Luxury on Less Tip: Sample fine wines without spending a fortune

by Karen on August 17, 2008

My husband and I are wine enthusiasts. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not big drinkers. But we love to sample wines. With some meals, there’s nothing quite like a glass of wine to complement it.

When consumed in moderation, red wine is also proven to have a wide array of health benefits, including increased cardiovascular health, lower risk for certain cancers and obesity, decreased effects of aging, and even a longer lifespan.

It’s possible to find many fine wines for under $10 a bottle, but even $10 is too much to spend on something as frivolous as wine when you’re on a tight budget. We do occasionally use some of our entertainment budget to pick up a bottle for special occasions or date nights at home, but it’s a rare treat.

Our favorite way to sample wines is by visiting local wineries. With several scattered throughout most states, it’s possible there’s a full scale winery right in your backyard. You can use this winery directory to find one near you.

Most wineries offer 100% free tastings. You can sample various wines and learn about how to pair wines with meals and taste like a connoisseur. Many also offer free tours of the facility, which can be a fun way to spend an afternoon. They often have beautiful grounds where you can stroll or enjoy a picnic.

If you do find a wine that you particularly enjoy, you can pick it up with confidence since you’ve already tried it and you know you like it. If you don’t budget money for entertainment, or you’d rather not spend it on wine, then you can leave the winery after a lovely day with some knowledge about fine wine without spending a penny.

If there isn’t a winery near you, another option is to host a wine tasting party. Everyone chips in a bottle, so everybody can try a little taste of a wide assortment of wines. It’s a classy way to spend an evening with friends without busting your budget. Cheers!

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{ 3 comments }

1 tiffanie August 17, 2008 at 6:16 pm

My husband and I got into wine on our honeymoon. We stayed a hotel in a cute German-themed town that sold some great wines, and ended up buying a few bottles there. One of them because our traditional “wedding wine” – a Red Currant wine that is actually bottled in our state (Michigan). Then we traveled across the state and stayed in a bed & breakfast. We found an ad in the B&B that told about a vineyard down the road! So we did some wine tasting and bought another few bottles there (Blueberry, Cherry, and some others). We ended up coming home with about 9 bottles of wine!

As you can probably tell, we’re into fruity wines. I haven’t yet acquired the taste for dry wines, or even semi-dry. Sweet, fruity wines are the way to go for me heh. Our “wedding wine” runs $13/bottle, and whenever we go through that part of the state we’ll pick up a few bottles to drink throughout the year (and save one for our anniversary).

We have yet to do a wine tour throughout the state, but there are quite a few vineyards and wineries in Michigan, so it’s definitely a possibility!

2 Kacie August 17, 2008 at 6:46 pm

I want wine. Eff.

3 Vane October 26, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I want to know how can I get free samples. I really love sweet wines.

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