Eight ways to enjoy wine more in 2018

which wine books are best

Learn more about wine in 2018

Eight ways to enjoy wine more in 2018 – Start Now!

For you wine aficionados out there who enjoy drinking wine without spending a fortune, we suggest eight ways to enjoy wine more in 2018. Try one or more of these activities to enhance your 2018 wine enjoyment. 

Try wines from around the world

Is this you: Choosing only California wines? Sticking with one variety of wine? There are so many fantastic wines from all over the world that are unique and with a “sense of place.” Expand your wine horizons. Try wines from within the wine regions of Spain, Italy, France and other countries. Each week try a wine from a different part of the wine world. More often than not, European and South American wines are better wine values than domestic wines. Which bring us to number two.

spanish wines bargains

Have you tried Spanish wines from Priorat, Rioja, Rias Baixas, Cariñena regions?

Shop for wines in many places

Despite what wine snobs will tell you, Supermarkets have some excellent wine choices and often great sales. Supermarket wines do have limitations especially in small boutique wines and wines from around the world. Wine shops offer more diversity in small wineries, varieties, and wines from different countries. Wine shops have a well-educated staff.  They sample wines often and travel the world in search of good wines. We like these two wine shops near our location, Weimax Wines and K&L Wines. Weimax offers a newsletter several times during the year with a list of “Best Buys.” K&L Wines offers an email alert for bargain wines of exceptional value. If you do not have a “go to” wine shop, make finding one a priority in 2018.

K&L Wines San Francisco

The K&L Wine shop on Harrison in San Francisco


Jug wines are neither good nor bad, but move onward

Jug wines, 1.5 litters or gallon size are much better today than 20 years ago. But overall, they do not offer what the 750 ml wines do. I find that jug wines have little to offer in aroma, complexity, or in the aftertaste. Jug wines are without character. In 2017 our Vintage Wine Tasting Club blind tasted 3-liter box wines. We really did not care for any of those. Box wines are in the same category as jug wines. Yes, there are some very bad 750 ml wines as well,  Two-Buck-Chuck comes to mind. Be selective and, of course, be a faithful reader of GoodCheapVino.com

jug wines

1.5 liters jug wine – good nor bad but time to step it up a notch

Read the wine label, front and back

Read both the front and back labels of the wine. Wine labels are highly informative once you understand the labeling requirements for wines. Do you know what it means when a wine label says “Napa Valley” or “California?” Do you know what “Vinted and Bottled” means on the back label? You should! Here is a link to an article written by Montemaggior- winemaker Lise Ciolino, “Wine Labels 101.

Back label Pontificis

Back label Pontificis

Age some 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley Cabernet in 2014, as well as 2013, was a spectacular vintage. Climate conditions produced one the best back-to-back harvests in years. The Napa Valley 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon wines are still on the shelves. Put away as many bottles as you can and sample every so often. Two we recommend are currently in many Costco Stores.  Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and the Black Stallion Napa Valley Cabernet for $18.99 and $17.99. They will benefit from proper cellaring. Aging will double your purchase price in three years.

Which of these Cabs should you be buying at Costco

Which of these Cabs should you be buying at Costco

Cook a gourmet meal once a week – it gives understanding to wine and food matching

Cooking gives you a better understanding of wine and food matches. As you prepare a meal, you can visualize a wine that will go with the meal. The cooking smells and aromas tend to spark the memory bank in the brain. “Yes, a Pinot Noir would just be perfect with this dish.”  There are many cookbooks or websites that help. List of CookbooksHere is a good introduction to wine and food pairing by celebrity Chef Jeffrey Saad.

Visit wine country once or twice, or more, this year – it’s educational

Planning a trip to the wine country is always a very fun experience. It is also educational. The climate and soil, pruning and trellis techniques, fermenting and aging, all vary from one winery to another. Don’t just travel to the Napa Valley, but also try other lesser-known wine regions as in Santa Cruz, Sierra Foothills, or Lodi. If you have the time and money, try going to wine country outside of the U.S.

Macchia – One of Lodi’s many small and family-owned wineries

Splurge a few times during the year

GoodCheapVino.com is all about discovering fantastic wines under $20. How does a $50 bottle of Pinot Noir compare to your $15 Pinot? Spurlging on wine is a good way to develop a base for the taste of a top-quality wine. How does your good cheap vino compare?  When we taste and recommend wines, we judge it based on what we have experienced from tasting outstanding wines.

white burgundies

White Burgundies – expensive but nice to try every now and then



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