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6. Finding Better Value

Finding Better Value

Why are some wines more expensive than others? How do you know if you're getting a bargain or paying over the odds for something average?

This month's lesson will arm you with some amazing tips & tricks to get you better value in restaurants & shops. 

The full length video is on this page, and on our YouTube channel, and if you're after the speedier version you can find it here

There's more info on all of the wines below, and if you want to start building out a personal tasting profile - please tell us what you thought of each wine. We'll start collating that into a useful summary to help you describe what you do and don't like next time you're in a restaurant or wine shop.

Featured Wines

No. One

Txakoli / Txakolina

Country: Spain
Region: Basque Country
Sub-Region: Getaria
Producer: Ameztoi
Year: 2020
ABV: 11%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Txakoli wines are fun, fresh and light with zippy acidic streak. There's sometimes a slight effervescence, and a well trained Basque server might add to this by pouring your wine from a height (some might go on the floor but it's fun to watch). Because the region is less well known the wines are great value - if you like this check out Vinho Verde or Albarinos from further round the Atlantic coast.  

No. Two

Dry Furmint

Country: Hungary
Region: Tokaj
Sub-Region: n/a
Producer: TokajHétszőlő
Year: 2019
ABV: 13%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Tokaj in Hungary is famous for ultra sweet dessert wines - but they also make dry wines which are becoming more and more popular. Because of the thick skins of the grapes and the amount of sugar they accumulate they can make some really full bodied wines. Unlike the dessert wines which can be quite pricey because of the famous name - the dry wines are great value for money. They can age quite well and if you're looking for even more complexity & age at a very reasonable price - check this out for £19.50.

No. Three

Chenin Blend

Country: South Africa
Region: Swartland
Sub-Region: n/a
Producer: Mullineux
Year: 2020
ABV: 14%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Chenin is a fantastic grape, and South African Chenins are a good shout if you're looking for value. At the lower end of the scale you can find a £5 light and fresh version in Aldi which is an absolute steal. There are complex age-worthy versions like the one in this pack, and even more premium versions too. As well as South Africa you can find it in the Loire Valley in France where they make the famous Sparkling Cremant de Loire - a great value alternative to Champagne. 

No. Four

Blaufränkisch

Country: Austria
Region: Burgenland
Sub-Region: n/a
Producer: Franz Weninger
Year: 2018
ABV: 12.5%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

We love Pinot Noir - it's acidity and bright light berry flavours make it a great choice with food. But because it's so tricky to grow, good versions can be expensive. Blaufränkisch can be a great alternative if you're looking for something similar that doesn't break the bank. Low tannin, high acidity and a relatively small price tag make this a great option for a restaurant where the mark-ups are a little higher. 

No. Five

Languedoc Red Blend

Country: France
Region: Languedoc
Sub-Region: Corbières
Producer: Ollieux Romanis
Year: 2019
ABV: 14.5%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Sometimes you just need a decent bottle of wine at a reasonable price point that will please everyone. The Languedoc is a great place to find good value red-blends. This wine is a blend of Syrah, Grenache & Carignan from one of the Languedoc's more premium areas. It's powerful enough that you could have it with a steak - but it's pretty smooth as well so anyone who isn't a fan of tannin or is having a veggie option could still enjoy it. Corbières, Minervois & Fitou are some of the premium areas where you can get fantastic value. 

No. Six

Xinomavro

Country: Greece
Region: Naoussa
Sub-Region: n/a
Producer: Dalamára
Year: 2019
ABV: 13%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Looking for something complex, age worthy and interesting but don't want to shell out a tonne of money? Xinomavro is an up and coming grape from the increasingly popular region of Greece. Unusual flavours of tomato, tar & truffle are common with these wines - and they can age really well too. Many compare it to the Northern Italian Wines from Barolo - but these better value Greek alternatives won't cost you upwards of £40 a bottle for a good example.