We’ve talked about saving money on healthy food, fast food, and even listed more ways to save money on food, but we haven’t talked about how to save money on wine yet. Let me start by saying that there are really three levels of wine drinkers. The most distinctive is the wine connoisseur. A connoisseur prefers only the best wines, and often spends a hundred or more dollars on a bottle of wine. If this is you, then this article is not written for you.
There are two other kinds of wine drinkers. The first is the type of person that really doesn’t care what wine they drink. My friend refers to himself as a wine “commonsewer”, which would fit this type of person. If you fit this category, then again, this article is probably not for you. You can easily find the cheapest wine out there without much problem. May we suggest Trader Joe’s?
Finally, the third type of wine drinker, as defined by me, is the person that likes good wine but doesn’t want to spend very much money. They are often happy with $10 bottles and they occassionally splurge on a nicer bottle. If this fits your category, then this article is for you. Now, let’s look at how you can actually save money when buying good wine.
Methods to Save Money on Wine
Buy from less popular countries or wineries. The first trick to get good wine for low prices is to find the less popular but still good wines. For example, instead of choosing wines from France, look for wines from Spain, Greece and Chile. Stay away from popular wines and you should be able to cut 25% off your wine costs.
Look for Private Label wines. Private label wines are basically wines that are produced from a winery but that have a different winery’s name on the bottle. In some cases, high end wine makers sell almost identical wine under different labels that can be much cheaper than the brand name wine. To find wines like this, you’ll have to do your research. I have seen several examples of this in the past but can’t remember any of the names.
Take notes and try new kinds. The only way to know if you like a wine is to try it. Often, we find a good bottle of wine and then forget to write the name down and then can’t find the wine again. Each time you try a wine, take notes. Not mental notes but actually write it down somewhere. If you have a smartphone just go to your notes section and jot down the name of the bottle, year, and your impressions. If you really get into this, you can make a spreadsheet or take pictures of each bottle and attach it to your notes. You could even make a wine journal.
Use and app or a website. Perhaps the best way to save money is by using a website or a phone app to check the prices and the rating while you are at the store. Visit your favorite wine store and look up the wines that are on sale to see if they have good reviews. Also, wine-searcher.com, can help you locate and price wines in your area. If you are armed with this information at the store, you can likely get the manager there to match other prices. If not, at least you can find what really is a good deal.
Shop Costco and World Market. Two great places for wine are Costco and World Market. Costco is known for having great wine, and the prices are closer to wholesale than retail. That means you can save 20-30% over other locations. World Market uses a cost plus markup method to price their wine. They also have a huge selection, with many of the wines on sale.
Bring your own bottle to restaurants. Of course the best way to save money on wine is to not buy it from a restaurant. Especially the “recommended” wines at restaurants. The average restaurant will sell a $7 bottle of wine for as much as $25. So if you’re going to drink wine at a restaurant, find a restaurant that allows you to bring your own. Most restaurants will allow it, but most also charge a corking fee that can be anywhere from $5 to $25, so check with the restaurant before you go to see if you should bring your own wine or perhaps choose another restaurant.
What Others Are Saying About Saving Money on Wine
In many of our posts we look around the web to see what others are saying about the same topic. It gives us fresh ideas and helps you find a way to save money that will work for you. For starters, let’s look at what Lazy Man and Money had to say:
- Make Your Own – We’ve made our own beer, but we haven’t ventured into the wine area yet. With Two Buck Chuck available to us, the motivation for making our own wine would simply be for the fun of learning a new skill.
- Wine Aerator – One of the best ways to save money on wine is to make the most of a cheaper wine. A wine aerator is a quick way to get oxygen into the wine. If you’ve ever heard of letting a wine breathe, this is the equivalent.
- Mulling Spices – My wife introduced mulling spices to me earlier this week. The mix of clove, cinnamon, and other spices really enhance a glass of red wine. This time of year it can get pretty cold outside. Mulled wine is an excellent way to warm up your insides.
Read the rest of this at save money on wine. These are some great points. I’ve actually made three batches of my own wine. It’s not that much cheaper than buying the wine yourself if you factor in all of the chemicals, yeasts, bottles and equipment. Also, my wine wasn’t nearly as good as the stuff you buy in the store. It is good for making Sangria though. Also, the post at Lazy Man identified boxed wine as a way to save money. I had totally forgotten about that. It has the reputation of being really cheap wine but some of the boxed wines are actually pretty good quality, and they last much longer if you don’t drink them very quickly.
Thanks for reading! And please let us know how you save money on your wine!