Great Ways Of Buying Low Cost Wine In Italy

Italy is famous the world over for its superb wines. With vineyards in every major province of the country and thousands of small producers, Italy has an amazing range of regional wines which means that there really is something to suit every palate.

Of course, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the upper prices of a great bottle of Italian wine but you can also get some fantastic wines at a very low cost. This is great news for students, tourists and Expats who don’t want to break the bank when buying a bottle, or two, of Italian wine.

Best Ways Of Buying Wine At Lower Costs In Italy.

The following are some of the ways you can buy wine without spending a lot of money:

Get To Know A Local Producer.

A fun way to get discounted wines is to get to know and visit your local wineries. Not only can you buy cut-price wine in bulk but you’ll also learn about the production process during your visits. Supporting local wine producers is a good way to give back to the community and will allow you to know exactly how your wine is made! Many wineries also sell vino sfuso on-site at a much lower price than if it was bottled and sold in a store.

Buy Vino Sfuso.

Vino sfuso is a bulk wine that is sold directly from the cask. This means that the producers don’t have to pay for fancy bottles or labels and consequently the prices are unbelievably cheap! Many wine shops in Italy sell vino sfuso alongside the regular bottles and so if you’re looking to save a lot of money this is a great way to do so.

You can buy as much or as little vino sfuso as you like. You simply need to bring your own bottle, or containers, to put the wine directly into. The cost of the equivalent to a bottle of vino sfuso can often be as little as 1.50-2.50 Euros!

If you forget to bring your own empty bottles to fill you can always buy a bottle, a bag in a box or even a jug from the shop to put your wine in. This is a smart way to get some great wines at seriously low prices; plus it’s also an environmentally friendly business model.

In former times vino sfuso was usually pretty poor quality and was made from the wine that producers rejected for their bottles. However, today, many wineries and producers dedicate themselves to solely making vino sfuso so you should be able to find some top-quality wines at bargain prices.

Another benefit of buying vino sfuso is that you can usually taste it before you hand over any cash. This way you can sample the various vino sfuso on offer before filling up your bottles with the best-tasting variety.

Try Drinking Boxed Wine.

Although it’s not as glamorous as a bottle of wine, boxed wine is super cheap when compared with bottled wine. This is mainly because producers can save money on the bottling costs. However, despite the price tag, many boxed wines are extremely tasty and, once you find a grape you love, it can become your steady go-to source of cheap wine.

Get a Loyalty Card For Your Local Wine Shop.

A lot of wine shops in Italy run a customer loyalty scheme whereby if you have a loyalty card you can get discounts on your future purchases. These discounts can be quite significant and save you 20% or more on your shopping bill. Don’t forget that you can often buy discounted wines and then, with your loyalty card, get an additional discount on the already discounted wine!

Buy In Bulk.

A great way to save money on your wine is to buy it by the caseload. You can get some amazing deals on wines when you buy them in a case of 6 or 12 at a time. In most cases, you can get a discount of between 10 to 15% compared to buying the bottles individually. So, if you’re a regular wine drinker it will certainly pay to stock up in bulk instead of buying each bottle individually.

Avoid The Most Famous Grapes.

As a general rule, the most famous varieties of grapes will cost a lot more than a relatively unknown local alternative. So if you want to save money you should avoid grapes such as Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese and Chardonnay, among others. If you buy unknown grape varieties you’ll always make savings, and the truth is that many of these less famous varieties are actually fantastic!

Look For Discount Rack.

When you visit an Italian wine shop there will often be a discount rack where you can get some delicious wines at marked-down prices. You can also find discounted wines in the big box supermarkets and even at the farmers’ markets.

The level of the discounts can vary considerably but you can often find wines that are discounted by as much as 50%! Usually, though you’ll find them discounted by around 20%, which is still useful if it saves you a couple of Euros per bottle.

White Wines Tend To Cost More Than Reds.

A semi-decent white wine will always be more expensive than a comparable bottle of red wine. This is simply because the production costs for white wine are higher than they are for red wines and so the producers just pass this cost onto the consumer. Therefore, when it comes to buying cheaper wines you’re better off sticking with reds as opposed to white wines.

Equally, you should generally avoid the cheaper supermarket rose wines. Just like white wines, rose is more expensive to make so the cheapest bottles are generally pretty unpalatable!

Things To Know When Buying Wine In Italy.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when buying wine in Italy:

Don’t Buy Bottles Under 5 Euros!

While it’s tempting to buy the very cheapest bottles of wine, which are often priced below 5 Euros, this isn’t necessarily a good idea. These low cost wines can often taste pretty terrible and contain high levels of sulfides in them which will give you a headache. So if you want to avoid unpleasant hangovers and actually enjoy the taste of your wine then you should be ready to spend more than 5 Euros per bottle.

However, you can still get some excellent bottles of wine for under 10 Euros which won’t leave you stumbling around blurry eyed with an intolerable headache the next day. Therefore, you should always avoid the very cheapest bottles of wine because even if the price tag is tempting the resulting hangover won’t be.

When it comes to cheap wines an extra few Euros can make a huge difference to the quality of the wine. That means that if you spend 8 Euros instead of 6 Euros on a bottle the difference in quality can often be enormous.

Similarly, if you can stretch your budget a little more to a 12 Euro bottle you will be in a completely different league to a 5 Euro bottle! This is not to say that you can’t find some great wines for 6 or 7 Euros but the extra cost of getting a 12 Euro bottle is usually worth it.

Buy Local.

When you shop for local wines you are not only supporting the region’s wineries but you can also get some fantastic deals on some genuinely good wines. You can often find some great bargains at the farmers’ markets and at the vineyards themselves.

Look For DOC, DOCG, DOP Or IGT On The Label.

Regardless of the price of the bottle of wine, if it doesn’t have one of these abbreviations on the label it’s not likely to be very good. There are strict quality control rules in place in Italy and so when you see one of these abbreviations on the label you can be pretty sure that the wine will be relatively high quality. This is because in order to qualify to use one of these abbreviations producers have to meet rigorous standards in the production of their wine.

Never Buy ‘Bottom Shelf’ Wines!

The bottom shelves of wine shops are usually stacked with terrible wines that are made in bulk by huge producers. These cut-price wines are usually pretty awful and often contain very high levels of sulfides, something which is bound to give you a severe hangover.

These industrial large-scale wine producers rarely follow the highest standards of winemaking. That’s because these producers are more concerned with undercutting their competitors than in creating a decent wine. Therefore, steer well clear of the bottom shelf even if the prices look too good to be true.

Avoid High Alcohol Wines.

When you’re buying wines at the lower end of the price spectrum you’ll often see bottles with very high alcohol content, often up to 14 or 14.5%! When selecting your wines you should avoid these high alcohol content bottles because producers often increase the alcohol levels just to mask the poor flavor. That’s why you should generally stick to wines that have an alcohol content of between 9 to 12%.

Low Cost Wine Doesn’t Have To Taste Terrible!

While it’s impossible to deny that many of the cheapest wines really do taste terrible, you can also find some great low-cost bottles of your favorite grape! To source good quality cheap wines you’ll have to be a little bit resourceful, buy vino sfuso where possible and hunt for bargains at farmers’ markets, supermarkets and at your local winery.

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