Here are a few things to consider when you’re at home:
Whether you add mulling spices in the winter or fruit juice to make Sangria in the summer, mixing your wine with other liquids or flavours means you can use a much less expensive bottle of wine.
Not only will you learn something new, you will save a bundle. Prices range from about $3.50 to $5 per 750 ml bottle. Since there is usually a 30-bottle minimum, you have to be prepared to pony up some money to make this work. If you can supply your own bottles, you can save even more. And if you don’t want to make that big an investment at once, split the batch with a friend or two.
In Australia and Scandinavia, thousands have switched to drinking boxed wine because it’s become so affordable. A three-liter bag-in-the-box for just under $70 is a good deal, particularly since the technology means the last glass will be a tasty as the first. Careful about the packaging you choose. Large tetras don’t have a way to squeeze all the air out if you’re using the wine over a long period, and it’s the air that will ruin the wine. And small tetras don’t carry the same big savings.
When you find something you really like, make a note of it. Then you can remind yourself when you’re running out for a bottle instead using the price as a guide.
… and when you’re Ooot and Aboot:
Are their restaurants in your area that will let you bring your own?
House wines, bought and sold in bulk, are almost always less expensive.
Buy the bottle
Restaurants charge outrageously for by-the-glass servings. And if the wine has been sitting open for a while, it won’t be at its best. Go with a half-bottle if a bottle is too much for your party.
If you always choose the most popular wine on the menu, you’ll end up paying more. Popularity means the price will go up. Be willing to try something new.