4 Quick Tips on Finding the Best Bay Area Wine

Searching for the best bottle of Bay Area wine can be an extensive affair. Napa and Sonoma provide world-renown wines. Marin and the Santa Cruz mountains (if that’s even the Bay Area…) also provide a few wineries albeit less known. These areas are likely to provide a bottle of wine for a friendly budget.

Below are the 4 tips:

Don’t Hesitate to Ask Questions

Wine stores are used to folks coming in and playing 21 questions with them. Not everyone knows what they want when they come inside and owners and employees of wine stores typically love talking about wine. Some of the staff can find a perfect wine for you with just a few hints.

If you keep asking questions with the staff and continue to go back to the same store you will be able to build a relationship with them. This can lead to them providing more accurate recommendations and they will even set aside bottles for you if they think it’s a great selection for you. Some of these bottles may come at a discount for you down the road.

Go for wines made in satellite regions

Burgundy may be a popular wine region in France. Wines from Burgundy will cost more and because of the prestigious name, you will pay more for what you get. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with Burgundy wines, they’re just not typically a good value. The same can be said for Napa wines. Great wines, but from a prestigious region where you pay in part for the name.

A good solution if you’re trying to save a buck while getting close to the same quality wine is to test a neighboring region. It doesn’t have to be a large step-down or one at all. If you want to try a French wine that is underrated, I’d recommend Beaujolais. If you are looking for a region like Napa give Russian River or Sonoma Valley wines a try.

Check the label

Learn a little more about the wine you’re interested in by reading the label. The winemaker’s notes are often on the back and can give you an idea of the wine. The winemaker’s notes are what they intended for the wine to test like and what they taste when they drink it. However, if you are looking for the popular opinion on a bottle of wine, check the label using the Vivino app and do a quick scan to see what the majority of people are saying.

Avoid heavily marketed wines

Wines above $80-100 are usually similar in quality. As wines get more expensive than a lot of the extra value is in the effective marketing of the wine and perhaps the cult following that wine has generated. It’s likely a great wine but the extra cost comes from the demand inflating prices.

A good way around this is to try Bay Area wines that don’t’ have the name brand value yet. These wines haven’t built a cult following yet or they are not spending tons of money on marketing. If a winery is mass-producing the wine for major retail sales and spending on marketing they may have lost some quality. Smaller scale, unknown, niche wineries can produce wines that can blow your mind.

Once you start collecting your Bay Area wines, make sure to store them at 57 degrees, at 60-70% humidity, in a Wine Storage Partners location.

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