This year, the American Association of Wine Economists conducted a tasting study with wines that ranged from $1.65 to $150 per bottle. The 506 wine tasters were unaware of the prices… and generally liked the more expensive wines less.

Proof that when it comes to wine, a higher price tag doesn’t necessarily buy you a better bottle.

Here are some tips for picking good, cheap wines:

  • Try fancier grocery stores, like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or World Market. My husband and I like to buy $4 bottles of wine from Trader Joe’s. So far, we’ve found a few we love… and a few we can do without. Some of these stores will have a wine person on staff who can suggest a good, cheap wine, too.
  • Buy a cheap wine from a good year. For example, 2005 was a phenomenal year for red Bordeaux wines. Even the cheaper ones jumped in quality. So if you’re looking for red, you might do well with a 2005 Bordeaux. To find good years for wines from the U.S. and other countries, you can check wine year charts. Here’s a great blog that provides easy-to-follow vintage charts for a number of nations: http://www.pocketvintages.typepad.com/

Remember… when it comes down to it, what really matters is whether or not you like it. Get yourself a wine label journal and save the labels from the bottles you like the most (and those you want to avoid).

You can get wine label journals online by searching for “wine label journal” at Google.com.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

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