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Best Wine For the Buck


BG2008
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Since we are a bunch of value conscious investors, I figure that our frugal ways should extend itself over to the way that we spend our dollars as well.  Wine is one of those things that I know nothing about and I think there are deep value in it.  Anyone has any suggestions to start out? 

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This is an area that I know quite a bit about. In my opinion the best wine for the buck is French wine.

 

I should say wine is tricky. First you must find your taste. Some people like reds, some people like whites. Some people like light bodied wines, some people like full bodied wines, and everything in between. Personally I like full bodied reds. There nothing beats côtes du rhône. What also helps is that the French are really anal about their designations (appellation d'origine contrôlée or AOC). Quality is very consistent in a French AOC as opposed to other places.

 

The caveat is that I say this as a Canadian. In the US prices are different that Canada. Furthermore, prices and availability of wines differs a lot from region to region in the US. So it's harder to say what is best in your location. But from a neutral location like Ontario I'll confidently say that the best price/quality, value for money is the French stuff.

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Value is difficult in wine because people have different tastes. And then there's the case that most sommeliers can't consistently identify specific wines in blind taste tests. Burgundy vs bordeaux vs boxed, with a blindfold you cannot tell. Really, it's all emotional in my opinion.

 

So, drink a bunch of wine (:D), find types you like, and go from there.

 

 

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I took viticulture at UC Davis many years ago. I don’t recall much from that class, but one memory stands out clearly. The instructor mentioned he was frequently asked what is the best wine. He told us that “the best wine is the cheapest wine that you like. If you drink anything else, you’re drinking your ego.”

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Find a good wine store. Each area has some discount stores that sell wine for fair prices and the good ones have recommended bargain wines displayed or you can ask staff. I found the advice to be quite sound.

 

I buy mostly based on area of origin and the grape rather than brand. I lived in CA in a wine growing area so I am partial to appellations I know. Alexander Valley and Russian River are my favorites.  I am also member of a wine club (for free) and have wines shipped to me from a  CA vineyard when they have low cost shipping and sales.

 

I try wine when I travel. We traveled last year though upstate NY and found the German grape varieties from the Finger lake area quite pleasing. They make a very good Rieslings, but those are not that well distributed outside the area of Origin.

 

I typically typically have  price target (~$15) and then best stuff in that range from above that I can buy. Luckily, the NH liquor stores close to where I live are wells stocked and fairly inexpensive and tax free.

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Research suggests that we perceive wines to taste better if we know that they are expensive. So if you really want to enjoy wine: pay up!

 

Value is difficult in wine because people have different tastes. And then there's the case that most sommeliers can't consistently identify specific wines in blind taste tests. Burgundy vs bordeaux vs boxed, with a blindfold you cannot tell. Really, it's all emotional in my opinion.

 

So, drink a bunch of wine (:D), find types you like, and go from there.

 

On a slightly more serious note: basically this. Try some wines instead of looking for 'deep value plays' right from the bat. I don't think the latter is the right mindset. Also, do some superficial research on what food pairs well with what type of wine (i.e. don't drink a Moscato with your steak). Matching wine complements good food and vice versa.

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The caveat is that I say this as a Canadian. In the US prices are different that Canada.

 

I'm not sure if this is true with wine too, but in Canada the European beer is taxed much lower than in the US.  A Belgian beer in Canada at the Ontario Liquor Store is 1/2 or less compared to the US.  At one point I purchased a 1L of Chimay for about $4, whereas the exact same bottle in the US was $13. 

 

My guess is imports, tariffs etc.

 

In PA French wine seems more expensive.  You can find bottles of Australian, Chilean, or Spanish under $10 with ease, but it's rare for French stuff to be under $10.  American wine is consistently under $10, but that's expected.

 

Like everyone else said, find your taste.

 

But if you're looking for a value play... We aren't huge wine drinkers, but enjoy it with certain meals.  You can get a Bota Box for $17, which is $5.6/liter, or about $4.20 per bottle.  It's table wine that is decent.  It's not bad like the cheap box wine, not awesome either, just average, and cheap.  We'll buy a box and have a glass with a meal.  For my wife and I a box will last a few weeks.  I have relatives that crush a box in a day or two, but if you were at that level I'm guessing you wouldn't be asking here.

 

Last thought. In my experience it's really difficult to taste differences in similar tiers of wine.  But you can definitely taste a difference between tiers.  For example, most $7 bottles are about the same.  And a $7 bottle is tough to differentiate from a $11 bottle.  But a $7 bottle tastes different than a $19 bottle.  And a $19 from $50 and $100 etc.

 

I've had some really expensive bottles and they were spectacular. I'm not sure they were worth the price, but the taste was much more complex and rich vs average bottles.

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If you are a REAL VALUE INVESTOR, this is what you should do:

 

1) Dumpster dive outside grocery stores until you find some old, thrown out grapes

 

2) Smash the grapes

 

3) Mix your new grape juice with the cheapest vodka you can find

 

4) Drink

 

:D This thread can be closed now.

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If you are a REAL VALUE INVESTOR, this is what you should do:

 

1) Dumpster dive outside grocery stores until you find some old, thrown out grapes

 

2) Smash the grapes

 

3) Mix your new grape juice with the cheapest vodka you can find

 

4) Drink

 

:D This thread can be closed now.

Not before publishing this link for further study:

http://bumwine.com

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Aldi has a red and white box that come to $2.75 a bottle and are almost as good as bota. I buy them because they are decent but not so good as to encourage over consumption. We used to belong to wineshopper and got some great deals there but I'm not sure they still have daily flash sales. There might be other daily flash sale sites you can join. I would definitely avoid joining individual winery clubs. We had memberships to a couple and just got sent stuff they couldn't move, at least in my opinion.

 

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If you are a REAL VALUE INVESTOR, this is what you should do:

 

1) Dumpster dive outside grocery stores until you find some old, thrown out grapes

 

2) Smash the grapes

 

3) Mix your new grape juice with the cheapest vodka you can find

 

4) Drink

 

Sounds like a 10 foot hurdle to me  ;)

 

I've been trying some of the wines at Aldi's and Trader Joes lately based on recommendations from friends and have found them to be decent and cheap. Not that I'm discerning enough to tell the difference.

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Buy "en primeur" in good years and hold. For example, I bought a 2015 magnum of Chateau Margaux. It has doubled in price from the time I purchased it. Not everything will work out this well, and some even decrease in value, but on average, this is a decent strategy. Downside of it is that you have to put down your money up front and wait approx. 3 years to receive your wine. Only buy from reputable stores. If your budget permits, buying in lots (12 bottles) will serve you better if you sell at auction, where you're likely to obtain the best resale price.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/En_primeur

 

 

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I like French wines. It’s the only wine that rarely gave me headache even if I drink too much. I think they have less sugar. My wife rarely drink but has very sensitive taste and she prefers French too.

 

Less sugar and less alcohol. The latter is more important for your headaches probably. :)

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If you are a REAL VALUE INVESTOR, this is what you should do:

 

1) Dumpster dive outside grocery stores until you find some old, thrown out grapes

 

2) Smash the grapes

 

3) Mix your new grape juice with the cheapest vodka you can find

 

4) Drink

 

I know someone who dumpster dive for fruit juice.  While I like a bargain, I like my dignity intact as well.  If you are serious, we can never be friends.  Dumpster diving is where I draw the line of people that I want to be friends with.  Because if you are financially secure, it is simply not acceptable in my books. 

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I don't think Foreign Tuffett is a real deep value dumpster diver. He probably just rummages around a bit in the top layers of garbage, i.e. no moldy grapes, no stains in t-shirt. Can you hypothetically still be friends with him in that case? What if I accidentally throw a kitchen knife in the garbage can? Would you unfriend me if I try to get it back a day later?

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If you are a REAL VALUE INVESTOR, this is what you should do:

 

1) Dumpster dive outside grocery stores until you find some old, thrown out grapes

 

2) Smash the grapes

 

3) Mix your new grape juice with the cheapest vodka you can find

 

4) Drink

 

I know someone who dumpster dive for fruit juice.  While I like a bargain, I like my dignity intact as well.  If you are serious, we can never be friends.  Dumpster diving is where I draw the line of people that I want to be friends with.  Because if you are financially secure, it is simply not acceptable in my books.

 

What if I was to tell you that I wear a snorkel when I dumpster dive? Does that make it more acceptable?

 

In all seriousness, the dumpster diving thing was just a joke. I actually obtained my collection of fine wines by searching alongside railroad tracks for bottles discarded by vagrants.

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