Pay just a little more for your bottle of wine and you will be rewarded

How to Drink Better: Price and value are not the same thing and remember that more than half of the cost of the bottle may go on taxes

Q. What are the best value wines?

A. Many wines are overpriced simply because they come from a famous region or the producers have spent a lot of money on advertising and marketing. Here are a few tips to help you buy wines that offer genuine value for money.

Price and value are two different things, so don’t go too cheap. We have the highest taxes on wine in the EU (and minimum pricing too) so if you buy a bottle for €8, more than 50 per cent of that will go to Revenue. Instead spend a little more, €10-€12, on your next purchase. You should notice a big difference in quality.

Try to buy wines from an artisan producer. Wine from a single estate may cost a little bit more, but you are more likely to find a really interesting wine.


Treat special offers with suspicion. Many discounted wines offer great value for money, but others have been listed at an artificially inflated price simply to offer a huge discount. If a wine is being offered at half-price, either it is no good, or was too expensive in the first place.

Avoid the well-known names. The best-known regions can usually charge a premium for their wines. Shop outside of these and there are usually plenty of similar wines on offer for far less money. Here are a few alternatives.

Instead of champagne, buy cava (Spanish sparkling wine) which offers great value, as do many of the crémants (sparkling wines from various parts of France) as well as sparkling wine from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

Instead of Marlborough or Sancerre, try sauvignon blanc from Chile or Touraine in France.

The great red wines of Bordeaux are overpriced, but the less expensive so called petits châteaux can offer great value for money, as do red wines from regions such as Bergerac, Cahors and Madiran. The white wines of Bordeaux can be very keenly priced too.

Instead of red Burgundy try pinot noir from Chile, New Zealand or German spätburgunder.

Instead of barolo or barbaresco, buy nebbiolo d’Alba from a good producer.

Instead of Provence try rosés from the Languedoc, the Loire or Spain and Portugal.

Here is my list of great value wines:

Great value red wines

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo


Garnacha and Tempranillo from Spain

Malbec from Argentina

Great value red and white wines

The Languedoc region of France

Côtes du Rhône


Just about any wine from Portugal


Great value white wines


South African Chenin Blanc

Côtes de Gascogne

German riesling