How to Pick a Good Wine for Under $15

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Wine bottles

This week and next, Sasha shares her strategies for choosing an excellent bottle of wine that won't break the bank. Tune in each day for a new tip!


If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me what my favorite under-$15 bottle is, well, I’d be able to buy a lot of very expensive wine. The truth is, I can’t settle on just one. There’s so much good wine out there, who could blame me for being fickle? So instead of naming names, I’ll share my general strategies for finding delicious wines at modest prices.

5. The less you know, the better. If you can’t pronounce the wine’s name, have never heard of the grape it’s made from, or couldn’t find the region it hails from on a map, it’s worth a second look. Again, you pay for familiarity. Of course, just because it’s obscure doesn’t mean it’s good. If you really know nothing about the wine, ask for some advice. If it’s a good wine store—and you’re there at an off time of day--the salesperson will be happy to share everything she knows about that peppery Argentine Bonarda or refreshing Picpoul de Pinet from the Languedoc. If she knows you’re willing to step off the beaten path, she may jump at this opportunity to show off some of her favorite hidden gems.


Sasha Smith



Sasha Smith writes about wine and food on her website, spinthebottleny. In her spare time, she is the Executive Director of a New York based media company.