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3 Wine Regions to Buy On a Budget

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Horacio Villalobos / Getty Images (Vineyard in Elvas, Portugal)

While I taste the best wines from all over the world, there is a time and place for everything. I am still a 33 year old that has to rent along with many of the other bills that come in every month. Today, I am here to expose 3 regions where high quality wines are made, but don’t hold a price point that is built on the backs of heavy marketing and branding. While price can be a good indication of the quality of wine, it isn’t always the final say. So make sure to try wines from these regions that will taste like a wine priced 2 to 3 times what you pay!

1. Portugal

If you ask most “Wine Drinkers” in America if they drink Portuguese wines, they will most likely know about Port before anything else. While they make some of the best after dinner wines in the world, there is a lot to be said about their normal, everyday wines as well. 

Over the past decade or so, more and more wines are coming out of Portugal. The popularity has exploded from the elevation in prices from some of the other places like France, Spain, and even the US. Their most famous white wines are the cheap, but extremely delicious Vinho Verdes. A little bit of bubbles makes for a fun white wine drinking experience, and you won’t have to spend more than $9 a bottle! 

The reds on the other hand can be a bit confusing with all the different indigenous grapes they use. In the end though, if you are spending $15 on a bottle of wine from Portugal, it will have the quality of wines that cost $30 to $50 in places like Bordeaux. Now is the time to drink and stock up on some of these wines, because they won’t be much of a secret as time goes on and the prices will rise like the rest of the world.

2. Mendoza

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the California wine industry had their biggest growth when it came to popularity.  With that came a major increase in pricing. Over time, some wines, especially Malbec, were making their way into the US and it slowly became the alternative to the California wines. The wines were very similar in style: big fruit flavors upfront, savory mid palate, and a long finish of vanilla from the oak.  

Now you can find an endless amount of wines and varietals coming out of Mendoza that rival some of the best in the world. I am constantly getting emails and notifications about wines scoring huge reviews and finding out that they only cost $15 to $20 a bottle! I don’t see this changing anytime soon, so you can bank on being able to get these wines at a reasonable price for some time to come.

3. New Zealand

New Zealand is synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc. It has been for some time, but we can thank those wines for opening our eyes to the other fun projects that are happening on the large island. The cool climate of the region creates very Old World style wines that keep the acidity high for crisp white wines, and the structure balanced in their reds. 

Sauvignon Blanc is still king there, but now we are seeing more and more other whites and red wines making their way across the Pacific Ocean.  Recently I have been blown away by Rieslings, Pinot Noirs, and even Bordeaux blends. Some of them are getting insanely high scores, and none are breaking the bank. Literally 90% of the wines coming from New Zealand are less than $25, and many of them drink like they would be $50 or more. I am extremely excited to see where these wines go in the future, but I hope that they will always be a great value to bring home.

So next time you are out at your favorite wine shop, make sure to ask the consultant there to point you in the right direction to not only try something new, but also try something that you may find yourself buying on a regular basis.

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