How to recognise a decent inexpensive wine

Flowery marketing jargon might obscure what's in the bottle on a wine label.

"The rear label may claim the winery is in Sonoma, but the front could read 'California,'" which suggests the grapes may not have originated from Sonoma Valley.

Even with cheaper wines, a region's soil, temperature, and topography affect the flavour and quality.

If you're looking at Napa Valley or Bordeaux, France, you'll find costlier bottles.

It may take some research to understand the options. Levine recommends Loire Valley and Languedoc wines from France.

If you like merlot, chardonnay, or cabernet sauvignon, seek for cheaper locations that cultivate such grapes.

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