The Drync.com Wine Blog

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Wine Without Buyer’s Remorse

September 3, 2014

upgrade your winesBack to school season continues, with a timely lesson on staying true to your frugal roots, and still expanding your vinous horizons. 

There is nothing wrong with everyday, cheap-and-cheerful under $20 selections. We actually love them so much that we created a cheap wine cheat sheet. However, we are not fans of sticking with routine and denying ourselves awesomeness out of fear. Although the same old wines can get kind of boring, there is very little worse than splurging on a wine and ending up with a case buyer’s remorse. Here are four easy rules to upgrade with confidence!

Rule #1: Upgrade your grapes

If you want to up your quality levels and are feeling adventurous, try switching to a similar variety. For example, if you like Moscato, check out German Kabinett Riesling. Moscato fans do not fear the sweet stuff, nor do they fear the tiniest suggestion of effervescence. German Kabinett Rieslings offer the same experience, with a tell-tale racy acidity. Wine worth the splurge: Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Trocken ($33). Similarly, white Zinfandel drinkers should look to juicy Spanish Rosados or Californinan Vin Gris; Red Moscatos should check out Lambrusco.

Rule #2: Upgrade your price

For certain super consistent categories, the easiest upgrade is simply to spend a few more bucks on your bottle. Malbec delivers at every price point, and fits this description to a T! One of our favorite high end options is the Bodega Colomé Estate Malbec ($35). Other examples that fall into this category: Austrian Gruner Veltliner, Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc, and Oregon Pinot Noir to name a few.

Rule #3: Upgrade your region

Wine prices are often determined by simple supply and demand: the smaller the region, the less wine produced, and the higher the price tag. For very large regions, such as Tuscany, the Languedoc-Roussillon, and California, there are numerous sub appellations that can offer great values, even at a lower price point. Case in point, if you like California Zinfandel, check out something like Lodi or Sonoma. The Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel Sonoma County ($26) is an awesome example. If you find a producer that you adore, look to see if they offer any single vineyard selections. Want to get really geeky? Have a horizontal tasting: try your everyday, entry level cuvée alongside some smaller appellations, and single vineyard sites. Way to learn your terroir!

Rule #4: Upgrade your age

Contrary to popular belief,  most wines do not actually get better with age. It is far easier to make a wine built for immediate drinking than to make a wine built for aging. Your favorite entry level, everyday wine will frequently have a more sophisticated counterpart that is aged a little longer before release, or can handle a few years of cellar aging. Rioja is the perfect example of a wine that is built for easy upgrades. If you adore the fresh, bright berry fruit of a Joven or a Crianza Rioja, then sinking your teeth into a Reserva is a no-brainer. Try Bodegas la Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva (around $35) to get started.

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Amy Ullman Marketing Manager Drync Drync Marketing Manager Amy Ullman will always be a girl with Champagne tastes on a beer budget at heart. She learned to stop worrying and love her upgrades, about 3 years ago.

photo credit: It’s Holly via photopin cc

Discussion

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