We are an importer, exporter & wholesaler of alcoholic beverages & food with type 14 public warehouse & fulfillment service

We Asked 17 Wine Pros: Which Wine Region Offers the Best Bang For Your Buck?

Buying wine in any setting can be a little overwhelming. Whether you’re perusing a by-the-glass menu for something to sip with happy hour or buying bottles to drink at home, it’s nice to walk the line between value and quality. Even those well versed in the wine world’s many options may find it difficult to determine if they’re getting a great deal.

That’s why we reached out to wine professionals, from sommeliers to beverage directors, to ask them which wine regions they’re most drawn to right now when it comes to value. The concept of what’s considered a bang for your buck may be different for everyone, but the pros happily pointed us toward regions that tend to over-perform at their price point. Their answers span the globe, from France to Chile and even the Middle East — so explore their picks below.

The best bang-for-your-buck wine region, according to wine pros:

Itata Valley
Douro Valley
Ribera del Duero
Sierra de Gredos

“You probably think of Champagne as a luxury product — and the region has certainly cultivated that image — but if we take a step back and consider everything that goes into producing the wine, a bottle of Champagne from the best growers can be a very fine value indeed.” —Max Goldberg Liu, director of communications, Pressoir, NYC

“Alentejo in Portugal is one of my favorite wine regions right now. It’s an amazing oceanfront area that receives coastal winds onto the vines, like Sonoma Coast or Santorini, and lends a beautiful minerality and briny character to the wine. Because this region in Portugal is lesser known, you can still find these wines for an amazing value. Some wines are also using French oak, which in most cases across the world means a steeper price point.” —Amy Racine, beverage director, JF Restaurants, NYC

“There are many regions under the radar where a seasoned wine professional can find outstanding wines at shockingly affordable prices. One of these regions lies in the northwestern region of Spain known as Galicia. The reds from Ribeira Sacra are made mainly from Grenache and the local Mencía. Most people are not familiar with Mencía and most people shy away from things they are unfamiliar with. This leaves the rest of us to cherry-pick amazingly priced wines that show a serious depth of flavor, winemaking, and sense of place. The top producers make wines that can stand up to the finest Morgon from Burgundy or Rhône-ish Syrah.” —Terence Lewis, beverage director, Safran Turney Hospitality, Philadelphia

“If I could feasibly say all of South America I would, but that is too vague. If we really want to pare this down more, I would say the best bang for your buck is coming out of the Itata Valley in southern Chile. It is an incredible growing region, steeped with history in both winemaking traditions and sheer vine age, as it is home to some of the oldest vines on their original roots in the world. On top of that, the wines that are coming from these vines are complex and have so much character, but also an elegance and levity to them that you don’t see very often. I’d strongly recommend drinking old-vine Carignan and old-vine Pais from Itata this summer.” —Alex Cuper, wine director, El Che Steakhouse & Bar and Brasero, Chicago

“Lebanon. There’s a lot to understand about why the Lebanese wine industry has turned to exports to survive — [like] geopolitics and staggering inflation — but from a strictly ‘what you get for what you spend’ standpoint it’s hard to do better. Chateau Musar and Massaya stand shoulder to shoulder with Bordeaux’s finest. I love the low-intervention embrace of native varieties led by Mersel Wine.” —Scott Stroemer, bar director, Galit, Chicago

“Douro, Portugal. The combination of favorable terroir, grape varieties, and winemaking tradition results in great wine at an outstanding value.” —Hugo Santos, food & beverage manager, Holston House, Nashville

“I would absolutely say Spain, specifically Ribera del Duero!” —Domingo Abreu, sommelier, Lopesan Costa Bávaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

“The wine regions where I’m finding the best bang for my buck right now are [in Greece]. Unique varietals like Assyrtiko and Xinomavro can hold their own against a pricier New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or Rioja, and other varietals like Moschofilero and Agiorgitiko are wonderful options as well.” —Bernadette James, sommelier, Stages at One Washington and The Living Room, Dover, N.H.

“Surprising nobody, I have to say Lebanon – they have millennia of vinification history, incredible altitudes and cooling influences, tons of local and foreign winemaking expertise, and the freedom to grow a wide range of indigenous Bordeaux and Rhône varieties. As a result, they’re making some fantastic wine, but there’s currently little demand in the U.S., so the value is incredible!” —Gareth Rees, beverage manager, ilili, NYC

“Languedoc-Roussillon is France’s largest wine region by size and one of the largest producers in the world, so its volume of production allows its prices to stay low and competitive. There is also a renewed interest in the area to produce greater-quality wines using older vines and traditional methods. Picpoul, Cinsault, and Carignan are great regional varieties to try. Some producers are making great Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir that can be found at a steal compared to Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Loire. Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah also are dominant grapes, so if the price of Rhône wine scares you off, try the more approachable versions being made here.” —Shawn Miller, Beverage Director, Forsythia, Philadelphia

“The Spanish wine region in Galicia is mostly known for Albariño, but boasts a number of red and white varietals and blends to fit every occasion. It also combines Spanish and Portuguese varietals for the best-of-both-worlds bottlings. This region’s hidden bargains are worth investigating before the secret gets out!” —Kai Wilson, assistant general manager, Mercat a la Planxa, Chicago

“The wines of Sierra de Gredos (a region near Madrid) offer a great bang for your buck. They are savory and elegant with higher acidity than many of today’s wines, which are affected by global warming. This is because the Sierra de Gredos region is cold. [These wines] remind me of Burgundy’s delicacy and depth. Most of them are from old vines that generously give more complexity to the wines. This area has been producing wines for hundreds of years and I am glad they are now sharing them with us in the U.S. Look for Jimenez Landi and Comando G vineyards.” —Jorge Mendoza, sommelier, Lightkeepers at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne, Fla.

“If you want Barolo but don’t want to pay Barolo prices, head to the northern Greek region of Macedonia, especially for the Xinomavro grape. Like Nebbiolo, the grape is made into premium reds, most notably in the appellation Naoussa. The wines have a similar leather-meets-dried raspberry flavor profile, are incredibly consistent, and tend to drink well for half the price of their Italian neighbors.” —Danya Degen, general manager and wine director, Méli, Washington, D.C.

“Sticking to French here because that’s all I buy at the moment: Corsica. Corsica is doing some exciting things in wine, like experimenting with different aging vessels or returning to their native varieties while combining with standard French varieties. Modern winemakers are growing in presence there and taking the reins from their parents, leading to some unique expressions on the island. Plus, you get maritime [influence] and high altitude, and continental climates on the island that show some beautiful range.” —Matthew Brodbine, beverage director, Pasjoli, Santa Monica, Calif.

“In my recent experience, Piemonte (home to Barolo and Barbaresco on the high end) produces some of the very best value wines today, often from some of the same producers, grapes, and vineyards as these premium bottlings — but at a fraction of the cost!” —William Eccleston, wine director, Panorama Wine Bar, Philadelphia

“Both Beaujoulais and Rioja offer a lot of great bangs for your buck. We’re big fans of Anthony Thevenet’s wines, which punch way above their price class. You’ll always find at least one Spanish wine on the list at Virginia’s because they’re delicious and value-driven. Right now, we’re serving a Garnacha by Tanca els Ulls Garnacha from Catalonia!” —Clay Sears, beverage director, Virginia’s, NYC

“Part of the reason I chose this career was to try and answer this exact question! While I think there are many good answers, I find that if you are trying to find value in every category of wine, Spain truly covers all of the bases. From excellent sparkling in Penedès and crisp whites in the Rias Baixas to textured whites and balanced earthy reds in Rioja and orange wines of Catalonia or even the expressive fortified wines of Jerez, no country does bang-for-your-buck better than Spain.” —Bobby Snyder, head sommelier, Yingtao, NYC

*Image retrieved from Annatamila via stock.adobe.com

The article We Asked 17 Wine Pros: Which Wine Region Offers the Best Bang For Your Buck? appeared first on VinePair.

Leave a Comment

Resize text-+=