compare the characteristics of one varietal of wine and learn the different nuances of a varietal. We often open two bottles and drink them over two or three days and continue to compare them. Start with a non-oaky Chardonnay vs. an oaky Chardonnay. Pick a different theme each week. This is a great learning experience.
Organize a wine tasting party
Not only is this a lot of fun, but it is educational. On WineCountryGetaways.com you will find complete details on how to organize one of these parties. You will even find scoring sheets. Set a date on your calendar now!
Improve your smeller
First get into your spice cabinet and smell every spice. When you eat a piece of fruit, smell it and keep it locked into your memory bank. When you see a flower, smell it. If you really want to get serious, buy a smelling kit. Check Amazon for this one, The Wine Tasting Essence Kit. One technique you might try is to cover your wine glass with a piece of plastic. Swirl the wine for 5 to 10 seconds. Wait a few seconds and lift off the cover and smell. You will be surprised what you can pick up.
Buy a small notebook to keep on the kitchen table. Take notes on every wine you drink. Blast any terrific bargain finds to GoodCheapVino.
Visit a winery
Take a Saturday or Sunday drive, or better yet a weekday drive, to visit a winery. Visit one that not only has a tasting room but has vineyards and winemaking facilities. If they have a tour, take it! Use this handy Trip Planner/Winery Finder tool to find a California winery that fits your needs.
Read more Wine Blogs
GoodCheapvino is one for sure to keep at the forefront. If you have not done so, sign up to get our posts via email. That way you are sure not to miss a post. Vintage Wine Taster Mike recently started his own blog, MikeonWines. Jason’s wine blog always has some great tips if Trader Joes is your venue for finding wine bargains. There are many other good wine blogs that focus on wines under $20.
If you’ve made your own Wine Resolutions, we’d love to hear them.