There are plenty of good, cheap wines out there, you just have to know how to choose them. And some wines really need a little extra TLC, which makes it more expensive and you should splurge a little to get a better one. Here are a few wines you can get on the cheap and a few you just shouldn’t.
Save: Cabernet Sauvignon. Because it’s made from durable grapes that thrive well in most conditions, this vino is easier to make. So finding a tasty, budget bottle is easy.
Save: Sparkling wine. You don’t have to spend big bucks on actual Champagne, which is more expensive because you’re paying for the brand of grapes that come from a small part of France. You can get Cava, which is bubbly from Spain that’s made exactly like Champagne. And there’s prosecco and sparkling wine, which are more affordable forms of fizz.
Save: Vinho Verde. If you haven’t tried this white wine from Portugal, you should give it a sip this summer. It’s light and delicious and perfectly refreshing on a hot day. And the best part is you can find a fantastic bottle for less than 10 bucks.
Splurge: Pinot Noir. So this wine is pretty much the opposite of Cabernet Sauvignon. The grape is thin-skinned and conditions need to be just right to create the flavors you love in a Pinot Noir. Cheap ones don’t always get the care they need, so they’re just not as good.
Splurge: Chardonnay. This wine gets a bad rap for being too sweet or generally “oakey” but that’s because cheap versions skip the real oaking process and add artificial flavors, leaving you with a nasty wine hangover. Aging wine in an oak barrel is expensive but it makes Chardonnay smoother, so spend more to get the best flavor.