Finding Quality, Affordable Wine in Your Own Backyard

Since my husband and I began drinking and enjoying wine on a somewhat regular basis we’ve discovered that you quickly tap out your local liquor store in a hurry. Most neighborhood stores carry the general, “bar” wines and big name labels you can get anyplace and it’s hard to find unique wines that you haven’t tried before. Here are some ways we’ve found that you can expand your repertoire without breaking the bank or traveling to far-off wine regions!

  1. Find a locally-owned liquor store that specializes in wines and make friends with the owner. Over time he/she will learn your tastes and will start to look out for wines you might enjoy. Sometimes they can even order specific wines you might have heard about that you want to try. My favorite in the Syracuse area is Vinomania, run by Gary Decker.
  2. If you are fortunate to live near a wine region, by all means visit! And while you’re tasting decide that you will purchase at least one bottle at each winery. By the time you’ve completed your journey you will likely have a new case of wines to enjoy.
  3. Sign up for a wine-of-the-month club, such as the WSJ Wine or Tasting Room. You can cancel at any time but before you think about canceling, you’ll have been introduced to many new types of wines without ever leaving your home. The shipments come complete with tasting notes so you can learn more about the wines as you drink them. Many clubs allow you to specify the types of wines you enjoy the most and some help you discover your tastes, if you aren’t sure!
  4. When visiting wineries, or locating them online, see if they have their own clubs where they regularly ship their wines and sign up! It’s another way to get new wines that you might not find at the local liquor store.

Finally, don’t discount the big box liquor stores in your community. If you have the time and patience, you can still find great buys to diversify your wine palette. Happy drinking!

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