If you look on the internet or in the library, there's a plethora of resources out there on how to stock the perfect wine cellar. If you are or want to be a wine enthusiast, you can stock or start a wine collection without breaking the bank.
Gina Holman is the general manager of Wayzata Bar & Grill and Wayzata Wine & Spirits. She went through a two year education and testing process to become a certified Sommelier, which means she knows all about wine.
"This tastes absolutely over $20 and it's only $12.99," said Gina Holman, pointing to a blended wine. She says to think about quality instead of cost when starting a wine cellar. Holman pulled several wines to show Money Savers. "The majority of these here are under $15, in fact most are $11."
1. Buy bottles of wine that will pair well with just about any type of food. Holman recommends Pinot Noir or Rose' as two wines that will compliment just about any dish. "Pinot Noir is really the rage right now," said Holman. "Everybody loves Pinot Noir because of it's unbelieveable essence to pair food with it." For Thanksgiving, Holman recommends trying a rose', which is dry and not sweet.
2. Knowledge is power. Once you sample and know you like a wine from a particular region, look for similar wines from the region to find one that will fit in your budget. "You can get wonderful value depending on the information you gather. You can start finding specific regions and knowing all the quality that comes from that region," said Holman. For example, if you like wine that comes from the Rhone Valley in France, know that wine in the northern region retail for around $100. Wines from the southern region have a similar flavor, but sell for a fraction of the cost.
3. Buy estate wines. Turn the wine bottle around and look for the words "produced and bottled by" on the back. This wine comes from a producer that grows the grapes, makes the wines, and bottles the wine. It will be of higher value, and likely cheaper, than wine that says "vinted and bottled by" which means a producer had to buy the juice to make the wine, thus passing some of the cost to the consumer.
4. Look for emerging wine markets. Argentina and Chille are becoming recognized as up-and-coming regions for quality wine. "Turn the labels around and just read," encourages Holman. "If you see produced or historic, you know you are getting quality."
5. Finally, join a rewards program at your local wine store. At Wayzata Wine and Spirits, the rewards program will allow you to get information about new and upcoming wines as well as a ten percent discount on any full-price bottle of wine. Getting to know your local wine store owners and workers will help you learn more about the wines you like, with no cost included.
Shannon Slatton, reporting
October 10, 2012