Just like many other wine lovers, I have had an interesting journey to get to my current level of appreciation for good wines.
I know I won’t be the only one who started out by buying the cheapest and sweetest plonk I could find as a student. Luckily, my University was situated in Stellenbosch, in the heart of the Cape Winelands.
There were countless charity drives which wine farms in the area got involved with. My favourite one, and the one that ruined plonk for me forever, was one in which we could exchange either two cans of food, or blankets and old clothes for a bottle of wine. These wines were donated by wine farms, and they were good. Really good in comparison to what I had been drinking before.
Discovering good, but cheap Cabernet Sauvignon prices
This all got me thinking, if two cans of food could get me Cheap Cabernet Sauvignon Prices and a really nice bottle of wine, how would I determine this exchange of value once the charity drive ended? Surely there must be some system unknown to me. I soon learned that life is too short to drink bad wine, but more importantly, that “cheap” wine can be as good as it can be bad. One simply needs to keep trying wines and commit to finding the bargains.
Fortunately for Cabernet Sauvignon fans, their wine of choice is the most planted variety in the world. With that much Cabernet Sauvignon on the market, the variety within each price range makes it all the more promising to find good, inexpensive wine! Here is a guide which will help separate the inexpensive quality wine from the cheap plonk:
Go for New World Wines
Larger supermarkets will usually have in their wine aisle an import section in which the wines are divided by countries. Well known New World wine producers such as South Africa, Chile and New Zealand (to name a few) are known not only for producing wine of competitive quality on an international scale, but also for producing the fantastic value wines that are more than affordable. I may be slightly biased here, but South Africa produces great Cabernet Sauvignon, and much of it is inexpensive and of incredible quality.
Ask at Independent Wine Stores
I have found some of my favourite cheap Cabernet Sauvignon wines at independent liquor stores. The owners seem to really care about the quality of wines which they stock, and mostly the wines they sell have been tried and tested. They also generally try to provide variety within price ranges, so you can tell them your budget and they will gladly help you find the right match. I love that the selection in most independent wine stores includes wines one would not generally find in larger stores. The owners have gone the extra mile to find something different.
Pay Attention to the Vintage
Younger, cheaper Cabernet Sauvignon is generally ready to drink, and wasn’t made to mature for too long. Look for vintages that date back to at least one year. What people also seldom consider when looking at vintages is that they are not only an indication of maturity, but can also be an indication of a good or poor agricultural year. A 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon can differ vastly from a 2016 of the same brand based on conditions such as flooding or droughts. This one takes a bit of effort to research but you might just find a region in a country that produced an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon that year, and can explore wines from that area.
Find a Wine App
Wine apps can be a fountain of knowledge about wines one has never seen or heard of. The wine app I use has saved me on many an occasion when I was browsing stores in China in search of drinkable wine that fit my student budget. I simply had to scan the label and it would provide me with reviews and ratings which helped me make a choice. For Canada, I highly recommend using the app, Vivino, which can be downloaded in the app store.
Remember the Importer
When you find that brilliant bottle of imported Cabernet Sauvignon that is cheap and delicious and makes your soul cry for more, look on the back label to see who imported the wine. Importers like Quorum Brands Inc. take their wine selection very seriously, and if they’ve chosen a wine that you really enjoyed (in terms of quality as well as price) chances are they have imported other wines you will like.
Two brands which have been tried and tested by importers, and have not been found wanting, are the Carrol Boyes and the Cape Sun ranges. These wines are a more than fair exchange of value. They are affordable and they are delicious wines of great quality. No plonk here, just good, but Cheap Cabernet Sauvignon Prices.