What do you think about when you hear “sommelier”? Someone whose goal is to try and sell you a bottle of wine that you can’t afford? Think again. We turn to sommeliers to discover new varietals, new regions, new pairings, and new favorite affordable wines. Yes, you read correctly. Our rockstar 2016 Sommeliers of the Year taste through countless bottles of wine all year long, not only sampling those rare, expensive bottles you can only dream about, but also unearthing amazing values. Read on for the very best bargain wines they found all year.
Christopher Bates, FLX Wienery/FLX Table, Finger Lakes, NY
2015 Joël Taluau, L’Expression St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil
Super bright and clean, but with great purity and structure. But what I find more exciting is, like Muscadet, this is a wine that you can guzzle without thought, and with or without food—but when you do want to listen, it has beautiful things to say. And while it drinks stunningly well young, it also develops beautifully. All that for 13 bucks!