At Jersey Wine & Spirits we love fine wines but we understand two important things. First, that not all great wines cost a lot of money. Second, that not everyone has a huge budget for wine. With a little information about a fantastic, expensive bottle of wine you can find an epic and affordable version of that wine at your local shop. Today we're going to break down an easy way to find affordable wines in your budget, no matter what that budget is.

Take Note of These Three Things

There are three things to note about an amazing, but expensive, bottle of epic wine in order to find a similar bottle that you can afford and will love.

Varietal

Varietal refers to the grape used to make a wine. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Torrontes, Voigner... these are all grapes that are used to make some favorite wines. Taking note of the varietal is the first step to finding an affordable alternative to the delicious bottle you were gifted. Blends are trickier because some bottles do not list the particular grapes. You may be able to find the individual grapes but looking online.

Region

Region denotes where the grapes were grown. When you try an epic wine that's out of your budget note all of the information about the region and not just the country. A varietal grown in the south of  Italy express the character of the grape differently than one grown in the north of the country. Coastal wines taste different from those inland. Region is a big part of terroir, the character of a wine that comes from climate, water, exposure to sun, and soil.  

Vintage

Vintage refers to the year in which the grapes were grown or made into wine. Certain years are good years and certain years are not so good, but generally wines within up to 10 years of each other will be of similar quality. It takes a few years for bigger differences to manifest.

Use Varietal, Region, & Vintage To Find Affordable Alternatives to Epic Wines

When you know a wine's varietal, region, and vintage but it's not in your budget you can use this information to explore other wines and find affordable alternatives. Let's say your boss invites everyone to dinner and orders a few bottles for the table. You particularly like this one, priced at around $85/bottle.

This is an epic cab sauv. Now let's find an affordable alternative.

This label shows us everything we need to know it order to find an affordable alternative to this epic wine. 

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Napa Valley, but more specifically Rutherford. This is a specific growing area within the larger Napa Valley region.
Vintage: 2009

Armed with this information you can find similar bottles in your budget by looking for wines made from the same grape, in the same area, in the same year. We recommend picking up a few as different winemakers have different styles. 

Despite this being an epic combination of varietal/region/vintage, a quick online search on wine.com brings up a $29.99 alternative: the Prominence Cabernet Sauvignon. At that price you can try it and, if you like it, add two more bottles to your collection for the same price as one of the Hewitt.

This is a great way to build an impressive tasting collection of wine without breaking the bank. Try it out and let us know your new favorite affordable alternative to an epic wine that's beyond what you're ready to spend. Or, come on in to Jersey Wine and Spirits and let's find one together.