The most renowned wine regions are known for great wines—at great cost. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here, Ray Isle tastes through six of the world’s great regions and uncovers fantastic values in each.
Paying Less for Prestige
Everyone loves a great Bordeaux or a profound Napa Cabernet, but very few people want to pay $100 for a bottle. The good news is that there are always hidden values to be found, even in the world’s most prestigious wine regions. France’s Bordeaux and Rhône Valley, Australia’s Barossa Valley, Italy’s Piedmont, Germany’s Mosel-Saar-Ruwer and the Napa Valley in California all produce terrific wines for $20 and under.
Tips for Finding Value
Some guidelines and tips on 52 great values from six of the world’s greatest wine regions:
These regions have famous zones that produce the most expensive wines, but they also have less-elite or up-and-coming regions that offer great value, like Côtes de Castillon in Bordeaux and Côtes-du-Rhône in the Rhône.
Top producers here sometimes sell off excess grapes to négociant companies, which bottle wine under their own labels and sell it at affordable prices. More »
Many of this region’s star wine producers make a range of wines at every price. More »
Many Mosel producers, in addition to bottlings labeled with the traditional wine classifications (Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese), are also offering appealing, good-value “estate” wines. More »
Nebbiolo garners most of the critical acclaim in Piedmont, but wines made from Barbera and Dolcetto varieties can be equally distinctive, full of bright fruit, zesty acidity and a true sense of place. They’re also typically much less expensive. More »