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Wine Buying Guide: 5 Tips for Frugal Drinkers

Wine Buying Guide: 5 Tips for Frugal Drinkers

Keep this advice in mind whenever you're contemplating ordering the least expensive wine on a restaurant's list

1. If the list is full of trophy wines, beware.

A wine director who is focused on cult Cabs and brand-name Bordeaux may be so fixated on the top of the list that he or she will give the bargain bottles short shrift.

Slideshow: Top 10 No-Fail Tips for Picking a Stellar Wine Off a Wine List

2. Don't be scared of obscure wines.

For some reason, these often dominate the bottom of high-end lists. But do ask the sommelier to tell you about the wine before you order it. (Note: This advice does not apply to South African Pinotage, which I always avoid.)

Slideshow: World's Weirdest Wines

3. Look for young white wines from particular regions.

Italy, Spain, and France offer great values in young whites, especially from little-known areas like the Marches region (Italy), Galicia (Spain), and Bergerac (France).

Slideshow: Fantastic Value Wines

4. Ask about the importer

Before buying an unfamiliar wine from the bottom of a list, ask the sommelier to tell you who the importer is; a few specialize in finding good, inexpensive wines. Some names to look for are Hand Picked Selections, Fine Estates from Spain, European Cellars, Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, and Leonardo LoCascio Selections.

Slideshow: 15 Rules for Great Wine and Food Pairing

5. Don't order the cheapest wine on any list in Miami's South Beach district.

Or at least, don't expect it to be a bargain.

Slideshow: 16 Bargain Wines

—Lettie Teague

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5 Best Wine Coolers and Wine Fridges for Every Budget in 2020

All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you're a budding wine aficionado, you've probably (definitely) found yourself lusting after wine fridges. But are they worth the investment? And, if so, what are the best wine fridges, really?

It's certainly true that storing your wine at a consistent, regulated temperature (that’s generally somewhere between 45°F and 50°F for whites and between 55°F and 65°F for reds) is important. Over time, temperature variations cause the wine cork to expand and contract, which in turn sucks unwanted oxygen into the bottle and kills your wine.

Fitted with horizontal bottle racks, standalone wine coolers can store your wines at a fixed temperature to prevent oxidation and change in flavor—and, of course, they'll ensure that wines are held at the optimal temperature for serving, too. Plus, given the wide range of varietals and styles of wines you might be storing, many wine fridges offer multiple temperature zones.

But, even so, is it really worth shelling out hundreds (or sometimes thousands!) of dollars for a wine refrigerator if you’re only keeping a few bottles around to be consumed relatively quickly? And if you are going to invest, what are the best wine fridges to buy? We tapped sommelier John Slover, currently corporate beverage director at New York City’s Major Food Group to answer these burning questions.


5 Best Wine Coolers and Wine Fridges for Every Budget in 2020

All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you're a budding wine aficionado, you've probably (definitely) found yourself lusting after wine fridges. But are they worth the investment? And, if so, what are the best wine fridges, really?

It's certainly true that storing your wine at a consistent, regulated temperature (that’s generally somewhere between 45°F and 50°F for whites and between 55°F and 65°F for reds) is important. Over time, temperature variations cause the wine cork to expand and contract, which in turn sucks unwanted oxygen into the bottle and kills your wine.

Fitted with horizontal bottle racks, standalone wine coolers can store your wines at a fixed temperature to prevent oxidation and change in flavor—and, of course, they'll ensure that wines are held at the optimal temperature for serving, too. Plus, given the wide range of varietals and styles of wines you might be storing, many wine fridges offer multiple temperature zones.

But, even so, is it really worth shelling out hundreds (or sometimes thousands!) of dollars for a wine refrigerator if you’re only keeping a few bottles around to be consumed relatively quickly? And if you are going to invest, what are the best wine fridges to buy? We tapped sommelier John Slover, currently corporate beverage director at New York City’s Major Food Group to answer these burning questions.


5 Best Wine Coolers and Wine Fridges for Every Budget in 2020

All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you're a budding wine aficionado, you've probably (definitely) found yourself lusting after wine fridges. But are they worth the investment? And, if so, what are the best wine fridges, really?

It's certainly true that storing your wine at a consistent, regulated temperature (that’s generally somewhere between 45°F and 50°F for whites and between 55°F and 65°F for reds) is important. Over time, temperature variations cause the wine cork to expand and contract, which in turn sucks unwanted oxygen into the bottle and kills your wine.

Fitted with horizontal bottle racks, standalone wine coolers can store your wines at a fixed temperature to prevent oxidation and change in flavor—and, of course, they'll ensure that wines are held at the optimal temperature for serving, too. Plus, given the wide range of varietals and styles of wines you might be storing, many wine fridges offer multiple temperature zones.

But, even so, is it really worth shelling out hundreds (or sometimes thousands!) of dollars for a wine refrigerator if you’re only keeping a few bottles around to be consumed relatively quickly? And if you are going to invest, what are the best wine fridges to buy? We tapped sommelier John Slover, currently corporate beverage director at New York City’s Major Food Group to answer these burning questions.


5 Best Wine Coolers and Wine Fridges for Every Budget in 2020

All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you're a budding wine aficionado, you've probably (definitely) found yourself lusting after wine fridges. But are they worth the investment? And, if so, what are the best wine fridges, really?

It's certainly true that storing your wine at a consistent, regulated temperature (that’s generally somewhere between 45°F and 50°F for whites and between 55°F and 65°F for reds) is important. Over time, temperature variations cause the wine cork to expand and contract, which in turn sucks unwanted oxygen into the bottle and kills your wine.

Fitted with horizontal bottle racks, standalone wine coolers can store your wines at a fixed temperature to prevent oxidation and change in flavor—and, of course, they'll ensure that wines are held at the optimal temperature for serving, too. Plus, given the wide range of varietals and styles of wines you might be storing, many wine fridges offer multiple temperature zones.

But, even so, is it really worth shelling out hundreds (or sometimes thousands!) of dollars for a wine refrigerator if you’re only keeping a few bottles around to be consumed relatively quickly? And if you are going to invest, what are the best wine fridges to buy? We tapped sommelier John Slover, currently corporate beverage director at New York City’s Major Food Group to answer these burning questions.


5 Best Wine Coolers and Wine Fridges for Every Budget in 2020

All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you're a budding wine aficionado, you've probably (definitely) found yourself lusting after wine fridges. But are they worth the investment? And, if so, what are the best wine fridges, really?

It's certainly true that storing your wine at a consistent, regulated temperature (that’s generally somewhere between 45°F and 50°F for whites and between 55°F and 65°F for reds) is important. Over time, temperature variations cause the wine cork to expand and contract, which in turn sucks unwanted oxygen into the bottle and kills your wine.

Fitted with horizontal bottle racks, standalone wine coolers can store your wines at a fixed temperature to prevent oxidation and change in flavor—and, of course, they'll ensure that wines are held at the optimal temperature for serving, too. Plus, given the wide range of varietals and styles of wines you might be storing, many wine fridges offer multiple temperature zones.

But, even so, is it really worth shelling out hundreds (or sometimes thousands!) of dollars for a wine refrigerator if you’re only keeping a few bottles around to be consumed relatively quickly? And if you are going to invest, what are the best wine fridges to buy? We tapped sommelier John Slover, currently corporate beverage director at New York City’s Major Food Group to answer these burning questions.


5 Best Wine Coolers and Wine Fridges for Every Budget in 2020

All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you're a budding wine aficionado, you've probably (definitely) found yourself lusting after wine fridges. But are they worth the investment? And, if so, what are the best wine fridges, really?

It's certainly true that storing your wine at a consistent, regulated temperature (that’s generally somewhere between 45°F and 50°F for whites and between 55°F and 65°F for reds) is important. Over time, temperature variations cause the wine cork to expand and contract, which in turn sucks unwanted oxygen into the bottle and kills your wine.

Fitted with horizontal bottle racks, standalone wine coolers can store your wines at a fixed temperature to prevent oxidation and change in flavor—and, of course, they'll ensure that wines are held at the optimal temperature for serving, too. Plus, given the wide range of varietals and styles of wines you might be storing, many wine fridges offer multiple temperature zones.

But, even so, is it really worth shelling out hundreds (or sometimes thousands!) of dollars for a wine refrigerator if you’re only keeping a few bottles around to be consumed relatively quickly? And if you are going to invest, what are the best wine fridges to buy? We tapped sommelier John Slover, currently corporate beverage director at New York City’s Major Food Group to answer these burning questions.


5 Best Wine Coolers and Wine Fridges for Every Budget in 2020

All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you're a budding wine aficionado, you've probably (definitely) found yourself lusting after wine fridges. But are they worth the investment? And, if so, what are the best wine fridges, really?

It's certainly true that storing your wine at a consistent, regulated temperature (that’s generally somewhere between 45°F and 50°F for whites and between 55°F and 65°F for reds) is important. Over time, temperature variations cause the wine cork to expand and contract, which in turn sucks unwanted oxygen into the bottle and kills your wine.

Fitted with horizontal bottle racks, standalone wine coolers can store your wines at a fixed temperature to prevent oxidation and change in flavor—and, of course, they'll ensure that wines are held at the optimal temperature for serving, too. Plus, given the wide range of varietals and styles of wines you might be storing, many wine fridges offer multiple temperature zones.

But, even so, is it really worth shelling out hundreds (or sometimes thousands!) of dollars for a wine refrigerator if you’re only keeping a few bottles around to be consumed relatively quickly? And if you are going to invest, what are the best wine fridges to buy? We tapped sommelier John Slover, currently corporate beverage director at New York City’s Major Food Group to answer these burning questions.


5 Best Wine Coolers and Wine Fridges for Every Budget in 2020

All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you're a budding wine aficionado, you've probably (definitely) found yourself lusting after wine fridges. But are they worth the investment? And, if so, what are the best wine fridges, really?

It's certainly true that storing your wine at a consistent, regulated temperature (that’s generally somewhere between 45°F and 50°F for whites and between 55°F and 65°F for reds) is important. Over time, temperature variations cause the wine cork to expand and contract, which in turn sucks unwanted oxygen into the bottle and kills your wine.

Fitted with horizontal bottle racks, standalone wine coolers can store your wines at a fixed temperature to prevent oxidation and change in flavor—and, of course, they'll ensure that wines are held at the optimal temperature for serving, too. Plus, given the wide range of varietals and styles of wines you might be storing, many wine fridges offer multiple temperature zones.

But, even so, is it really worth shelling out hundreds (or sometimes thousands!) of dollars for a wine refrigerator if you’re only keeping a few bottles around to be consumed relatively quickly? And if you are going to invest, what are the best wine fridges to buy? We tapped sommelier John Slover, currently corporate beverage director at New York City’s Major Food Group to answer these burning questions.


5 Best Wine Coolers and Wine Fridges for Every Budget in 2020

All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you're a budding wine aficionado, you've probably (definitely) found yourself lusting after wine fridges. But are they worth the investment? And, if so, what are the best wine fridges, really?

It's certainly true that storing your wine at a consistent, regulated temperature (that’s generally somewhere between 45°F and 50°F for whites and between 55°F and 65°F for reds) is important. Over time, temperature variations cause the wine cork to expand and contract, which in turn sucks unwanted oxygen into the bottle and kills your wine.

Fitted with horizontal bottle racks, standalone wine coolers can store your wines at a fixed temperature to prevent oxidation and change in flavor—and, of course, they'll ensure that wines are held at the optimal temperature for serving, too. Plus, given the wide range of varietals and styles of wines you might be storing, many wine fridges offer multiple temperature zones.

But, even so, is it really worth shelling out hundreds (or sometimes thousands!) of dollars for a wine refrigerator if you’re only keeping a few bottles around to be consumed relatively quickly? And if you are going to invest, what are the best wine fridges to buy? We tapped sommelier John Slover, currently corporate beverage director at New York City’s Major Food Group to answer these burning questions.


5 Best Wine Coolers and Wine Fridges for Every Budget in 2020

All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you're a budding wine aficionado, you've probably (definitely) found yourself lusting after wine fridges. But are they worth the investment? And, if so, what are the best wine fridges, really?

It's certainly true that storing your wine at a consistent, regulated temperature (that’s generally somewhere between 45°F and 50°F for whites and between 55°F and 65°F for reds) is important. Over time, temperature variations cause the wine cork to expand and contract, which in turn sucks unwanted oxygen into the bottle and kills your wine.

Fitted with horizontal bottle racks, standalone wine coolers can store your wines at a fixed temperature to prevent oxidation and change in flavor—and, of course, they'll ensure that wines are held at the optimal temperature for serving, too. Plus, given the wide range of varietals and styles of wines you might be storing, many wine fridges offer multiple temperature zones.

But, even so, is it really worth shelling out hundreds (or sometimes thousands!) of dollars for a wine refrigerator if you’re only keeping a few bottles around to be consumed relatively quickly? And if you are going to invest, what are the best wine fridges to buy? We tapped sommelier John Slover, currently corporate beverage director at New York City’s Major Food Group to answer these burning questions.


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