How to Find the Best Wines on a Budget

“Do I have to give up wine?” That was one of my big questions when figuring out what costs to cut. For Chandra Savage, a Level 2 trainer at the Financial Gym, wine is also something that’s on the “must have” list. She’s currently studying to be a Specialist with Society of Wine Educators and has an Intermediate Certification in Wine Studies from International Wine Center.

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“Mouth, meet wine,” was Chandra’s mantra as she began teaching a literal Wine & Learn tasting journey on May 9. “Wine is a mindset. Don’t think about it as cheap wine, it’s affordable wine.” The FG community tried three wines from Bottlerocket (5 W. 19th St) that stretched the funds for white, rosé and red options.

White – “Kung Fu Girl” (Riesling)- $14.00

Chandra Tips:

·      Is choosing the bottle by how pretty the label is a bad idea?

“Not necessarily. Cartoons tend to be less expensive. Avoid bottles that have seals that look like anything ‘royal’ – that will come with a big price point.”

·      How can I keep my wine cold and add flavor?

“Freeze another type of wine, like grapefruit rosé, and add it into a glass of cava or pinot grigio. I use the frozen ball ice trays, you can buy them at the dollar store.”

Rosé – “Yes Way Rosé” (Rosé) - $15.00

Chandra Tips:

·      What’s the difference between cheap and expensive wines? 
“Food changes your wine experience. If you’re drinking to have flavors and textures married to the type of food you’re eating, you’re going to need to buy more expensive wine.” (Note: We tried a BBQ chip with the rosé – trust us, the taste is radically different.)

·      What happens if I don’t know the answer to, “What does this taste like?

“It takes practice. I don’t like tasting notes because they tell you what to taste. But if you’re interested, Bottlerocket can give you a tasting sheet for just about every wine.”

Red- “Underwood” (Pinot Noir) - $14.00

Chandra Tips:

·      What’s the best red wine to try if I’m not usually a fan?

“Pinot Noir is the gateway wine to the red wine world. Dip your toe in, you don’t have to be committed!”

·      What’s your favorite type of red wine?

“I drink Apothic Dark every Thursday. It’s a great solution if you want to continue drinking but also pay rent on time.”

Interested in working out your money? Find time to speak with a Financial Gym trainer, check out our Wine & Learns programming and learn about how to make membership work for you.

Elizabeth Roberts