How to Make the Holidays More Affordable
Tips from an anonymous sommelier
People tend to stock up on wine and spirits at the closest store, but that place may not have the best deals. Go to wine-searcher.com (an inventory database of several thousand stores nationwide) and enter the vintage or the wine’s name and your ZIP code to find the cheapest retailer in your area. Or fill your “cellar” with wines from affordable online retailers, like Zachys.com and Winelibrary.com. Both have a huge inventory and e-mail specials to customers on a weekly basis; you may be able to get discounts of up to 40 percent off or free shipping.
Also consider buying bottles from somewhat less prestigious wine-growing regions, such as Oregon; Santa Barbara, California; and France’s Loire Valley. These wines are priced up to 50 percent less than their more famous counterparts. A high-quality Bordeaux, for example, costs between $20 and $50, whereas a comparable bottle from the Loire Valley might cost as little as $10.