Buy like an expert: Decanter offers top tips for value

  • Tuesday 10 July 2012

Pay more, not less is just one piece of advice Decanter magazine is offering its readers this month.

August issue newsletter

In a six-page feature in the August issue of Decanter magazine, out now, Anthony Rose and a panel of experts share their tips for seeking out value in wine.

The first of these, ‘Trade across, not down’, suggests the best way to get value is to look for the slightly less-well-known grapes and appellations from well-known regions.

‘If you’re looking at Alsace, try Sylvaner instead of Gewurztraminer. Instead of Barolo, try Nebbiolo delle Langhe… for Priorat try Montsant…’ Rose counsels.

When it comes to Bordeaux, both John Stimpfig and Steven Spurrier advise buying top chateaux in slightly ‘off’ vintages, for example 2001 and 2006, both of which came after ‘vintages of the century’.

They point out that both Anthony Barton at Chateau Leoville Barton, and Jacques Thienpont of Le Pin consider their 2001s better than ‘their more lauded and hyped 2000s’.

The same advice when buying in the Rhone is offered by John Livingstone-Learmonth, who reckons ‘you can…rely on on strict crop sorting and …increased attention in the cellar from good names.’

On price, Rose notes ‘you should pay more to find good value’. A bottle costing £4.99 will contain wine that cost around £0.50, he warns.

Double your spend, and costs such as excise duty and packaging will remain fixed, while ‘the value of the wine in the bottle increases exponentially’.

Other sections cover buying in the US and France, on the internet and from Champagne growers, and ordering in restaurants.

Read the full article in the August issue of Decanter magazine.


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