1. Buy wine from regions that aren’t as famous. Land costs for growers in these areas are lower, and thus they can pass on their savings in the price of their wines. For example, opt for a wine from Paso Robles, California, rather than Napa.
2. Choose lesser-known grape varieties. Think Petite Sirah, not Cabernet Sauvignon. Go to iwinedb.com to learn about different kinds of wine.
3. Buy wine from warmer climates, such as Spain, California, or Australia. Successful grape harvests are more reliable there, keeping prices down.
4. Try out wine festivals for great deals on samples. Check out Localwineevents.com for wine events in your area.
5. Before buying a bottle, ask the wine shop staff if it should be aged more for optimum drinkability. If you want a wine to drink that night, don’t buy a bottle of Riesling, for example, that’s meant to live in a cellar for five years. Cellarnotes.net provides an aging guide for different types of wine.