1. If the list is full of trophy wines, beware.
A wine director who is focused on cult Cabs and brand-name Bordeaux may be so fixated on the top of the list that he or she will give the bargain bottles short shrift.
2. Don’t be scared of obscure wines.
For some reason, these often dominate the bottom of high-end lists. But do ask the sommelier to tell you about the wine before you order it. (Note: This advice does not apply to South African Pinotage, which I always avoid.)
- How Good Is a Wine List’s Least Expensive Bottle?
- A Cheapskate’s Critique of Wine List Prices
- Bargain Wines
- Are the Wine Lists at Steak Houses Any Good?
3. Look for young white wines from particular regions.
Italy, Spain and France offer great values in young whites, especially from little-known areas like the Marches region (Italy), Galicia (Spain) and Bergerac (France).